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Posts Tagged ‘ice cream’

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than a year since my last post.

It’s been a busy year, full of trans-pacific moves, goodbyes, hellos, and a lot of yet to be documented eating adventures!

Why not start off with a shave ice review?

shaveeice
I love all forms of ice dessert and syrup, including kakigori (and here), halo halo, ais cacang, and pat bingsu.

But the ice dessert that rules them all? Hawaiian style shave ice! The texture of the ice, made by “shaving” it off of a large rotating block, is lighter and much smaller than crushed ice. This creates more areas for the syrup to flow into, and not just collect at the bottom of your cup or bowl. The ice is then lightly shaped into a large softball sized ball. Then freshly made syrups and a quick swirl of condensed milk are added on top, and a scoop of ice cream at the bottom if you are so inclined.

My favorite is a combination of lemon-line, blue raspberry, and cherry, which usually means I end up with a well earned purple tongue afterwards.

RockinIce Truck @ Los Angeles, California

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Typhoon number 12 is currently trying to decide where or not it wants to plow through the kingdom of peaches and grapes, so while the weather is windy and rainy outside, I am inside thinking of desserts. 🙂

So before coming to Japan, I actually had never eaten a parfait before. I guess they just aren’t a popular dessert where I grew up. Count me among the happily converted though! In Japan, the parfait usually refers to layers of soft serve or scooped ice cream (sometimes both), whipped cream and toppings which range from cornflakes (surprisingly delicious) to custard, coffee jelly, jam or preserves, and fresh fruit piled high in a tall glass.


Recently, the one fancy fancy hotel in my city made the news with their seasonal fruit parfait, so of course we drove up the mountain to try it out. The type of parfait changes every couple months, and we were lucky to be there at the tail end of the the peach season.

I love peaches and there was very nearly a whole peach perced precariously on top of a scoop vanilla bean ice cream. The fresh peach was sweet with just a slight tang, pairing well with the mellow ice cream and the layers of thick custard and whipped cream underneath. About half way through the glass, I was surprised to find a couple layers of tangy peach preserves. I like to think of parfaits as the dessert that becomes more complex as you eat your way down to the bottom of each glass. I will admit, I was wishing for some crunchy cornflakes, but the extra spoonful of preserves at the very bottom was a nice surprise.

Fujiya Fruits Park Hotel@ Yamanashi City, Japan

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patbingsu
Pat Bing Su is a Korean style shaved ice, with a variety of toppings. This huge 3 person pat bing su (served in a Pyrex cup <3) we found in Sinchon starts with  layer of sweet red bean paste, topped with shaved ice, soft serve ice cream, bananas, pineapple, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and a little sprinkle of chocolate powder.

I love shaved ice in whatever form, and this was really interesting to eat. Watermelon and cherry tomatoes are two fruits that I have never seen in shaved ice before. I’m still feeling a little undecided about the tomatoes, but the watermelon was surprisingly refreshing and delicious.

@Sinchon, Seoul, South Korea

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Three yummy summer kakigori かき氷 shaved ice specials at Kihachi Ice Cream. In addition to the required shaved ice, these chilly desserts also come with a serving of Kihachi’s famous vanilla bean soft serve.

Yellow:Mango pieces, a citrus syrup, tipped with a grapefruit gelee.
This was my favorite of the 3, the sweet fresh mango goes really well with the tart grapefruit.

Green: The traditonal ujikinntoki 宇治金時 or sweetened red beans with a matcha syrup, topped with kanten 寒天 jelly pieces.

Red: Red raspberries with a scoop of annin purin アンニン プリン almond pudding, topped with a sweet raspberry syrup and condensed milk.

Kihachi Soft Cream@ Lumine building, Shinjuku station, Tokyo, Japan

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I’m chasing the last weeks of summer, and went to my neighborhood soft serve shack for something to beat the heat.  I’ll admit it, I am a lover of the strange and fascinating flavors of Japanese soft cream (soft serve ice cream) in all it’s various forms. I’ve had a rainbow of flavors from the conventional matcha and strawberry to the not so common black sesame and miso, but the picture of this light green ice cream confused me. Who in the world would make soft serve flavored like edamame (soy beans), or more specifically, zunda づんだ, the paste made from mashed edamame?  Obviously there is an audience for this particular flavor group, along with the squid ink, wasabi, and soy sauce ice cream lovers out there.

The verdict? Zunda soft serve is good. Amazingly good. This is what all good soy beans dream of becoming when they grow up. The flavor is like the sweetest sugar snap peas you’ve ever had with a light creamy texture. Really refreshing and interesting to eat.

Soft Cream Shack@ Manriki Park, Yamanashi, Japan

How has your summer ice cream been?

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It is starting to get very very warm here in Yamanashi as the rainy season finishes up, and we enter full on summer weather. Luckily there are a wide variety of frozen ice bars to cool you off in a hurry.
The suika (watermelon) bar is one of my favorites.

The suika bar is huge! The icy melon flavored pop is about 8 inches tall, which last long enough to freeze your tongue and make you forget the blazing weather. A nice surprise is that this melon slice shaped pop had chocolate seeds! Crunchy little bits of chocolate make the suika bar really interesting to eat!

Family Mart @Yamanashishi, Japan

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Thai style ice cream: colorful blocks of fruit flavored ice cream. I had lemon, orange and strawberry.

Chatuchak Market @ Bangkok, Thailand

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