What are the most favorite foods sold at “Yatai (food stalls)” at “Ennichi” and summer festivals in Japan? Most Japanese people probably think of “takoyaki”, “okonomi-yaki”, “yaki-soba”, “watagashi(cotton candy)”… And then “Kaki-gohri(shaved ice)” will be. Well, it’s one of the summer features in Japan. This is a kind of so-called “ice candy” in Japan. It’s a kind of shaved ice with fruit syrup sauce poured over it. If looking back about “shaved ice” in history, you will find that it was already eaten in ancient Rome. In areas where snow and ice can be seen, it seems to have been around for a long time. There are a lot of “ice sweets” around the world, aren’t there? Snow cones, frappes, bao-bing, tsouping, halo-halo, frio-frio… Each of these “ice sweets” has its own unique features in syrups, ingredients, flavors, and presentation, that is very interesting.
“Kaki-gohri”, which is “shaved ice” in Japan, is no exception, is it? Of course, it varies from store to store, but there are some that are quite high quality. There are also some very popular specialty stores!! It’s not just because the syrups and ingredients are luxurious or fresh, you know? “The quality of the ice is already amazing. And the way it is shaved is also quite special. Therefore, the eating texture of them are completely different from other shaved ice sweets. (Oh, the price is quite expensive too!) It is a seasonal food, so if you are in Japan during the summer, please give them a try. You will be impressed. It doesn’t have to be the fancy ones they serve at specialty stores, of course. They should be also tasty enough.
Japanese unique “Kaki-gohri(shaved ice)”
The one pouring syrup with green tea and topping it with azuki-an paste. It is named after Uji, one of the famous tea producing areas in Japan, but it does not necessarily use Uji green tea. “Kintoki” is another name for azuki-an.
The one pouring syrup which boiling down sugar water. It is also called “Mizore” or “Senji”.
It is made by pouring undiluted plum wine over it. Of course, it contains alcohol.
This is Okinawa’s “Kaki-gohri”. It is decorated with Kintoki beans boiled down in brown sugar.
Plain “shaved ice” without any syrups or ingredients. The beauty of the name! “Shirayuki” means “Pure white snow” in Japanese. It’s a gem which you can enjoy the ingredients themselves…