Ice Cream Iterations
Monday Musings by Melinda M.
Is it possible that our tropical heat makes imaginative entrepreneurs create ice cold concoctions in greater proportion than any other place? Like how they say the Eskimos have a thousand words for snow (and Hawaiians must have for rain), it seems like we have a disproportionate amount of cold treats to cool us down.There’s shave ice/ice shave of course, which is totally different from the mainland’s “snow cone.”
There’s Guri-Guri from Maui, a delicious delight derived from condensed milk. Mochi ice cream is my perfect dosage of a creamy confection after a meal. And the Taiwanese import, snowflake ice, is a thinly-layered marriage of shave ice and ice cream infused with natural flavors found at the Snow Factory truck (is that still around?).
But on a recent trip to Honolulu, my daughter led us to a new iteration of ice cream that hasn’t yet made it to Hilo: rolled ice cream.
We went to the Sweet Creams shop in the shadow of Ala Moana Center skeptically, figuring this was another food trend designed specifically for its social media aesthetic. I’m still not sure that’s not true, but I am sure that it was more enjoyable than I expected and for reasons you might not expect.
While the frozen treat was tastier than I had anticipated, the teenage staff was really well-trained and ready to serve. As a mother of two teenage girls, that might have impressed me more than anything else! We were first greeted by a young woman who wrote our order’s components on a cup, similar to how they do at Starbucks. She then passed each cup to one of the 3 stations for making the rolled ice cream where someone poured the ice cream base onto a freezing circle and mixed in the fresh ingredients, like Okinawan sweet potato or banana – right into it, beat and smoothed it down until it reached the desired consistency and then rolled it in sections with a scraper. Then with mini-tongs in hand, our ice cream-“rista” delicately arranged them in the cup and passed it to someone who affixed it with our selected fixings – resulting in an Instagram-friendly and pretty tasty treat.
My daughter, an “ube” (Okinawan sweet potato) aficionado, got the seasonal ube selection and I, at her request, the matcha (since that was her close 2nd choice). Both were savory with just the right amount of sweet in the mochi balls, honey drizzle and shot of whipped cream on top. And at the keiki size we were very satisfied – we could not imagine ordering anything larger!
I encourage you to visit Sweet Creams on Oahu – a great local invention and business with an attentive staff and a delicious product! (note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. LOL!)
Why don’t I see any ice cream? That all looks a little too fancy for my simple tastes. Give me Van Dykes chocolate chip any day over that fancy schmancy stuff. (Or shaved ice, I would definitely eat shaved ice any day of the week – they have a few places in NYC that serve it, but they can’t compare to the real deal from Hawaii!)