It’s summertime in Japan and the yummiest way to cool down is with our favorite shaved ice dessert (with syrup and condensed milk and known to be smoother than a snowcone and fresh like snow＊) ~ kakigōri !!
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So, wanna know about this delicious dessert’s past?
Kakigōri’s history is surprisingly very old, and dates back to the 11th century. The syrup used back then was extracted from flowers and fruits. The ice was only available during wintertime, so it was stored in specialized ice houses.
Gathering and storing ice was so painstakingly difficult back then, so kakigōri was such a huge luxury. Only the rich people and the highest officials could afford it! (ﾉ；o；)ﾉ~┻━┻
Japan then started to import ice from North America, in the hopes of making kakigōri more available to the public. But the travel time was too long (it took 6 months by ship) so they looked for other ways to obtain ice.
A food merchant, Kahe Nakagawa, soon discovered he could supply “Hakodate Ice” gathered and delivered from Hokkaido to Yokohama (and turn it into a business, of course)! Because of the ice supply, soon, the first ever kakigori shop was opened. The ice used back then was hand-shaved, until the ice-maker was invented in the Meiji period and the ice-shaving machine was invented in the Showa period.
Soon, the delicacy became very popular and people started experimenting with syrup flavors and toppings~
And that’s how kakigōri came to be! ヽ(･ω･｡)ﾉ
Do you have a similar shaved ice dessert in your country too? Share it with us!
Kakigori is a dessert made with shaved ice and syrup. Popular flavors include lemon, cherry, green tea, strawberry, grape, and sweet plum. Condensed milk is poured on top of it. It is similar to the Western snow cone but it has a slightly rougher texture.