Many people enjoy a cold and tasty treat during the warm spring and summer days. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, there are many options. Two popular choices are snow cones and shave ice, but you may not know the difference. Below you will find out what makes each one distinct and delicious.

What Is a Snow Cone?

Snow cones are a mainstay at outdoor events like circuses, carnivals, and sporting events. The ice is usually crunchy because it is in the form of small pellets. You can make this by breaking up cubes with an ice hammer.

Snow cones can come in cones or cups, and usually have a limited number of flavors. Cherry, orange, blueberry, lemon, and lime are a few variations you can find at many snow cone stands.

How Is Shave Ice Different?

Shave ice is a finely sculpted dessert. It is fresh snow that has a consistency close to foam or slush, rather than cubes or pellets. This treat is easier on teeth, and you can craft it into a curved or mountain-like shape.

shaved iceShave ice can also come in cones or cups, and you can commonly find it at roadside mobile units. It also goes by a variety of names, including shave ice and shavers. They usually have a wider assortment of flavors than snow cones, and you can top them with cream or sour sprays for a more dynamic taste range.

Why Do they Taste Different?

The difference in each treat’s consistency impacts the flavor. The pellet-like ice of a snow cone means the bulk of the syrup will usually sink to the bottom, causing the last few bites to be the most flavorful.

With shave ice, the fluffy ice leads to even syrup absorption. You can expect a more consistent taste throughout, where each bite is delicious.


When you’re looking for shave ice, visit Hawaiian Five-OH in Lebanon, OH. For nearly 30 years, this family-owned and -operated business has offered authentic Hawaiian shave ice with hundreds of flavor options. They also sell supplies for you to make ice creations. For more information about their products, visit the website or call (513) 932-4696.