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|Place of origin||Japan|
|Main ingredients||Ice, syrup, condensed milk or evaporated milk|
|Cookbook: Kakigōri Media: Kakigōri|
Popular flavors include strawberry, cherry, lemon, green tea, grape, melon, "Blue Hawaii", sweet plum, and colorless syrup. Some shops provide colorful varieties by using two or more syrups. To sweeten kakigōri, condensed or evaporated milk is often poured on top of it.
It is similar to a snow cone but with some notable differences: It has a much smoother fluffier ice consistency, much like fresh fallen snow, and a spoon is almost always used to eat it.
The traditional way of making kakigōri uses a hand cranked machine to spin a block of ice over a shaving blade. Even though electric shavers are most often used, street vendors can still be seen hand-shaving ice blocks in the summer.
In addition to the streets, kakigōri is sold in festivals, convenience stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. During the hot summer months, kakigōri is sold virtually everywhere in Japan. Especially at summer festivals and fairs, it is as popular as yakisoba, takoyaki and cotton candy. Kakigôri is one of the summer features in Japan. Some shops serve it with ice cream and sweetened red beans or tapioca pearls.
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Region or state||Kagoshima prefecture|
|Main ingredients||Ice, condensed milk|
|Cookbook: Shirokuma Media: Shirokuma|
Shirokuma (白熊 or しろくま) is a type of kakigōri, a Japanese dessert made from shaved ice flavored with condensed milk, small colorful mochi, fruits, and sweet bean paste (usually Azuki bean). Mandarin orange, cherry, pineapple, and raisins are often used to make shirokuma.
Shirokuma has been popular in Kagoshima since the middle of the Edo period and is well-known to many Japanese. Condensed milk, fruit, and sweet bean paste are served over shaved ice. It is eaten in cafés and in some department stores, such as Yamakataya (山形屋) or Mujaki.
Shirokuma literally means "white bear" and indicates "polar bear" in Japanese. There are some views about the origin of the name.
In one account, there was a cotton shop in Kagoshima city. The shop started to sell kakigōri as its side-business. The kakigōri was flavored with condensed milk. When the owner was thinking of a name for it, he noticed the picture of a polar bear was printed on the labels of the condensed milk's can.
Another account is that Mujaki, a coffee shop in Kagoshima City, started to sell the kakigōri, put milk syrup, sanshoku-kanten (colorful agar), yōkan (soft azuki-bean jelly), sweet beans and fruits in a pattern that resembled a polar bear when seen from overhead, so it was named shirokuma.
Yet others say that it was created in honour of the memory of Saigo Takamori after his battle with the Edo Shogun.
In Kagoshima, some similar named kakigōri are made. Kurokuma flavored with dark brown unrefined sugar syrup, coffee or caramel syrup and kiguma flavored with mango pulp syrup are made in some coffee shops.
Supermarkets in southern Kyushu, especially in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima, and mom-and-pop candy stores sell shirokuma as a popular product. Shirokuma are often eaten at Kagoshima fairs which are held in other prefectures. Shirokuma in cups are sold at convenience stores all over Japan.
Similar dishes in other cultures
- Baobing: a Chinese shaved ice
- Patbingsu: a Korean shaved ice
- Halo-halo: a Philippine shaved ice
- Es campur: an Indonesian shaved ice
- Es teler: an Indonesian shaved ice
- Ais Kacang (ABC): a Malaysian shaved ice
- Grattachecca: an Italian shaved ice popular in Rome.
- Hawaiian shave ice: a Hawaiian shaved ice
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shirokuma.|