When July and August roll around, the people of Japan swoon in the hot and humid weather. Perhaps that feeling led to the invention of kakigori, finely shaved ice flavored with a variety of sweet goodness. Kakigori is widely available on the cheap with a variety of artificial, bright colored flavored syrups like strawberry, lemon, watermelon or pineapple. More traditional flavorings are sweet matcha syrup, condensed milk and a dab of azuki (sweet red bean paste), pictured above, or kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and kinako (roasted soybean powder). Recently, international players on the kakigori scene have pushed the creative limits of the summer treat: try tiramisu or mango shortcake.

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