Shave ice or shaved ice?

Jamison Metzger
Melanie Silva, who recently moved to Provo from Hawaii, says that Hokulia Shave Ice Co. is comparable to authentic snow shacks in Hawaii. Hokulia Shave Ice Co. is located at 1445 N. Canyon Road, across the street from Heleman Halls. (Jamison Metzger)

Cold, refreshing, sugary, fruity flavored ice is a popular summer treat in Provo, but what is it actually called? Shave ice or shaved ice?

Hokulia Shave Ice is in its third season. Though it began as a shack on the side of the road in Provo, Hokulia Shave Ice is now a franchise spreading to states such as Alaska, Kansas, Wyoming and Georgia.

“Anything with a ‘d’ is not an authentic spelling,” said Mark Gilliland, chief operating officer of the franchise. “I have no idea why, that’s just how it is in Hawaii so that’s the way it should be spelled.”

Baobing Shaved Ice opened late August 2014, and is located on State Street in Provo in the same parking lot as Mountain West Burrito and Waffle Love.

“We’re Taiwanese style,” owner Brittini Gehring said. “So we went with the ‘d’ to differentiate from Hawaii. We didn’t want to steal the term.”

However, enjoying a Hawaiian treat while not in the Pacific is leaving consumers confused as to what to call it.

Owen Hullinger posts his annoyance on Facebook concerning what the dessert should be called. Hawaiians call it “shave ice,” and the term is gaining popularity outside Hawaii. (Hullinger)

BYU graduate Owen Hullinger sparked a grammar and culture debate when he posted on Facebook with his opinion of what it should be called. The post received over 100 likes and 30 comments.

The general consensus of the debate was that it should be called “shave ice,” because that is the original Hawaiian term, even though it sounds better and is grammatically correct as “shaved ice.”

“We want our customers to have an authentic Hawaiian experience, to get the taste and experience of a mini vacation in Hawaii,” Gilliland said. “That includes the spelling.”

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