Now we will discuss the benefits and detriments to using natural vs artificial flavors
Natural shave ice flavoring pros
Much smoother taste with no astringency or lingering taste on your teeth and tongue.
Healthier - This is tricky, For a flavor to taste good, it is hard for it to be healthy. Lots of sugar must be added, even for puree flavors.
Up charge- In this day and age when everything is marked up due to it being organic and natural, many people go this route to charge a premium for offering natural flavors. Vendors have charged upwards of $10.00 per shave ice at times.
Novelty- Offering natural flavors can also be a novelty when all your competitors use artificial. If you have easy access to local grown papayas, it would be a good to offer a natural papaya to your flavor list.
Natural shave ice flavoring cons
Cost- Purees are not cheap! Seasonal fruits cost even more!
Access- Not all fruits are year round which would limit your flavor line up.
Shelf life- For a flavor to be really natural, there must not be any preservatives which means if you don't sell it in time, expect spoilage
Color- Natural flavors won't be as vibrant as artificial ones
Taste- Have you tried puree strawberries or mangos? Pureed fruits don't taste the best when used directly. They are usually too sour or over tart. Most vendors blend their purees with artificial ingredients like concentrates and powders to tone down the taste and stabilize the flavor.
Artificial & Natural shave ice flavoring pros
Cost- Usually you can find a good deal for these type of flavors online.
Shelf Life- Most concentrates can last well up to 1 year and over.
Ease of preparation - You don't have to deal with messy fruits or purees. Just add your concentrate to your simple syrup and that is it!
Coloring- More intense and vibrant colors due to food dye.
Taste- Consistent. Fruits don't all taste the same but concentrates normally do.
Artificial & Natural shave ice flavoring cons
Health - Some people say it isn't as healthy. Technically shave ice is never healthy that's why it is good!
Taste- Some flavors can be quite "artificial" tasting and not as smooth.
Price- You can't really charge $10 for a regular shave ice. People won't buy it.
Non Organic- This is what I hear a lot. Keep in mind that just cause a flavor says "natural", it doesn't mean it is grown or made organically.
Suppliers- There are a dozen suppliers offering their own versions of strawberry, sometimes picking the right one can be daunting.
This section will tell you the basics on how to make a good Hawaiian shave ice! Please feel free to ask questions you may have regarding local shave ice and shave ice in general.
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