Travel & History: Source Of Water For ‘Kakigori’ Shaved Ice In Japan (Video)

A geologist travels deep into Saitama Prefecture to investigate why whale fossils are being found so far from the nearest ocean and why the shaved ice there is so delicious.

The dessert is kakigori, a traditional Japanese shaved-ice specialty that has quickly become the dessert of choice at some of America’s most high-profile restaurants, and continues to grow in popularity. In its home country, however, kakigori has been popular for literal centuries: The idea dates back to the 11th century, when frozen blocks of ice from lakes would be preserved in the winter, only to be finely shaved and served with sweet syrup to Japan’s elite class in the summers. In the 19th century, when ice became more widely available, the public was able to try it, and now — thanks to electric refrigeration — kakigori is ubiquitous during warmer months.

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