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Taste Sensations: Shaved Ice, Bubble Tea from Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Mass.

Article and photos by Eric Hurwitz. Story originally appeared in Sharon Advocate, Sharon, Mass.

Chocolate peppermint shaved ice from Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Massachusetts

Chocolate peppermint shaved ice from Snowflakes Shavery.

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC
Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Mass., goes against all local food destination conventions, offering a selection of drinks, sweets and snacks that would be impossible to find under one roof anywhere else.

Alex Zhang, owner of Snowflakes Shavery, features two signature offerings: shaved snow and bubble tea.  With shaved snow, Zhang takes a block of flavor-infused ice and shaves it down through a machine that produces snow with a texture that is light and smooth, and a creamy taste that is closer to ice cream than traditional Italian ices. Good news, however, for those with New Year’s resolutions: shaved ice has fewer calories and lower sugar content than ice cream, and the flavors are gluten and nut free.

Zhang loves shaved ice so much that he left a job in the finance field to pursue a passion in opening up a store selling shaved snow.

“I was in the finance field and was not satisfied with what I was doing,” said

Zhang, 40, who is a Sharon resident and Boston University School graduate with a degree in management. “A few years back, I went to California with some friends and was introduced to shaved snow and fell in love with it. After leaving the company, I was looking for something I wanted to do, and figured there’s nothing like this around here. That’s how it started.”

Alex Zhang, owner of Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Mass., creates shaved snow.
Alex Zhang uses sophisticated machinery to create shaved ice.

Making shaved ice at Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Mass.
Putting the final touches on vanilla shaved ice with tapioca pearl bubbles and... chocolate drizzle on the way!

Snowflakes Shavery features several different shaved ice flavors including green tea, mango, strawberry coconut, pina colada, peppermint, chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee tiramisu, taro (a root vegetable), black sesame and chocolate.

The fun does not end, however, at choosing a shaved snow flavor. The second step involves picking a topping such as Oreo, Gummy Bears, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, red bean, or any of the chewy bubbles offered in bubble tea. A third step allows customers to choose a “drizzle”: condensed milk, caramel, chocolate or strawberry.

“It is similar to going out for frozen yogurt, except I think this tastes better,” said Zhang.

While shaved snow is a rarity in the Boston area, bubble tea is part of a growing trend and can be found at places in Cambridge, Boston and Quincy. A Taiwanese tea-based drink served cold, bubble tea is made by taking a flavored tea, mixing in cream and then shaking it up. Zhang cooks flavored jelly-like bubbles for up to 90 minutes each day and they become the center of attention in the mix, prominently forming at the bottom of the drink. The bubbles can be consumed with the tea through a large straw.

Snowflakes Shavery offers several different bubble tea flavors including milk tea, green tea, Thai tea, mango, coconut, strawberry, blueberry, watermelon, honeydew, lychee, taro, red bean, almond, vanilla, sesame and chocolate. Bubble options include tapioca boba pearl, yogurt boba pearl, strawberry boba pop, mango boba pop, lychee boba pop, strawberry jelly, mango jelly, rainbow jelly, coffee jelly, herbal jelly and red bean.

Taro bubble tea with tapioca bubbles

You see more of bubble tea in Chinatown,” said Zhang.  “Around here (southwest of Boston), I am not so sure. I haven’t seen it anywhere, but I know that it has really caught on in the East Coast.”

Besides shaved snow and bubble tea, Zhang offers a few Japanese snacks: takoyaki (a ball-shaped appetizer cooked in flour and filled with octopus, sauce and fish shavings), and edamame (snow peas baked with salt). Snowflakes Shavery also serves several flavors of mochi ice cream (wrapped in a layer of dough) as well as flavored iced teas, and popsicles that, like the shaved snow, have more of an ice cream taste, according to Zhang.

The atmosphere at Snowflakes Shavery is bright and welcoming, and includes several tables -- it’s a nice setting to leisurely sit with a generous serving of shaved snow,  bubble tea, or any of the other offerings.

“There’s nothing like it around here,” said Zhang, of his business. “Customers come in once and we see them come back again, so we are getting a lot of repeat customers. We are glad to be here in Sharon!”

Snowflakes Shavery is located at 370 South Main St. at the Sharon Heights Shopping Plaza in Sharon. Tel. (781) 806-0817. Facebook fan page: Instagram page: snowflakes_shavery.

Snowflakes Shavery in Sharon, Massachusetts
Snowflakes Shavery storefront in Sharon.

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