By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer
There’s a treat that can help beat the heat on dog day afternoons in the Shenango Valley, and it’s made in a tiny shanty on the curve where the Shenango Valley Freeway meets Connelly Boulevard in Sharon.
Lesley Janosko serves up 14 flavors of “Hawaiian shave ice” as the treat is formally known.
Her parents, Jack and Lisa Janosko, own the adjacent auto body shop and for the last four years they’ve sold the treat that aficionados say isn’t your average “sno cone.”
“It’s so good,” Deidre White said.
The Sharon woman has family in Hawaii. “I’m pretty much a Hawaiian at heart,” she said, adding that the local concoction is close to the real thing that’s a staple in the 50th state.
White spoke as she waited on her piña colada-flavored treat she was buying to stay cool during a shopping trip. A bamboo wind chime clanked in Thursday’s brutally hot breeze.
“This just melts in your mouth,” White said. “It sure does beat a ‘sno cone.’ ”
Inside the shed-sized stand, Lesley Janosko gathered shaved ice into plastic foam cups for sweating customers.
“It’s not as small as it would seem,” she said of working in the cramped quarters. “I have an air conditioner in there, so it works out,” Janosko said.
“We’ve been pretty busy” during this week’s heat wave, she said.
Open from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, the stand has been selling about 100 servings a day, she said.
Blue raspberry and strawberry are the most popular flavors, she said.
“Shave ice” was brought to Hawaii by Japanese who worked on the sugar plantations there, according to a history of the treat written by Heather Stever on www.hawaiishavedice.com
In Japan, the treat is called kakigori and it dates back hundreds of years. In Hawaii it’s more common than ice cream stands, White said, calling it “the big thing there.”