Halo-Halo is one refreshment, dessert or snack that comes in my mind every time I’m in the beaches of Batangas. Or while traveling during the hot summer months. One has to cope the scorching heat, and one way to cool up is by taking a refreshing halo-halo.
Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert, which means all mixed up or a tropical fruit melange. It is a concoction of evaporated milk, sugar and shaved ice, with different fruits, beans and sometimes ice cream. It is basically sweet, rich and a heavy dessert. Usually placed in a tall sundae glass, or a bowl with at least 6 inches in height to prevent the ingredients in spilling, when mixing it with the spoon.
Although nobody can say who and when the dessert was introduced, one thing is for sure, that the dessert can’t be a century old, because it was just during the 50’s or even later that we have accessed to ice.
For me, with all the halo-halo that I have tasted, no specific recipe could be possible as there are a wide of varieties to the ingredients to add up. Most common food elements present are sweet preserved kidney beans, sugar palm fruit, jackfruit, shredded cantaloupe, coconut gelatin, purple yum, mango, coconut, caramelized plantains, tapioca pearls, pounded crushed young rice and anything sweet you can imagine to add. And for the special halo-halo egg custard, cherry and ice cream are normally added on top.
An amazing thing is that among the different provinces in the Philippines, you will discover that every province has its own different version of the halo-halo.
In Batangas, halo-halo has evolved into a cottage industry and is usually available in every street corner especially in places near beach resorts. In Matabungkay, along the strip of resorts, one can surely have a taste of the halo-halo served in the different eateries in the location.
One thing good with the dessert is that you have the choice if you want to add more scoops of jackfruit than a caramelized plantain. It will all depend on you on which to choose and prefer to eat. However this will be determined by the halo-halo stand or restaurant, some allow you to choose your preferred ingredients.
On the other hand, taking too much ingredients might give you a problem in mixing them up. You might have a hard time mixing the ingredients, and end up spilling most of the ingredients out of your glass.
The tropical fruits and the beans and other ingredients are the first to be eaten with the spoon. And drinking of the melted ice and milk is the final act and desire in savoring the delicious snack.
Every single foreign guest who visits the Philippine should have a taste of the halo-halo dessert. When a foreign friend of mine drop in, we have them try this delicious snack and the couple loved the dessert. And I’m sure that they will never forget the delightful refreshment called halo-halo, which made them cool, during a hot and humid temperature.
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