Halo-Halo: Philippines’ ultimate summer quencher

Now that it’s summer in the Philippines, everybody’s looking for a way to beat the heat. And apart from the exciting getaways and road trips, there’s this one treat everybody just can’t get enough of – the halo-halo.
Halo-halo, in its English translation means mix-mix and rightly so. Others usually describe it as a fruit mix; while locals simply refer to this summer treat as the ultimate “panghimagas” or dessert. Though it is offered all year-round, this Filipino dessert is best enjoyed during the summer season.
The sight of a tall glass filled with a layer of colorful and tasty ingredients is just too enticing to resist. But other than its appealing presentation, what makes this popular dessert a favorite treat? Imagine a generous serving of halo-halo made with shaved ice, a hodgepodge of ingredients – mixed beans such as read beans and chick peas, shreds of sweetened bananas, sugar palm fruit (kaong), chunks of jackfruit (langka), gelatin, tapioca pearls, coconut meat (macapuno), and nata de coco; topped with chunks of cream caramel flan (leche flan), purple yam (ube) and a scoop of ice cream (ube, cheese or mango flavor); poured with evaporated milk and sprinkled with crush young rice (pinipig) for that extra topping.
Nowadays, there have been variations of the halo-halo. Aside from the regular milk, coconut or organic whole milk has been widely used. While in some places, servings include a variety of fruits such as strawberries and slices of mango; and Rice Krispies is a substitute to pinipig. Several restaurants let guests create their own halo-halo, which makes it a lot more exciting to eat.
Digging into that sumptuous bowl or glass for your favorite ingredient is pretty fun too! Though it’s quite tricky mixing this concoction of fruits and sweets, an extra-long spoon is the perfect match to enjoy a best-seller summer treat in the Philippines. Whether young or old, a foodie or a sweet tooth, halo-halo will surely leave one asking for more.
The Philippines is a melting pot of culture, and its very own halo-halo – a mishmash of ingredients, taste and texture, is a true representation of the rich Filipino cuisine.

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