Halo-halo ( ‘mix-mix’ ) is a popular Philippine dessert consisting mainly of finely-shaved ice and a delightful concoction of preserved sweets such as young shredded coconut, beans, boiled banana chunks, macapuno, sago, gelatin and topped with crispy popped rice and a glob of ice cream, among other yummy tidbits.
There are several versions on how this dessert came about in the Pinoy kitchen table, but some would say that it could have been originally a Japanese-styled ice dessert made popular during the 1940s.
In any case, a visit to the Philippines, where the sun’s heat demands refreshments like the halo-halo, is not complete without trying out this ice-based dessert which is available or served by the lowly streetfood vendor, fastfood chains to chic hotel restaurants. One could even ‘assemble’ one’s version of a halo-halo in restaurant buffets where the sweet tidbits are individually presented. Providing proof of the Filipino sweet tooth, some may dislike the combination of ice and sweetness.
But locals and Filipino expatriates swear to the halo-halo experience which, like the jeepney and other Philippine icons, reflects the Filipino’s talent to fuse, improvise, adapt or even improve on other people’s food and flavors.
Mabuhay ang Pinoy!