Summer In The Philippines
Filipino Frozen Delights
With the Philippines’ amazing summer weather come the tropical heat and humidity that can drive even the most dedicated beach junkies indoors. Even the scenery, crystal-clear skies, warm winds, and powdery sand can do little to distract people from the soaring temperatures, especially at midday.
So if you’re feeling a little too worn out by the weather on your vacation, look for the nearest dessert and drinks bar and order your favorite Pinoy cooler. Over the years, Filipinos have developed a variety of products to help them cool down and enjoy even the hottest summer day.
The best thing of all is that these coolers don’t cost you an arm and a leg, for as low as P50 or a little less than US$1 you can enjoy your own perfect tumbler of frozen happiness.
Some Filipino Summer Treats
The ultimate Pinoy summer treat, halo-halo is literally a combination of as many as twelve different ingredients blended together to deliver a sweet cooling taste.
It has ube, leche flan, red or black mongo beans, pinipig or toasted glutinous rice, tapioca, gelatine, nata de coco, jackfruit slices, caramelized banana, corn, evaporated milk, and shaved ice.
And if that’s not yet enough to make your mouth water, a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream is also added on top to give you that rich, cool flavor.
Mais Con Yelo
If you prefer a simple yet still delectable cooler, mais con yelo and its variant, banana con yelo, might just be your thing. It’s made with a mix of shaved ice, milk, sugar, and corn or bananas. Despite its lack of fancy ingredients, mais or banana con yelo can still quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth.
The all-time favorite coconut is only beginning to break into Hollywood as a fashionable health drink, but Filipinos have been enjoying this tropical fruit for hundreds of years now. Coconut water is sweet and tasty, and the flesh is just as good.
Coconut shakes are very filling and they can slake your thirst even when you’re on the beach and enjoying the sun. If you like, you can also order a whole coconut to serve as both your drink and your cup. The top will be staved off and stuck with a straw to let you get to the wonderful fresh juice inside.
Sorbets and Sherbet
Sorbet sometimes be refered to as the poor man’s ice cream, but don’t let its humble nature fool you. Strictly speaking, sorbet is shaved ice flavored with milk, while sherbet is shaved ice flavored with fresh fruits.
Each small cup may look like just a heaping of crushed ice, but once you take a sip you’ll know that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
The sweet, smooth flavor will instantly cool you down and make you want for more.
Dirty ice cream
Nope, the name doesn’t really do this amazing dessert justice. It’s not dirty and it’s not expensive: dirty ice cream sells for P25 or half a dollar for a big cone of almost a dozen scoops. It’s peddled on the streets by ambulant vendors pushing their iconic ice cream carts.
Before you even see the vendor, you’ll hear his bell ringing from far off and the joyous shouts of kids rushing to buy their own cup or cone. Some Pinoys like to eat their ice cream with bread, so don’t be surprised if your ice cream vendor carries a plastic bag of bread and offers you some with your cheese or avocado ice cream.