When you are in the Philippines, especially during summer, most likely you would encounter some halo-halo stands on the streets. This is because halo-halo is the favorite cool refreshment of Filipinos. Basically, halo-halo is a mixture of milk and shaved ice plus different types of fruits and beans and sometimes, ice cream is even added for the halo-halo special. Because of the tropical climate of the country, fresh milk is not used but instead, evaporated milk or condensed milk is used.
Halo-halo varies as there’s no real recipe for it. The term “halo” means mix in Tagalog and what halo-halo stands for is just a mixture of just about anything that tastes delicious when mixed with milk and shaved ice. If you want to make halo-halo, what you basically need is of course some shaved ice, milk, and the primary ingredients that are almost often present in all halo-halo. Primary ingredients are sugar palm fruit or mostly known as “kaong”, garbanzos, red mung beans, macapuno, kidney beans and caramelized plantains. You could then add your choice of sweets that is congruent to the taste of the other ingredients. You could add jackfruits, nata de coco, purple yam, kamote or sweet potato, leche flan, gelatin, tapioca and ice cream. If you want to add other fruits into your halo-halo, you can do so as long as it doesn’t spoil the harmony of its taste. Sour fruits like pineapple would definitely ruin your halo-halo therefore these types of fruits should not be added. It’s basically a trial and error if you want to make your own version of delicious halo-halo.
Of course, the presentation of the halo-halo is really important especially for the first time tasters. What you need to put on your tall glass first are the beans, fruits and other sweets then you put in the shaved ice mixed with milk on top of them. You then add the other ingredients such as ube, leche flan and other colorful toppings you wish to include. Then on top of all these, you may put one or two scoops of ice cream. Usually, vanilla and ube flavored ice cream is added.
Many foreigners who have tasted halo-halo likes it and they crave for more of this delicious cool dessert that can only be found all over the Philippines. Filipinos just love halo-halo. It’s a great way to cool up during the summer heat. So when you’re in the Philippines and you just can’t stand the scorching heat of the sun, go and eat halo-halo. Surely there’s somebody selling some just near you.