With temperature in the Philippines rising to as much as 36 degree Celsius, it's amazing how Filipinos cope with the summer heat. But Filipinos’ refreshments and desserts for summer are meant to quench the thirst of the locals and foreigners alike . Here is the list of top 10 must-try Filipino summer treats:
1. Halo-halo – Halo-halo is basically a mixture of sweet preserved ingredients such as red beans, jackfruit, coconut meat (macapuno), pounded dried rice (pinipig), sweet yam, milk/leche flan, shreds of sweetened plantain/banana and potato tops, filled with crushed ice, milk (or coconut milk) and sometimes topped with ice cream. Usually served in tall, clear glasses that show its colorful contents, Halo-halo is perhaps the most popular Filipino summer concoction!
2. Sorbetes – The Filipino "dirty ice cream" is homemade and sold from pushcarts on the streets. Dirty ice cream has a smooth, milky flavor and not very creamy. Sorbetes usually comes in various flavors such as mango, ube, chocolate, cookies and cream, keso (cheese), and many more. Placed in an ordinary cone, it is usually sold at P10 or P25 per cone, though an upgrade to a sugar cone is also available at P15.
3. Mais con yelo – Literally means “corn with ice.” It is a mix of shaved ice, sugar, milk and corn kernels. Sold for P20 to P50, it is a variation of the more renowned halo-halo.
4. Sago't gulaman – Sago or starch extract from the sago palm plant combined with gulaman (gelatine made from seaweed) and fruits. Sold in many neighborhood stores. It is ladled into plastic cups, while in street stands it is simply poured into plastic bags. Consumed with a straw.
5. Buko pandan – Technically a salad made from young buko strips, pandan leaves, and flavored gelatin mixed in with cream and milk. This sweet dessert-slash-cooler is a mainstay in most Filipino parties.
6. Ice scramble – Shaved ice mixed with milk, sugar, chocolate syrup, gelatin squares and food coloring. A humble off-the-street treat, the ice scramble is a cheap version of the milkshake or smoothie. Kiosks and carts found in malls now offer more toppings like marshmallows and chocolate chips.
7. Saba com hielo – Iced dessert with bananas. Also called saging con hielo.
8. Melon juice – Shredded cantaloupe in iced melon juice.
9. Chilled taho – Cold, silky soy pudding is both refreshing and nutritious. Can be served with gelatin or tapioca pearls.
10. Guinomis – Similar to halo-halo but with less ingredients. Usually has coconut milk, toasted pinipig, gelatin cubes, tapioca pearls, and shaved ice.
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