A week of good eats 7: Halo-halo and Puno

Halo-halo. (hollow-hollow)

Where to begin.

It’s Tagalog for mix-mix. I haven’t seen it in any other cultures, so I’m pretty sure it’s a Filipino thing only. Though if you have a Chowking fast food rest near you, they sell them there. It’s basically a cup of ice, ice cream, sweetened beans, fruit, sago balls, jello, flan, uh… other stuff? And then you pour condensed milk over all of it.

Basically, it’s a hot mess.

I am recommending it to you, because it really is the beloved dessert here, like Americans with apple pie. But, it really is a hot mess. I usually can’t finish it. Filipinos will often claim to not be able to handle sweet things like Americans like. (I nearly killed my driver with a Mrs. Field’s cookie, for example.) But halo-halo is the exception.

Have you seen the movie Elf? You know when Buddy makes breakfast for everyone in the morning and it’s spaghetti with pop-tarts on broken on top and syrup poured all over? That’s about half as sweet as halo-halo.

You will see people selling it in front of their houses. They will have a little table with a series of containers across it. You pay your money, they get a cup and pile it all in. When you first start, you can sort of eat the things separately, but as you go along it all sort of melts and shifts and goos together. And the ice cream isn’t usually vanilla or chocolate. It’s generally be (purple yam) or cheese (cheese). Everywhere sells it. Even fancy restaurants will usually have a version of it.

So, with that in mind, I would encourage you to try it. I do know a handful of foreigners who like it. So, maybe that will be you, too? Good luck. Let me know how it goes. You are definitely going to need access to an Asian market for this one.

Any Filipinos who find this: don’t be offended by the fact I don’t like it. Everybody’s got their gustos. I just can’t with this one.

Halo-Halo from SarapChannel on YouTube

Be sure to check out their other recipe vids!

As a bonus, here’s a slightly less popular dessert, but one that I really like. Puto (POO-toe) is a little steamed rice cake. People often add flavoring or top them with cheese or coconuts. You will also see them dyed various colors. They are springy and slightly sweet and very delicious.

Puno Recipe from Jun-Blog

Check out his other recipe links. They all look super yummy!

So, that’s the week. Obviously, you can’t sum up a country’s culinary history in 8 recipes. So please go back and look around at the other recipes available on the links provided. They are all full of recipes that you can try. I used a different source for each, so you’d have a lot to work with. Let me know what gems you find!


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