Recently, I was in Boracay, Philippines for a little vacation. I was able to try a lot of great foods. However, one evening I decided it was time to try a local dessert. The one that I kept being recommended was called ‘HALO HALO’… So I set off to experience my very first Filipino halo halo!
Halo halo is a unique dessert. To put it simply, it is shaved ice with a variety of toppings. This is nothing new. Koreans eat ‘bingsu’. Americans eat snow cones. Shaved ice isn’t revolutionary.
What sets halo halo apart is the sheer amount of ingredients. Each place serves it a little differently, so no two halo halos will ever be the same. My halo halo included shaved ice, vanilla ice cream, red beans, CORN, corn flakes, ube paste, coconut, and a variety of different cubes with a jelly-like texture.
While the recipe for halo halo might change, it seems that the shaved ice, condensed milk, red beans, and ube are staples.
The key to eating halo halo is in the name. It literally translates to ‘mix, mix’. While the tower of ingredients might look pretty, you’ll want to take the time to mix everything up and eat all the ingredients together.
I found that the more ingredients I had in each bite, the better the dessert tasted. Each ingredient seemed to play a role. The ice cream and condensed milk gave sweetness. The jellies added texture. The cornflakes gave a bit of crunch. The corn added a bit of saltiness. Everything combined to make a symphony of deliciousness in my mouth.
Overall, halo halo is a great dessert. It is very sweet, though. So I believe these might be good for sharing. The price is quite affordable, though some upscale places to sell luxury versions of the dessert.
No trip to the Philippines would be complete without trying halo halo!
Have you tried halo halo? Tell me in the comments below!