Monday, June 2, 2008

What's a halo-halo?

Halo-halo is a favorite Filipino dessert during the summer months in the Philippines. It literally translates as "mix-mix." The snack is a mixture of sweet preserved beans (red beans, chick peas), coconut meat (macapuno), jackfruit (langka), pounded dried rice (pinipig), sweet yam (ube), cream flan (leche flan), shreds of sweetened plantain (saba), filled with crushed ice, milk (or coconut milk) and topped with ice cream. The halo-halo is sweet, creamy, and a filling dessert.

The juxtaposition between growing up as a Filipino-American in the United States is representative of my life. The ice cream, which is primarily a Western ingredient, may be on top of the concoction, but that is just the surface of the dessert. The ice cream and the tropical fruits have to mixed together to enjoy the complex and colorful flavors that develop from the combination.