MANILA—In the Philippines, the month of April kicks off the summer season, which also means, it’s halo-halo season. During this time, you will meet people enjoying one, making one, or selling this gloriously loaded dessert as a means of keeping cool and enjoying the weather.
According to old folks and little did everybody know, this all-time Pinoy favorite dessert was invented 100 years ago. They say it started with only three ingredients — monggo, ice, and milk — and was called “Mongo-ya.”
More ingredients were added into the dessert as time passed—sliced sweetened bananas, jelly, yam, topped with ice cream or custard allowing it to evolve into what it is today— a refreshing dessert/snack/summer staple everybody craves for.
The evolution of Halo-Halo has not stopped. And did you know, too, that there are different provinces in the Philippines who have different takes on this Halo-Halo.
Take a look at the different versions from these parts around of the archipelago:
- Halo-halo de Iloko from La Union
The Halo-halo de Iloko consists of 12 ingredients, some of which are products from the province itself. There’s the Ugoy, which are local crackers from San Fernando City; powdered rice from San Juan; Kam-Ube aka kamote ube from San Gabriel; honey from Bacnotan and shreds of buko.
As though that’s not even, there is also a ginataan version and a fried version of the Halo-halo de Iloko. How inventive!
2. Halo-halo with pastillas from carabao’s milk from Kabyaw, Nueva Ecija
Instead of regular milk, the locals of Kabyaw, Nueva Ecija use carabao’s milk as the star ingredient for their Halo-halo.
Over all, it features crushed ice, carabao’s milk, gulaman, buko or coconut, langka, a thick slice of leche flan, pastillas de leche, pastillas de ube and lastly kundol.
3. Gelato Ice and salted egg from San Pablo, Laguna
Not only is the gelato ice the star of the Halo-Halo found in San Pablo, Laguna. It also features salted egg as a topping.
And if you’re into something spicy, the province also has Halo-Halo topped with siling labuyo to give your dessert a kick of spice.
4. Zamboanga’s “Knickerbocker”
Zamboanga’s version of Halo-halo is called “Knickerbocker.”
It’s as colorful as a Vinta, as it is filled with fruits such as watermelon, mango, and banana. But here’s the real kicker: instead of ice, Zamboanga locals uses strawberry ice cream to complete the cold dessert.
5. Halo-halo with avocado from Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat
Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat is considered the capital of Halo-Halo in the Soccsksagen region. In the Esperanza Public Market along, there are already 30 Halo-Halo stalls standing!
And interestingly enough, what makes Halo-Halo different in Esperanza is the avocado locals add to their dessert.
6. Halo-Halo from Razon’s Pampanga
This Halo-Halo from Razon’s which started in Pampanga is making waves in almost every mall or restaurant in the metropolis and one of the best Halo-Halo everyone longs to taste during this season.
The ice are finely crushed with not so many ingredients but tastes like it is loaded with so many.
There are other restaurants serving Halo-Halo as one of its specialty desserts and you only have to discover them.
Enjoy you Halo-Halo.