Halo-Halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello, and fruits. It is served in a tall glass or bowl, which gives it an altogether different appearance to other kinds of desserts in the Philippines.
Ingredients include boiled kidney beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit, coconuts,and plantains sweetened with sugar, plus even sweet potato, cheese, and crushed rice! Most of the ingredients (fruits, beans, and other sweets) are first placed inside the tall glass, then they are followed by the shaved ice. This combination is then sprinkled with sugar, and topped with a combination of leche flan, purple yam, or ice cream. Evaporated milk is poured into the mixture upon serving. The result is truly an incredible dessert!
Although I didn’t try any Halo-Halo in Bohol (not that I remember, anyway), I did experience the delights of this truly Filipino dessert elsewhere in the country, especially around Manila Bay and Makati district in the capital, as well as on the beach many times in Boracay. You cannot go to Boracay and not indulge in a sexy Halo-Halo dessert while topping up your tan – it’s like a right of passage for all backpackers!
I think Halo-Halo is my favourite Filipino dessert, although I did like Suman and Buko Pie, too, and when compared to similar shaved ice desserts, such as baobing in China, patbingsu in Korea, Kakigori in Japan, and Ais Kacang in Malaysia, Halo-Halo fares very well indeed. In fact, it is the perfect drink for a hot summer’s day and no other dessert from the country will introduce you to Filipino cuisine quite like Halo-Halo! Just say Hello to Halo-Halo!