Monday, August 25, 2008

Secrets of Liloan’s Halo-Halo Revealed

As far as we can tell, Liloan’s halo-halo is one of the well-kept treats of the town. Why so? Because only those lucky few who actually tried Liloan’s halo-halo believe this.

Halo-halo (in English, "mix mix") is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits. It is served cold in a tall glass or bowl.

Upon mixing the ingredients of this dessert, the rule is that there ought to be no rules. There is no specific recipe for halo-halo and the order in which the ingredients are added varies widely. Anything goes inside the glass as long as it’s not chicken feet or brick walls.

Primary ingredients generally include:
* boiled red mung beans,
* kidney beans,
* garbanzos,
* sugar palm fruit (kaong),
* coconut sport (macapuno), and
* plantains caramelized in sugar.

Other components (mostly fruits) may include:
* jackfruit (langka),
* tapioca or sago,
* nata de coco,
* purple yam (ube)
* leche flan,
* ice cream
* condensed or evaporated milk
* papayas,
* avocados,
* kiwifruit, and
* bananas

Most preparations also include ice cream on top of halo-halo, likely the icing on the cake in other speak. Our favorite ingredients are jackfruit, lakatan banana and red mung beans. Anywhere in the Philippines, you can get to taste halo-halo in nearby cul-de-sac and carenderias. Halo-halo is hugely popular mainly due to the country’s tropical climate and abundance of fresh fruits. During the hot summer months (March-June), no normal human being can resist a glass filled with colorful fruits and melting ice cream on top.

Halo-halo as a whole has long been construed as an apt metaphor for the nation. East Meets West. No other country on Earth can thoroughly make that kind of claim. Philippines is a hodge-podge of influences being under the rule of Spain for three centuries, three decades under the Americans and three years under the Japanese Imperial Army. Before those foreign invaders, Malay-Indo settlers and Chinese, Arab and Indian traders frequented the country. It’s like a tour around the world with halo-halo, to cite a few: red mung beans is from China; garbanzos from India; leche flan from Spain; and shaved ice from the U.S.

There is something extra-special with Liloan’s halo-halo. We’re not very sure what that is, but we thought about it long and hard and we came up with these hypotheses:

1) The level of sweetness is just about right like the position of North Pole.
2) The price is way cheap for the mouthful of pleasure you get.
3) The halo-halo vendors in Liloan serve the dessert smiling.
4) The halo-halo vendors in Liloan shave the ice with much gusto and passion. But never rough.
5) The shaved ice is evenly done.
6) The mixture of ingredients is perfect. No overkill.
7) You get to see real people walking and vehicles running as view while eating halo-halo. It makes the whole thing, uhm, people-oriented.
8) If you have enough money, you can’t get enough of just one glass.
9) There is no eggplant in the mixture.

Liloan Halo-Halo Tips:

1) The price difference of plain halo-halo and special halo-halo is minimal so go for the special at Php25. You will have a scoop of ube ice cream for that. If you have a rich uncle, go for super special halo-halo and have two scoops of ice cream. We can’t vouch much for super special, however, as we never tried it yet.

2) Have someone with you to enjoy life conversations with halo-halo. But never share a glass with another fellow (refer back to Hypothesis No. 8). If your companion can’t afford to buy one, let him/her do the mixing for fair participation.

3) Think of happy thoughts while eating halo-halo. Trash debts and worries.

4) The best halo-halo in Liloan is located in an eatery with balcony. But the best of the best is located in the first floor of the eatery with balcony, not in the balcony part itself. There’s a difference so don’t get confused and note this down.

5) Don’t use fork or put ketchup.

6) At the bottom half of the glass, drink the melted ice cream and milk all the way down.

7) When you get home, tell Mom about your halo-halo experience. Hug her.

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nasvin said...

waaa.. lami gyud ang "mix-mix"... =)

LILOAN said...

try pud ang sa hanz refreshment