14 Jun2006

Atis Ice Cream

by Marketman


My recent post on custard apples made me think about Atis ice cream…a treat that I haven’t had in maybe 25+ years! Thanks to Lani, who suggested I try Arce ice cream and sure enough, during a crazed shopping trip through Cash & Carry this morning (now that I am avoiding Price Smart), I spotted some Arce Atis Delight ice cream. Back home, I stuck the tin in the freezer to firm the ice cream up a bit and a couple of hours later served myself a heaping scoop. It certainly had a familiar atis flavor and brought back some good memories. But back in the present, I realized, this was incredibly AIRY ice cream. Definitely felt like more air than cream, it tasted like cold cotton candy! The flavor of atis was noticeable, but really watered down. And when the stuff melted in your mouth, it didn’t feel like there was cream left, more like watery milk! Imagine if this stuff melted in your car on the way home and you re-froze it, it would be icy atis sherbet…

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare this old-time favorite/flavor to some other more premium ice creams, but I do lament the fact that we seem to be doing everything with just lowest aati2possible price rather than quality in mind. Lowest common denominator is now readily applied to restaurants that survive, food stores, prepared food items, etc. There just doesn’t seem to be a big enough market for an artisanal, creamy, rich and thick ice cream with an intense fruit essence of atis (or other seasonal tropical fruits)…bummer. My solution? I twisted open one of the ripe atis that I purchased the other day and mixed in all the pulp and seeds into my ice cream. It tasted far more intense and even more delicoius, but spitting the seeds out could not have been done politely if there was company… yum, Arce atis ice cream with a fresh atis mixed in!



  1. nikka says:

    there is a small kiosk that sells home-made ice-cream in ATC. no atis ice cream, but they have very creamy, rich, creative flavors. the place is called Sebastian’s Ice Cream.

    Jun 14, 2006 | 9:49 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    nikka, where is ATC, I wanna go, I wanna go.

    Jun 14, 2006 | 10:14 am

  4. mgr says:

    MM, You got spoiled by the ultra-creamy, ultra-dense, flavor packed gelatos!!!

    Jun 14, 2006 | 11:09 am

  5. fried-neurons says:

    Methinks she is referring to Alabang Town Center, maybe?

    Jun 14, 2006 | 11:44 am

  6. Katrina says:

    Yes, local ice cream has A LOT of air mixed in. I’m afraid that this degradation of quality is a business imperative in our economy. Do you know that when local brands are sold in other countries, it cannot even be legally labelled as “ice cream?” It’s a shame, since many years ago, Filipino ice cream was so good that family friends from other Asian countries would bring it back home with them. The fact is, though, that even with the lowered prices of ice cream, sales are still slow. Most people simply don’t have the money. This is why ice cream brands have had to resort to those P99 tubs and P5 scoops. Arce is actually one of the more expensive brands already, although I don’t know if they still use carabao milk as they used to.

    Foodies who want the real thing have to turn to brands like Sebastian’s. If I’m not mistaken, he’s the guy Lori has written about, who makes them himself and creates uniquely delicious flavors…he’ll even customize a flavor for you, if you request it! He was at the Dessert Tea Party, a very nice guy. I haven’t had the chance yet to try it myself, but others have raved about it. He makes a Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor I’m dying to wrap my tongue around! I didn’t know he had a stall in ATC (Alabang Town Center); I should head over there… :-P

    Jun 14, 2006 | 11:50 am

  7. Katrina says:

    MM, have you tried FIC (Fruits in Ice Cream)? It started as a small business sold out of a house, but now they have stalls in malls like Power Plant. Pazzo (in the same mall) also has a pretty good gelato, though quite pricey. Oh, and in Eastwood, there’s an Italian resto that serves imported Italian gelato. Haven’t tried it, but it looks scrumptious!

    Jun 14, 2006 | 11:53 am

  8. Marketman says:

    Katrina, I have tried FIC, my daughter likes it, and I just had their Langka and kasoy recently, but I think some of their milk/cream is brought in in an “instant” form, but not sure. Will have to go to ATC, heehee, how can Fried Neurons know that from California while I had no idea? Pazzo is okay too but again I think they use these pre-made gelato mixes that are brought in from Italy…

    Jun 14, 2006 | 12:07 pm

  9. mgr says:

    I live not far from a “gelateria” but I still prefer to make my own ice creams. I just bought a machine, read the instructions and put whatever I wanted in it. I learned how to make gelatos and frozen custards. The best I’ved done so far are green tea frozen custard(macha powder from a friend sushi chef) and strawberry gelato. I recommend this to everyone as even I have become frustrated with the commercial Philippine ice cream. Ever wonder how small the amount is when left to melt? When you make your own, it’s guaranteed to still reach near the top lid when melted through. Tip: creamy premium ice cream can be done with eggs, condensed milk, cream and whole milk.

    Jun 14, 2006 | 12:13 pm

  10. maeli'i says:

    How about SELECTA??? I thought they make good Atis ice cream.

    Jun 14, 2006 | 3:14 pm

  11. Apicio says:

    Speaking of too much air in ice cream, did you know that Britain’s iron lady, Margaret Thatcher’s postgrad thesis touched on the process of injecting air into freezing solutions and is credited for helping develop a soft ice cream known in England (and specially unavoidable in Brighton) as Mr. Skippy?

    Jun 14, 2006 | 7:14 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Apicio, where do you unearth all this food trivia? It’s amazing…and better yet, how do you remember it? I wonder if she had anything to do with adding carageenan from seaweed to the concoction as well…

    Jun 14, 2006 | 7:35 pm

  13. nikka says:

    MM- Apologies, it is Alabang Town Center. :)

    Katrina- Yes, that’s him! He made me Wasabi ice cream for Christmas and White Chocolate Macadamia for my birthday. Yum!

    Jun 14, 2006 | 9:05 pm

  14. millet says:

    i still want to know whether anyone remembers the short-lived ice cream brand “silver bell”. they had falvors of the month which were advertised in the Reader’s Digest, i remember. and they had exciting flavors, too – atis, black bing cherry, and their traditional langka, ube and local flavors were very good. but then again, our memories of foodemory are always enhanced by time and longing, so i could be wrong – it could have been just sherbet or some air-puffed concoction…

    Jun 14, 2006 | 9:11 pm

  15. Ian says:

    Hi, Ian here of the aforementioned Sebastian’s. Longtime lurker, first time poster. I don’t really like to self promote, but since you already said you wanted to go, it’s okay for me to just tell you where to find us, since we are but a tiny kiosk ;)

    We are located in the Alabang Town Center Cinema area, inbetween Auntie Anne’s and E.G.G./Netopia. Look for a small all-white kiosk. We have ten flavors on display; a combination of ‘mainstay’ flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and rotating ones like Wasabi. If you ever do drop by and check us out, please do let me know what you think!

    Jun 14, 2006 | 10:16 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Ian, thanks for the info. I don’t get to ATC that often but I will look your stall up when I do. As for the other readers who are in your neck of the woods, I hope they drop by soon…nothing like small producers with good products that we should all seek out and support…from the sound of your fans up above…the stuff is worth it!

    Jun 15, 2006 | 5:29 am

  17. Alicia says:

    Cirkulo and Tsukigi serve a delicious atis ice cream. They will sell it to you if you ask them nicely (and if they have stock). I believe they only do this a few months of the year. Am very interested in reading more about Sebastian’s if you ever get the chance to do a post on him. Maybe the MM readers can persuade him to do a kiosk at the Salcedo Market!

    Jun 15, 2006 | 7:48 am

  18. Marketman says:

    Alicia, 430+ folks on the WAITLIST at Salcedo, outrageous! And on your special request, Cebuano torta coming up very soon!

    Jun 15, 2006 | 7:53 am

  19. Wilson Cariaga says:

    Actually I always bump into this flavor and always attempt to buy it but my girlfriend always want Arce’s mantecado. . . I’ll definitely try atis delight the next grocery stop. . .

    Jun 15, 2006 | 8:12 am

  20. Mila says:

    I’m a fan of Sebastian’s, and thanks to Lori’s bookswap, I met Ian and then started buying the different flavors by the pintload. Definitely creamier than what Arce and Selecta and Magnolia sell. And chunkier too. A friend of mine and I organized an ice cream party at her place and Sebastian’s was a hit. I love the dark chocolate and peanut butter, plus the chocolate chip cookie dough is a delight.

    Jun 15, 2006 | 9:13 am

  21. negrosdude says:

    sebast(ian), can you please put up a branch in my neck of the woods, i.e., makati? i love ice cream and once in a while, for really great scrumptious stuff, i commit “mortal sin (i’m unfortunately diabetic)” and indulge….

    Jun 15, 2006 | 9:36 am

  22. Mila says:

    Sebastian’s is also available in Quezon City, but if you’re really nice to Ian, he’ll deliver heehee.

    Jun 15, 2006 | 2:30 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    Gosh, we should do a combined order for say 10 gallons worth for a Makati delivery. Then we can all stand in the shadows one evening, wait for the appointed drop off time, arrange a password and make the exchange…heehee.

    Jun 15, 2006 | 7:45 pm

  24. Lani says:

    Sebastian in QC, where? I want to try it.

    Jun 15, 2006 | 9:02 pm

  25. Mila says:

    Or let’s do an EB for Sebastian’s. We all order our pints, tell Ian where to bring it and we all get sugar/milk highs.
    Lani, I believe they sell at Ian’s store along Quezon Avenue. Hopefully Ian’s still reading this thread so he can give you the exact address. It’s a barbecue place called Hotstix.

    Jun 19, 2006 | 4:39 pm

  26. Ian says:

    Mila: Heh. This is supposed to be a bit of a secret, but Hotstix barbecue is my “testing” market where I try out new flavors under my old name pre-Sebastians. (but Sebastian’s ice cream in pints can be bought from there) It’s along Quezon Avenue Near edsa, inbetween Hi-Top and Parco supermarkets, Parco side. I haven’t had much itme lately to try out new flavors, but once I get some breathing space all new flavors will once again pop up there before “graduating” to the main store in alabang :)

    negrosdude: Rest assured Makati is in the long-term growth plans for Sebastian’s; we just want to get the production kinks out of the way in ATC before expanding to even busier markets. It’s all about sustainable growth ;)

    Jun 25, 2006 | 10:45 am

  27. Sheila says:

    Ian, As we need to arrange to order some ice-cream to our branch office in Manila. Can you give me your email for the ordering? :)

    Jul 5, 2007 | 1:22 pm

  28. Cat says:

    Anybody knows contact number of Sebastian? would like to try out his selections. :)

    Feb 12, 2008 | 4:01 pm


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