Fruit cocktail with pasteurized Nestle cream is the basic concoction. Iâ€™m not sure if I want to laugh or cry. Continuing on the theme of sweet, easy peasy Filipino party food, I decided to examine this staple of many large Filipino gatherings. This must certainly be a throwback to the era of the 1960â€™s where our selection of canned or preserved food items was miniscule compared to what is on the grocery shelves today. Instead of concentrating our efforts on a superior tropical fruit salad (too much peeling!), think juicy pineapples, melons, mangoes, passion fruit, bananas, starfruit, dalanghita, etcâ€¦our mothers and grandmothers were turning westernâ€¦cranking open a can of Dole or Del Monte mixed fruit, draining the pallid and limp contents and tossing in some canned cream and sugar and stirring gently. Chill in the refrigerator while getting those beehive hairdos done at the parlorâ€¦remember those dryers that looked like huge eggshells…this was definitely the new modern way to live!
I think if you ate enough of this between 1 and 10 years old, its taste and texture is forever burned into your memory banks whether you migrate to Iceland or Botswana. Kind of like the way McDonaldâ€™s makes sure every child on the planet gets hooked on its French fries before they know what they are actually made of and that they are probably sprayed with a film of liquid sucrose to ensure a crisp skin that is at once sweet and salty. In the fruit salad photographed here, I added kaong, nata de coco and shredded macapuno to the fruit cocktail and lots of cream. Others add sugar to sweeten it even more. I like it when it is still gooey and porridge like. After a stint in the fridge it tends to solidifyâ€¦ not sure if that is a result of pectin from the fruit reacting with the cream. At any rate, itâ€™s easy and a best seller at most buffets so I guess I just have to let that be. Oh, and be careful when buying your canned fruit cocktailâ€¦ there are expensive versions vs. the local version. Local has much more pineapple and the expensive ones have a grape or two. I found this out when I dumped four cans of fruit cocktail into my shopping cart and only later realized they were canned in GREECE for the European marketâ€¦ they cost 2-3x as much as the localâ€¦ yikes. As the holidays draw closer, keep your eyes peeled for mountains of fruit cocktail cans at the nearest grocery. This was all probably a Nestle conspiracy cooked up in the 1960â€™sâ€¦ Now don’t get me started on those jello cathedral window desserts… I REFUSE TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!