Stewed sweetened fruit, beans and jam swimming in crushed ice, milk and melting ice cream doesn’t sound like a particularly appetizing snack, but for many Filipinos, it spells the ultimate comfort snack. Comfort from the heat, comfort from a mid-afternoon hunger pang, or just comfort from the warm fuzzy feelings that result after consuming a bowl of halo-halo. :) From the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel Makati to the corner sari-sari store in some far-flung provincial idyll, halo-halo is a national favorite. I read somewhere that the history of a halo-halo doesn’t actually go back too far, maybe a hundred years at most, so this is a relatively recent (in the historical scheme of things) addition to the list of favorite filipino dishes or snacks.
While I do like the convenience of opening a bunch of store-bought ingredients for an “instant” halo-halo, there’s nothing like a simple homemade version. In this case, we had an abundance of saba bananas (we buy entire bunches on drives back from Batangas for 1/4th the price they sell for in Manila) which were turned into minatamis na saging, and stored in the fridge. On another day, some excess ripe langka fruit was also preserved simply in sugar syrup and stored in the fridge. So when the time was right, and a cool snack was desired, we simply crushed up some ice (we have a shaver, but didn’t have a block of ice in the freezer) added them to bowls filled with as much banana and langka as you like, and added a large scoop of ube ice cream over top and drizzled in some milk. Yum. :)
The taste of the home made bananas and langka definitely beat the bottled versions… and the simplicity of just a few ingredients was a welcome change from the truly over-the-top halo-halo versions even we at home make on occasion…
To make this halo-halo please refer to these previous posts:
And if curious, here are other previous posts on halo-halo: