Kulinarya Cooking Club: Philippine History Edition

In honor of of August and September being Philippine National Heroes Day and Ninoy Aquino Day, the lovely folks at the Kulinarya Cooking Club dreamed up a patriotically-themed challenge: to create a dish using the colors of the Philippine national flag of red, white, blue and yellow!

I think I pretty much stuck true to theme, though played it the easy way out this month, with my not-so-original take on halo-halo! Halo-halo, which means “mix mix” in Tagalog, is basically shave ice with extra tasty goodness in it. And despite the relative ease it takes to make this, I thought it an especially apt dessert dish to fit the challenge, and not just for the colors of the ingredients I chose to make my halo-halo with.

Like the Philippines itself, there are plenty of different colonial influences in halo-halo: the ice and condensed milk (thanks, Amerikkka, for those innovations); flavored jellies, in this case lychee and almond (Chinese); and the most decadent addition, leche flan (a recipe borrowed from our Spanish colonizers and made even better). Despite all these foreign additions, you’ve still got some wonderful indigenous Filipino fruits and legumes which are my favorite part of the halo-halo– the langka (jackfruit), ube jam (pretend it’s blue, for the challenge’s sake!), sweet red mungo (mung beans), and macapuno (young coconut strings). This mix of flavors is probably the most harmonious collaboration you’ll see between these different forces; sadly, the Philippines today hasn’t benefited economically, socially, or politically from their various “benefactors”, despite the propaganda written to the contrary.

After making the flan, which is the longest part of the process and done the night before, assembling the halo-halo is a snap.

1: Shave the ice. Surprisingly fun when you’ve got a home ice shaver like this one. Way better than the tiny Snoopy sno-cone shaver from my childhood.

2. Choose your toppings. (If I had more time and money, I would’ve prepped fresh ingredients but alas… it will have to wait another day.)

3. Drizzle condensed milk on top and voila! Serve and eat quickly before it all melts!

Enjoyed my little educational cooking demo? Well, if you want more Filipino food history from someone far more educated on this topic than I am, do I have a treat for you! Next Sunday, October 2nd, the food historian Felice Santa Maria and noted chef Claude Tayag will be traveling all the way from the Philippines to San Francisco for a free food demo and lecture at the Filipino American International Book Fair. I will definitely be in attendance, and hope to see y’all there!

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Posted on September 25, 2011, in Kulinarya Cooking Club and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Whatever the “sahog” maybe, halo-halo is the best dessert and merienda EVER!

  2. looks so delicious, it’s been a while since i have this….now I’m craving….lol

  3. Very Filipino on name, colours and ingredients. I love halo halo! Lovely interpretation of the theme.

  4. Halo-halo is my favorite especially during the summer! Truly a delightful treat!

  5. Great post ! The Halo-Halo is a classic dessert that’s the best in the world! Glad to cook along with you on this KCC Challenge!

  6. Looks sooo good. Oh I wish I could go to the book fair. Sayang, I’m here on the other side of the country.:)

  7. Halo halo is a perfect choice for our month’s theme, now I want one. I wish I can go to the book fair, heard about it for weeks now.

  8. Halo-halo is a delicious meld of flavors, textures, and colors — very much like our culture and history. Lovely post. And thank you for the heads up on the Book Fair in San Francisco!

  9. I love how you assembled Halo-Halo with all the ingredients on the top instead of the customary bottom of the glass. Served it in a bowl too, very convenient. Thank you for participating, Thea! :)

  10. i LOOOOVE Halo halo and have been meaning to get all the ingredients but then I never get the chance to complete the sangkap.
    Halo halo definitely represents the colors of the flag… great entry for this month’s theme.

  1. Pingback: Pork Kaldereta for Kulinarya Cooking Club | my Nappytales

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