The summer heat is on and everyone is complaining about the warm weather and how hot it can get. One of the easiest ways to cool off and feel refresh is to eat or drink some cool treats. You can usually find classic cold Pinoy treats sold as street food or even in more upscale restaurants and cafes. You can even make some of these yourself to share with your friends and family. Most of them are easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients.
Here are 10 classic cold Pinoy treats to help you cool down for summer.
For those who are not so familiar with guinomis, this cold treat is similar to a halo-halo, only it uses coconut milk or gata instead of the usual evaporated milk. It also has less ingredients. The guinomis is usually made with toasted rice crispies or pinipig, tapioca pearls, sugar, and gelatin cubes. Like a halo-halo, the ingredients are covered with ice shavings and is topped with sweetened coconut milk. Some people also add a little pandan extract to the mix to give it a bit more flavor.
As kids, we all remember waiting for kuya taho to shout “TAHOOO” as he makes his way around the neighborhood. Taho is basically fresh soft/silken tofu topped with a rich, thick sugar syrup and sago or tapioca balls. Although the taho vendors usually sell these warm, you can find chilled taho being sold on stands at the malls or even in food courts. Chilled taho comes in a variety of flavors like strawberry and chocolate. Fresh fruits like mango is also added to the chilled taho for flavor and sweetness.
One of the fruits that become in season during summer is cantaloupe or as we simply call them here in the Philippines, melon. Aside from chilling them and eating them fresh, we also like to make melon juice with them. The cantaloupe is shredded with a coconut shredder and is mixed into a container with water and some sugar for sweetness. Some like to add evaporated milk to the mix or skip the sugar and use condensed milk instead. The shredded cantaloupe suspends in icy cold melon juice is light and refreshing, making it a perfect summer thirst quencher. You can find melon juice sold on the streets for less than 10 pesos.
Saba con Hielo
Bananas are very abundant here in the country. We Filipinos love bananas and would eat them with everything. In fact, many of us have a habit of eating a banana after every meal. Bananas are also common snack items here. We have the bananacue, which is bananas fried and covered in caramel. But a cool banana treat would be the Saba con Hielo. This is made with saba, which is a type of banana used for bananacue, covered in ice and doused with milk. The bananas are stewed in sugar syrup first to give it a softer texture. It’s also called minatamis na saging or saging con hielo in some places.
Mais con Hielo
Sweet corn is another abundadn crop here in the Philippines. Aside from eating it off the cob with a little salt and butter, we also love corn on Mais con Hielo. This is made similar to the Saba con Hielo only it uses fresh corn kernels instead of the saba or banana. It might sound strange to use corn for a sweet cool treat, but it works, trust us. A fancier version includes a scoop of ice cream, pinipig, or corn flakes.
Ice scramble is a mixture of shaved ice, sugar, milk, and chocolate syrup. This is usually sold outside schools on carts or on small stalls with bikes on them. You can also get them in carts and kiosks at malls and food courts. What makes ice scramble stand out from most of the cold treats its vibrant pink color that will remind you of Pepto-Bismol. But the taste is a surprising sweet. It’s a humble, inexpensive version of the smoothie or milkshake. Some ice scramble stands let you choose more toppings like chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and rainbow sprinkles.
This ubiquitous Pinoy drink is made with sugar syrup, tapioca balls, gelatin squares, and crushed ice that will remind anyone of summer. This drink comes in a variety of color and sweetness, but a tall glass of this is sure to quench your thirst and satisfy your sugar craving. You can buy Sago’t Gulaman from street vendors and it’s a perfect pair to any Pinoy street food. Some restaurants and cafes also serve them, and if you’re really thirsty, you can also get a bottomless option so you can drink as much as you want.
Every Pinoy family has their own version of this cold desert. This is made with pandan-flavored gelatin mixed with young coconut or buko strips, milk, cream, and tapioca balls. The pandan-flavored gelatin is made by boiling the leaves of pandan, which is a plant common in Southeast Asia, to infuse the water with its light flavor and fragrant smell. Gelatin in added to the water and is cooled till solid. It’s then chopped up into small cubes and mixed with the other ingredients. Others add fresh or canned fruits, corn, and even cheese to the panda-buko mix to make it special.
Although it’s popularly known as “dirty ice cream”, there’s really nothing dirty about it at all. The happy sound of Manong Sorbetero’s bell is a signal for all the kids in the street to run up to him and buy some Sorbetes or ice cream. They come is a number of flavors including Pinoy favorites like ube and queso. Sorbetes can be eaten from a cone, a cup, and sometimes even between soft bread rolls.
We could never forget the halo-halo when talking about cool Pinoy treats. Although the ingredients don’t make sense, it’s an amazing mixture of sweet, tangy, and cool. You get chunks of red beans and fruits, nata de coco, gelatin, and rice crispies is mixed in with shaved ice and milk, and topped with creamy flan and ice cream. Mix it all up and you get a one-of-a-kind treat that’s uniquely Pinoy.
When it gets too hot, these cold Pinoy treats can help cool you down. Which of these are your favorite? Leave us a comment below. Share the article to keep everyone cool this summer!