The Corona Virus Disease 2019 outbreak made our 2020 a dismal year. Because of the pandemic, we are to stay home. Giving up social interaction is not a piece of cake. For more than a month of Enhanced Community Quarantine, we do not just combat an invisible foe that is Corona Virus. People also struggle against boredom. Most of us are not used to staying in one place. We are nomads by nature. Because of that nature, we tend to find ways that will keep our sanity. We see people do crazy videos, pranks, and dares just to amuse themselves. But if there is one thing that keeps us Filipinos sane – our innate love for food! Gala is life, but food is lifer!
And since it is almost summer (and most of us probably have plans already where and how to spend the summer, until corona), we asked Aklanons to drop their favorite summer treats.
We present to you, the Top 7 Summer treats according to Aklanons:
Considered by most Filipinos to be a top favorite iced refreshment, Halo-Halo also made its way to the Aklanons’ heart. This famous summer treat is also a filling merienda.
Halo-Halo is made of various ingredients which include sweetened saba bananas, sweetened beans, gelatin, and tapioca peals, mixed with milk and shaved ice. That is the regular Halo-Halo. Top it with leche flan, ube halaya and a scoop of ice cream and you get a “special” Halo-Halo.
2. Sorbetes / Ice cream
This is the Filipino version of ice cream that is why we will bundle them in the 2nd spot. Also known as dirty ice cream, sorbetes is just like ice cream and comes in various flavors. Among the popular flavors are chocolates, mango, ube and cheese. This treat is best served on a cone. Sorbetes, however is made from Carabao or coconut milk. The ringing of Manong Sorbetero’s bell is an inviting sound, and a signal that his colorful, sorbetes cart is coming.
3. Saging / Mais con Yelo
Whether you prefer saging (banana) or mais (corn), these summer treats are perfect for an afternoon snack as they’re very refreshing. This dessert is very easy to make even at home. You can choose between corn kernels or sweetened saba bananas. Then you add sugar, milk, and shaved ice. Top with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream to make the it more special.
4. Ice candies
These treats have always been a favorite during the summer. It is also considered to be the cheapest of the best frozen delights. Both young and the young at hearts find ice candies very comforting on a hot summer day. It’s usually sold in neighborhood sari-sari stores or households (where you will see the iconic Ice and Ice Candy for Sale). Ice candies are available in different flavors flavors like mango and buko, or any fruit in season. Making this treat is as easy as 1, 2, 3. You just have to put fruit juices or salad ingredients in plastic tubes, store in the refrigerator until frozen, and voila! You have ice candies!
5. Sago’t Gulaman / Samalamig
A typical Filipino summer refreshment sold through out the year. This is also very easy to prepare. You only need tapioca pearls (sago), gelatin (usually red or green gulaman), caramelized brown sugar sauce, and vanilla extract. There are also other samalamig flavors like melon, buko, and buko pandan. You can buy sago’t gulaman and samalamig in street stalls.
6. Fruit Shakes
Fruit shake is healthy favorite summer treat. It will surely satisfy your craving for a cold refreshing fruit drink. Fresh fruits blended with shaved ice is a nutritious and perfect way to keep oneself hydrated, especially during summer. Put a few slices of your favorite fruit or any fruit in season into a blender, add sugar, milk and shaved ice and you have yourself a healthy fruit shake. You may also skip the sugar and milk if you are on a special diet. Don’t be surprised if you see your neighbor selling fruit shakes because it is also a popular extra source of income during summer.
7. Ice Scramble
Next to ice candy, the ice scramble or “Skrambol” is favorite cooler among kids. This pink-colored sweet treat is usually topped with powdered milk and chocolate syrup. Others also add colorful candy sprinkles and marshmallows as toppings.
A lot of fast food outlets and restaurants offer most, if not all of the refreshments listed here, but Aklanons will agree that the best summer treats are those served in hole-in-the-walls.
Most of us are still not giving up on summer amidst COVID-19. Let us not allow this pandemic thwart our summer fun! If we can’t go to the beach, or hike mountains, or go to the malls to eat out with friends, then let us make the most of what our pantries and kitchens can offer. Most of these treats have very basic ingredients. Making these treats on our own is part of the adventure we can enjoy in this “New Normal.”