Some of the things that most people know about the Philippines are the beautiful beaches and hot summers in the country. But this time, let’s talk about one of the best things about summer in the Philippines – FOOD! From refreshing drinks to sweet desserts, the Philippines has a wide variety of summer treats that will make your tastebuds dance with joy! So sit back, relax, and get ready to drool as we explore the best summer food in the Philippines.
A popular summer food in the Philippines made with shaved ice, milk, and a variety of sweet ingredients such as sweet beans, fruit, jellies, and topped with a scoop of ice cream.
Halo-Halo is a quintessential Filipino dessert that is an especially popular summer food in the country.
Where to Get the Best Halo-Halo:
- Razon’s of Guagua – This restaurant chain is known for their delicious Halo-Halo that uses minimal ingredients, making for a simple yet satisfying dessert. Their version consists of sweetened saba bananas, macapuno (sweetened coconut), and leche flan, with shaved ice and milk.
- Chowking – This fast food chain serves a popular version of Halo-Halo that includes sweet beans, nata de coco, kaong (sugar palm fruit), and gulaman (jelly). It is then topped with a scoop of ube ice cream and leche flan.
- Milky Way Café – This upscale restaurant in Makati City is known for their Halo-Halo that includes a variety of ingredients such as ube halaya, nata de coco, macapuno, red beans, and kaong. It is then topped with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of condensed milk.
How do you like your halo-halo? And what’s your best halo-halo experience to date?
2. Sago’t Gulaman
A refreshing drink made with water, brown sugar, tapioca pearls (sago), and jelly (gulaman). It is usually served cold with ice. What makes this drink special is its combination of chewy tapioca pearls (sago) and jellies (gulaman) that add a fun texture to the drink.
The best version of sago’t gulaman is usually found in small neighborhood shops or street vendors who specialize in making this drink. They often use fresh ingredients and create their own syrups and flavors that add an extra layer of sweetness and flavor to the drink.
To consume sago’t gulaman at its best, it is recommended to mix the ingredients well before taking a sip. This will ensure that each sip is filled with the sweet syrup and the chewy tapioca pearls and jellies. It is also best served cold with ice, making it a perfect thirst-quencher during the hot and humid weather in the Philippines.
3. Sorbetes or Filipino Ice Cream
A type of ice cream made from coconut milk or carabao’s milk that comes in various flavors such as mango, ube, and chocolate. It is usually served on a cone or in a cup.
What makes sorbetes extra special is its wide variety of flavors. Some popular flavors include mango, ube (purple yam), and chocolate, while other unique flavors such as jackfruit, avocado, and ube halaya (purple yam jam) can also be found.
The best version of sorbetes can often be found in local markets or street vendors, where it is freshly made using traditional methods. These vendors typically use wooden carts or pushcarts to sell their sorbetes, and they may even offer toppings such as crushed peanuts or coconut shreds.
To fully enjoy sorbetes, it is best to consume it on a hot day when the ice cream can provide a refreshing relief from the heat. It is usually served on a cone or in a cup and can be eaten on its own or with toppings. Sorbetes is also a common ingredient in Filipino desserts such as halo-halo and banana splits.
4. Maiz con Hielo (Mais con Yelo)
A sweet summer snack made with shaved ice, corn kernels, milk, and sugar. It is a simple yet satisfying treat that is perfect for hot days.
The basic recipe includes shaved ice, corn kernels, milk, and sugar, but there are variations that make it even more special.
Some versions of Maiz con Hielo include additional ingredients such as sweet beans, jelly, or fruit cocktail to add more texture and flavor to the dish. Some also top it off with a scoop of ube or mango ice cream for a more indulgent treat.
To get the best version of this sweet summer snack, it is recommended to visit local Filipino dessert shops or street vendors that specialize in Maiz con Hielo. One popular spot is Razon’s of Guagua, which is known for its signature version of the dessert that uses creamy milk and sweet corn kernels. Other popular places include Mang Inasal, Chowking, and Max’s Restaurant.
To best consume Maiz con Hielo, it is recommended to mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and enjoy it while it is still cold and refreshing. You can use a spoon to scoop up the shaved ice and corn kernels, or sip it through a straw for a more convenient way to enjoy this sweet treat.
5. Leche Flan
A rich and creamy dessert made with egg yolks, condensed milk, and sugar. It is a staple dessert in Filipino cuisine and is often served during special occasions.
There are variations to this dessert, such as adding pandan leaves for flavor or making it with milk instead of condensed milk. Some also use cream cheese to give it a slightly tangy taste.
The best leche flan is often homemade, but there are also restaurants and bakeries in the Philippines that specialize in this dessert. One of the most famous places to get leche flan is at Aristocrat Restaurant, which has been serving it since the 1930s. Another place to try is Via Mare, which is known for its traditional Filipino cuisine and desserts.
To fully enjoy this dessert, it is best to chill it in the fridge before serving. The caramelized sugar syrup on top should be firm but not hard. The best way to eat it is by scooping a portion with a spoon and enjoying its silky texture with a hint of sweetness. Some like to pair it with coffee or tea, while others enjoy it with fresh fruits such as mango or strawberries.
6. Buko Pandan
A sweet dessert made with young coconut, pandan jelly, and condensed milk. It is a popular dessert that is usually served during special occasions.
To make Buko Pandan, young coconut meat is shredded and mixed with pandan-flavored jelly and condensed milk. Some recipes also call for the addition of tapioca pearls or sago for a more textured dessert. The dessert is then chilled before serving, making it a perfect treat for hot summer days.
The best version of Buko Pandan can be found in many Filipino restaurants and bakeries all over the Philippines. Some of the most popular places to get a delicious serving of this dessert include Amber Golden Plate Restaurant, Nathaniel’s, Via Mare, and Razon’s of Guagua.
To enjoy Buko Pandan at its best, it is best to serve it chilled. You can also top it with additional shredded coconut or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a more indulgent treat. Some people also like to serve it as a side dish to a main course meal to balance out the flavors. Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, Buko Pandan is a delicious dessert that is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.
7. Buko Juice / Shake
A refreshing drink made with young coconut juice and pulp. It is usually served cold with ice or blended into a shake.
It is known for its sweet and nutty flavor and is rich in electrolytes, making it a great alternative to sugary drinks. What makes this drink extra special is the use of fresh, young coconut, which is considered to have the best flavor and nutritional content.
To get the best version of buko juice, look for vendors or stores that offer freshly harvested coconuts. The best way to consume it is straight from the coconut itself. Simply ask the vendor to open the coconut for you, and you can drink the juice using a straw or scoop it out using a spoon. If you prefer it cold, ask for a cup of ice to chill it.
Another popular way to enjoy buko juice is by having it blended into a shake. Some stores offer different variations of buko shake, such as adding other fruits like mango or banana, or even adding toppings like chocolate chips or nuts. Look for a store that uses fresh and natural ingredients for the best-tasting shake.
8. Ice Scramble
The pink-colored shaved ice dessert referred to is commonly known as “Ice Scramble” or “Iskrambol” in the Philippines. This sweet treat is perfect for beating the heat during the summer months.
What makes Ice Scramble extra special is the combination of different flavors and textures. The shaved ice provides a refreshing texture that is complemented by the creamy and sweet evaporated milk. The addition of chocolate or strawberry flavorings adds a delightful taste that makes this dessert irresistible to both kids and adults alike.
To get the best version of this product, look for vendors who use quality ingredients and serve it fresh. You can find vendors selling Ice Scramble in most public markets, schools, and street corners in the Philippines. However, it’s important to be mindful of food safety and hygiene practices when purchasing street food.
A cold and sweet drink made with a mixture of coconut milk, sago, gulaman, and sugar. It is a popular summer drink in the Philippines.
What makes this drink extra special is the unique combination of ingredients that gives it a sweet and creamy taste. The drink is made with a mixture of coconut milk, sago (tapioca pearls), gulaman (agar jelly), and sugar. Some variations of the recipe also include pandan leaves for added flavor and aroma.
To get the best version of this product, it is recommended to look for small neighborhood shops or food stalls that specialize in Filipino cuisine. Guinomis is usually served in a tall glass filled with crushed ice and topped with the coconut milk and sago-gulaman mixture. Some vendors also add a scoop of ice cream on top to make it even more indulgent.
One of the best ways to consume Guinomis is to stir it well before drinking to blend all the flavors together. It is also best enjoyed cold, so make sure to drink it while the ice is still intact. Some people even add a splash of evaporated milk or condensed milk to make it creamier.
10. Pinoy Street Food
A variety of savory snacks are commonly sold in food carts on the streets of the Philippines. Some popular examples include grilled skewers of pork or chicken, fish balls, and kwek-kwek (deep-fried quail eggs).
One of the most popular street foods in the Philippines is grilled skewers of pork or chicken, commonly known as “inasal” or “ihaw-ihaw”. The meat is marinated in a blend of spices, vinegar, and soy sauce, giving it a flavorful and savory taste. The skewers are then grilled over hot coals, giving the meat a delicious smoky flavor. The best version of these skewers can be found at Mang Larry’s Isawan, located in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The skewers are usually served with a vinegar-based dipping sauce and are best eaten hot off the grill.
Another popular street food in the Philippines is fish balls. These small, round balls are made from fish meat and flour, then deep-fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Fish balls are typically served with a sweet and sour sauce or a spicy vinegar sauce. The best place to get fish balls is at the iconic Manong’s Fishball stand located in the streets of Manila.
Kwek-kwek, or deep-fried quail eggs, is another popular street food in the Philippines. The eggs are coated in a batter made from flour and annatto, then deep-fried until crispy. Kwek-kwek is typically served with a sweet and sour sauce or a spicy vinegar sauce. The best version of kwek-kwek can be found at Lorraine’s Kwek-Kwek located in Quezon City.
When consuming Pinoy Street Food, it is best to exercise caution and choose food carts that look clean and hygienic. It is also recommended to consume the food hot off the grill or fryer to avoid any potential health risks. Street food in the Philippines is a great way to experience the country’s vibrant food culture, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure that it is safe to consume.
A sweet snack made with sliced bananas and jackfruit that are wrapped in spring roll wrappers, coated in sugar, and deep-fried until crispy. It is a popular street food in the Philippines.
To get the best version of turon, you can visit local food stalls and markets in the Philippines where it is commonly sold. Some popular places to find the best turon include the Banilad Town Centre and Ayala Centre Cebu in Cebu City, and the Quiapo Market in Manila. You can also find turon in many Filipino restaurants and bakeries.
Turon is best consumed while it is still warm and crispy. It is usually eaten as a snack or dessert and can be enjoyed on its own or with a scoop of ice cream. Some people also like to dip it in a caramel sauce or condensed milk for an extra dose of sweetness. Whatever way you choose to consume it, turon is definitely a treat that should not be missed when visiting the Philippines.
12. Chilled Taho
A sweet and refreshing drink made with silken tofu, sago pearls, and caramel syrup. It is usually served hot or cold and is a popular summer treat in the Philippines.
Chilled Taho is a variation of the classic Filipino snack that is usually sold on the streets by vendors who carry a metal container with three compartments filled with silken tofu, sago pearls, and caramel syrup. Chilled Taho is a cold version of this snack that is perfect for hot summer days.
The silken tofu used in Chilled Taho is what gives it a silky-smooth texture that melts in your mouth. It is also a great source of protein and is low in fat and calories, making it a healthier option for those looking for a guilt-free treat.
The sago pearls add a chewy texture to the drink and are a great source of carbohydrates. They are made from the starch extracted from cassava roots and are commonly used in many Filipino desserts.
13. Ube Halaya
A sweet purple yam pudding made with grated purple yam, coconut milk, and condensed milk. It is a popular dessert in the Philippines and is often used as a filling for cakes and pastries.
Many Filipino households have their own recipe for this delicious dessert, which has been passed down through generations. However, there are also many specialty shops and bakeries in the Philippines that sell Ube Halaya, and some have become famous for their exceptional quality.
One popular shop known for their delicious Ube Halaya is Good Shepherd Convent in Baguio City. Their Ube Halaya is made with fresh purple yam, coconut milk, and condensed milk, and has a smooth and creamy texture. It is often sold in small jars, which make for a perfect pasalubong (souvenir) to bring home.
To best consume Ube Halaya, it is often eaten on its own as a dessert or snack. It can also be used as a filling for cakes and pastries, such as the popular Ube Cake, Ube Ensaymada, and Ube Cheese Pandesal. It is also delicious when paired with coconut or vanilla ice cream, creating a perfect combination of sweet and creamy flavors.
14. Mango Float
A layered dessert made with graham crackers, whipped cream, and fresh mangoes. It is a popular dessert during the summer months when mangoes are in season.
What makes this dessert extra special is the use of fresh and juicy mangoes that are in season during the summer months. The sweetness of the mangoes blends perfectly with the creamy whipped cream and the crunchy graham crackers.
The best version of Mango Float can be found in many home kitchens throughout the Philippines, as it is a popular dessert to make for special occasions and family gatherings. However, there are also several restaurants and bakeries that offer their own version of this dessert.
To enjoy Mango Float at its best, it is best to chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the layers to set and the flavors to meld together. Some people also like to add additional toppings such as sliced almonds or crushed cookies for added texture and flavor.
One popular way to consume Mango Float is by layering it in a clear glass or bowl, so the layers can be seen and appreciated. It can also be served in individual cups for portion control and convenience. Pairing it with a hot cup of coffee or tea is also a great way to balance out the sweetness of the dessert.
A sweet bread pastry that is topped with butter, sugar, and grated cheese. It is a popular breakfast pastry in the Philippines and is often served with coffee or hot chocolate.
Some versions add ube (purple yam) or macapuno (sweet coconut) to the dough or the toppings, giving it a unique flavor and texture. Others add ham or salted egg, turning it into a savory pastry that can be enjoyed any time of day.
In conclusion, the Philippines is not just known for its beautiful beaches and hot summers, but also for its amazing summer food offerings. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s no shortage of sweet and refreshing treats to enjoy during the hot season.
From the iconic Halo-Halo and Sorbetes to lesser-known but equally delicious desserts like Ensaymada and Mango Float, there’s something for everyone. So the next time you find yourself in the Philippines during the summer, make sure to indulge in these delightful treats and experience the country’s vibrant food culture.
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