Friday, April 1, 2011

The Original Philippine Halo-Halo

Summer sizzles and everyone now craves for that icy, frosty delicacy, the Halo-Halo.  One local channel even used it to entice viewers and introduce their summer season of 2011 were their stars enjoy and serve glasses of it.   
Halo-Halo, comes from the root word "halo" meaning "mix", or a verb which is "to mix."  Filipinos are so fond of repeating word twice to exaggerate  or to give emphasis, but mostly to put fun into names.  One British journalist even critiqued us having nicknames that way, such as Ging-Ging, Rap-Rap, Ta-ta, and so forth!
Creative as it sounds, Halo-Halo seemed to have adopted the tune thus making it even more interesting.
It is a mixture of cooked beans, fruits, and other native delicacies.  
At the heart of Bacoor, Cavite lies within the main streets, Barangay Digman.   It is here that the Cuevas' family started out what now has been known as one of the best-selling snack and dessert by Filipinos.  
 I  dare not imagine my childhood without these.   When summer comes, every streets has a table laden with jarfuls of  sweets in colorful array.   Each one has an assistant that manually shaves blocks of ice, and when the heat resounds, your ice-capped delights turns into a cold drink before one even gets home (hehehe)...
Way back 1989,  I remember seeing The Original Digman Halo-halo at Greenbelt, (hmmm, not the Greenbelt that we now know), and being intrigued by it.  Then ccame the time that me and then my future husband needed to visit Bacoor, the home-town of my father-in-law, to invite their relatives to our wedding.   Bhogs, now my husband, brought me to one of the diners that boasted to be THE original Halo-halo.  However,  we have discovered that what we visited before was not really who they claim to be.   There are actually three or four diners that serve the same kind of Halo-Halo.  It even came to the point where they have to fight for the label,  "The original" in court.
This time, my husband took me to where he could remember (since he was born and grew up in this town) as what his father told him as the "authentic Digman Halo-Halo."
Delighted in the presence of all the glorious ingredients that makes the masterpiece, we asked the young waiters if they themselves cook these or those come from jars sold in supermarkets.   Indeed, they are the ones who market and prepare each of the thirteen ingredients.   And the recipes and process have been developed in time by the Cuevas Family since 1969.   They have perfected cooking all the mix ins, no bitter and dark ones, no hard beans, fruits are not too sweet and cooked nicely.  The jellies and tapioca balls does not color bleed.  I hate halo-halo that has lots of food colors and ones everything is mixed up, you can not any more distinguish the true colors of the ingredients.
Here the new generation of Cuevas' invites everyone, to have the ultimate Filipino summer experience with Halo-Halo!  Having a short chit-chat and snap shot with Mr. Cuevas, the son of the late Cuevas couple who started it all.   Cheaper than Chowking's but has more ingredients and quality  has not been sacrificed.  


I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?