What are the popular iced merienda and desserts that Filipinos enjoy not only during the summer but all year round? This is not a definitive list but a lot will agree with me that these are some of the top Filipino cold summer treats to lavish on their families.
1. Halo-Halo. In English—“mix”. A mixture of fruits, shaved ice, milk, sugar, flan or custard, macapuno, ube, sago and the list can go on! It’s basically a mix of any available ingredient that you might think would suit your taste. The best halo-halo in town for me would be the one I make at home with ice cream and pinipig!
2. Guinumis. This is a traditional Filipino dessert made with coco milk, tapioca, pinipig, caramel syrup, gulaman and don’t forget the shaved ice. This is usually served as a beverage but is also great as a dessert! The first time I had guinumis was at a Kapampangan restaurant in Manila and I immediately loved the flavors and the texture in my mouth. So refreshingly delicious.
3. Sago’t Gulaman. Who hasn’t craved for this drink on a hot, sweaty, summer day? Made with caramel syrup, shaved ice, tapioca and gulaman and a dash of vanilla extract! Sago’t Gulaman can also be served with pandan leaves—or better yet, while adding the caramel syrup, place a couple of pandan leaves for flavor. Light and refreshing.
5. Ice Scramble. Remember the carts outside your school? The manongs scooped out the shaved ice and let you choose the flavor to put on the ice. And there was chocolate syrup too. That’s the ice scramble so famous back then. I can still see a few manongs with their carts of ice scramble. One scoop is enough to bring you back down memory lane.
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6. Sorbetes. Last but not the least and also known as “dirty ice cream.” This is not your typical ice cream. This is THE sorbetes, the one that’s made of queso and mango and chocolate. Now it’s modernized, because they even have the cookies and cream flavor! I’d pick sorbetes anytime over the usual ice cream. Sorbetes is a classic Pinoy treat.
Share your childhood with your kids this summer. Let them have some of the iced merienda and desserts that you used to love when you were a kid yourself. They’re sure to love not only these top Filipino cold summer treats but your stories about them as well. This can be a family bonding activity with them. These cold merienda and dessert treats will ease the unbearable heat and will be a sure hit with them.