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Restaurants & Bars 6

Filipino Dessert

epicure-us | Jun 12, 2002 12:43 PM

They are putting mango-cheese ice cream on the halo-halo (it translates literally as 'MIX MIX') at Elvie's Turo-Turo (translates as 'Point-Point', significantly cuter than 'steam-table joint'). Their halo-halo has got crushed ice, sweet, preserved adzukis and chickpeas, day-glow palm fruits, sweetened condensed milk, a little piece of flan and a scoop of icecream. Sunday I had it for the first time this year. My favorite part is probably the palm fruits although the generous dollop of taro ice cream is a close second. Last year I relished that scoop of purple taro icecream on the top. This year, disappointed, I noticed the ice cream was a light orange. 'Mango,' the owner said. I proceeded to take a stab at mixing it all up like a pro. (If I don't Filipino fellow-diners start giving me instructions.) Then I dug in. Oh, what IS that, tastes like salt? Salt in mango ice cream? Hmmmmmmmm. What are these slightly lardy, salty, orange sprinkles? 'Hey, I thought this was mango! This is CHEESE ice cream.' 'It's both' she said.

Yes, it was weird at first but the cheese actually cut the sweetness of the dish somewhat (in a good way). Yeah, I'll be back (If only to determine whether or not the 'mango' part of the ice cream really was mango), although I wish I could choose flavors. (apparently the ice cream flavor is subject to availability) Don't be put off now. Halo-halo at first seems hodgepodge in terms of ingredients. But once you get used to it, it's a post-modern texture study composed of soft, slurpy, chewy, nubby, crunchy and custurdy elements. Simultaneously solid, semi-solid, disolving and disolved. Even if you don't hear the music, it sure beats the heat (not to mentin being LOTS of fun to eat : ) I wonder why it is so cooling? (With a cool feeling that seems to last) My guess is that the secret lies in the use of preserved legumes. Or maybe it is some undocumented property of the red dye that colors the delicious palm fruit. Of course all that ice doesn't hurt either. Any other ideas? Halo-halo hermanos...I know you're out there...

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