Food Facts: Haluhalo, the facts and history behind it

It is really more fun in the Philippines, especially when eating shaved ice. Haluhalo or, popular spelled as Halo-halo, is an innovative recipe that Filipino created to eat shaved ice with colorful and flavorful ingredients. Haluhalo in English means mix-mix. Filipinos called it Haluhalo because you literally need to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Although everyone spells it as Halo-halo, according to Commission on the Filipino Language the correct spelling is Haluhalo.

In the US, children sell lemonade during summer, In the Philippines, not only children but also, adults sell Haluhalo. Since then,  Haluhalo has been known as a street food during the hot season.

Based on the history, the Japanese first introduced shaved ice with sweetened monggo, which they named it at that time, Monggo-ya or Monggo Con Hielo. When the Japanese left the Philippines, after the World War II, the Filipinos added more ingredients. From the original ingredients (monggo, red beans, kidney beans, papaya, sugar, milk), the Filipinos added sago, gulaman, pinipig, shredded coconut, cantaloupe, sweetened saba, corn, langka, macapuno, nata de coco, ube, leche flan and ice cream.

The challenging part in eating Haluhalo is to try to mix the ingredients without spilling too much ice and milk and don’t forget brain freeze.

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