Filipinos love their sweet stuff, it’s true. Take for example your typical Filipino macaroni salad in which sweetened condensed milk is incorporated as the dressing, a classic example of savoury and sweet taken to the extreme. For our sweet fix, we love traditional Filipinos street snacks.
One of the most beloved desserts in the Philippines, halo-halo is a must try when you’re visiting Manila. A mixture of everything delicious – yam ice-cream, shaved ice, tapioca pearls, shaved ice, fruits and leche flan amongst other goodies, halo-halo is a delightful surprise in every bite. Though highly contentious, the halo-halo at milkyway café is reputed to be one of the city’s best.
A simple but comforting dessert found everywhere on manila’s road side vendors, turon is made simply from slices of ripe bananas, jackfruit and brown sugar wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and deep fried. The delicious sticky and crunchy dessert spring roll is sometimes drizzled over with dark caramel sauce. A bite of heaven.
The local rendition of the classic Spanish sweet, leche flan is a popular dessert amongst Filipinos, found everywhere from luxury patisseries to humble street stalls. Compared to the original Spanish version, Filipino’s leche flan is richer with the generous amount of egg yolks and condensed milk added to the classic dessert. Richer and more decadent you say? Sign me up.
Literally named “sugar”, kalamay is a simple traditional sweet delicacy made of glutinous rice, brown sugar and coconut milk mixed and boiled till it forms a thick and sweet dessert. Kalamay can be eaten on its own or used as topping on other desserts. A regional delicacy typically given as gifts from visiting relatives, your best luck at finding one is trawling through the traditional markets in Manila.
Cassava cake is probably one of our favourite Filipino desserts that we had in Manila. Delicious and comforting, cassava cake is made from humble ingredients such as coconut milk, egg, butter, grated cassava and condensed milk. The soft and chewy texture, wonderful richness imparted from cassava and lovely sweetness are a perfect combo.