What is Halo-Halo?

What is Halo-Halo?

Filipino Shaved Ice – Halo-Halo

what is halo-halo

The Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people and impeccable English but what about Filipino cuisine?  

Well, grab a spoon and get ready to jump into a big bowl of Halo-Halo!  We’re going to explore its history, ingredients, preparation and cultural significance in the Philippines.

What is Filipino Halo Halo?

Halo Halo, which means “mix-mix” in Filipino, is a delightful cold dessert that combines a wide array of ingredients. It’s more than just a treat; it’s a symphony of flavors, textures, and colors. A true culinary masterpiece, Halo Halo is a must-try for anyone visiting the Philippines.

The History of Halo Halo

Halo Halo has a rich history dating back to the pre-colonial Philippines. The concept of mixing various ingredients was inspired by the locals who made do with what they had. Over time, it evolved into the beloved dessert we know today.

Halo Halo Ingredients

Halo Halo’s charm lies in its diverse ingredients, which come together to create a harmonious taste experience. Some key components include:

  • Shaved Ice
  • Sweetened Fruits
  • Leche Flan
  • Ube Halaya
  • Sago Pearls
  • Gulaman
  • Pinipig

Assembling Halo Halo

The art of assembling Halo Halo involves layering the ingredients strategically. Each layer adds a new dimension to the dessert, creating a delightful surprise with every scoop.

How to Make Halo Halo

Popular Variations of Halo Halo

Different regions in the Philippines have their own spin on Halo Halo, incorporating local ingredients and unique twists. Some variations are more tropical, while others are creamier and sweeter.

The Cultural Significance

Halo Halo is more than just a dessert; it’s a cultural symbol. It represents the diverse heritage of the Philippines, with ingredients reflecting the country’s history and influences.

Halo Halo Around the World

Filipino expatriates have taken Halo Halo with them, introducing it to different parts of the world. As a result, you can now find this delectable dessert in various international locations.

How to Make Halo Halo at Home

Don’t fret if you’re far from the Philippines; you can make Halo Halo at home. We’ll provide you with a simple recipe to create this tropical masterpiece in your own kitchen.

Best Places to Enjoy Halo Halo in the Philippines

For the ultimate Halo Halo experience, we’ll guide you to some of the best places in the Philippines where you can savor this sweet delight.

Halo Halo: A Taste of Summer

Halo Halo is synonymous with the scorching Philippine summers. It’s the perfect way to cool down and indulge in something sweet and refreshing.

Halo Halo and Filipino Festivals

Discover how Halo Halo plays a central role in Filipino celebrations and festivals, bringing communities together over shared joy and flavor.

The Allure of Halo Halo

The enchanting blend of ingredients, the satisfying crunch of shaved ice, and the sweetness of Filipino history – these are the factors that make Halo Halo irresistible.


What does “Halo Halo” mean?

“Halo Halo” means “mix-mix” in Filipino, referring to the way the dessert is prepared by mixing various ingredients.

Can I make Halo Halo at home?

Absolutely! We provide a simple recipe for making Halo Halo in the comfort of your home.

What are the must-try variations of Halo Halo?

Some popular variations include “Halo Halo Special” and “Halo Halo Espesyal,” known for their extra toppings and flavors.

Is Halo Halo only available in the Philippines?

No, you can find Halo Halo in Filipino communities worldwide.

Is Halo Halo available year-round?

While it’s most popular in the summer, you can usually find it in the Philippines throughout the year.

    Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Hawaii is so relaxed that they don’t even go through the trouble of calling it shaved ice and simply go with Hawaiian Shave Ice!

    Being a pacific island, Shave Ice is thought to have come from Japanese Shaved Ice – Kakigori.  Hawaii of course mixed in its chill island vibes and vibrant, delicous “shave ice” came out the other end.

    Read on to explore the history, popular flavors and toppings and some basic recipes.

    A Brief History of Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Hawaiian Shave Ice has a rich history, dating back to the plantation days in Hawaii. Japanese immigrants introduced the concept of shaving ice and adding sweet syrups. The popularity of this cool delicacy quickly spread throughout the islands.

    The Art of Shaving Ice

    Creating the perfect shave ice requires skill and finesse. The ice is shaved so finely that it resembles freshly fallen snow, creating a light and airy texture that’s a delight to eat.

    The Perfect Ice Texture

    The key to great shave ice lies in the texture. It should be so fine that it melts in your mouth, leaving a burst of flavor with every bite.

    Choosing the Right Flavors

    One of the joys of Hawaiian Shave Ice is the wide range of flavors available. From classic options like strawberry and blue raspberry to exotic choices like lychee and passion fruit, there’s a flavor for everyone.

    Unique Hawaiian Flavors

    Hawaii offers some unique flavors inspired by the local culture. You can enjoy tropical delights such as guava, haupia (coconut), and lilikoi (passion fruit).

    Sweet Syrups and Toppings

    The syrups and toppings used on shave ice add an extra layer of flavor and sweetness. Some popular choices include condensed milk, mochi balls, and azuki beans.

    Hawaiian Shave Ice Toppings

    Shave Ice vs. Shaved Ice: What’s the Difference?

    While the terms “shave ice” and “shaved ice” are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a distinction. Shave ice is finely shaved, while shaved ice is more granular. The smooth texture of shave ice is a major part of its appeal.

    Hawaiian Shave Ice Around the World

    The popularity of Hawaiian Shave Ice has transcended its origins. You can find shave ice stands and shops worldwide, offering a taste of the tropics no matter where you are.

    Healthier Options and Allergen-Friendly Choices

    For those seeking healthier alternatives or dealing with allergies, many shave ice vendors offer sugar-free syrups and allergen-friendly options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy this treat.

    Homemade Hawaiian Shave Ice

    Making shave ice at home is a fun and tasty activity for the whole family. We’ll share some tips and tricks to help you create your own paradise-inspired desserts.

    Shave Ice in Hawaiian Culture

    Shave ice is more than just a dessert; it’s deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture and is often enjoyed as a treat during local celebrations and festivals.

    Tips for the Best Shave Ice Experience

    To fully savor the experience, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to enjoy your shave ice to the fullest, including the best way to savor the flavors.

    Shave Ice at Festivals and Events

    Hawaiian Shave Ice is a staple at festivals and events, adding a cool and colorful touch to the festivities. Discover how this treat brings joy to celebrations around the world.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Hawaiian Shave Ice the same as snow cones?

    Nope! Hawaiian Shave Ice and snow cones are different. Shave ice is finely shaved, creating a delicate, snow-like texture, while snow cones have coarser ice.

    What are some must-try Hawaiian shave ice flavors?

    Must-try flavors include traditional options like strawberry and blue raspberry, as well as unique Hawaiian flavors such as guava and lilikoi.

    Can I make Hawaiian Shave Ice at home without a special machine?

    While a shave ice machine helps, you can achieve a similar texture using a high-speed blender or food processor to finely crush ice.

    4. What is the most popular topping for Hawaiian Shave Ice?

    Condensed milk is a popular topping that adds creaminess and sweetness to the shave ice.

    5. Is Hawaiian Shave Ice gluten-free?

    Hawaiian Shave Ice is generally gluten-free, but it’s essential to confirm with the vendor, especially if you have gluten sensitivities or allergies.

      Thai Shaved Ice Nam Kang Sai

      Thai Shaved Ice Nam Kang Sai

      Thai Shaved Ice Nam Kang Sai

      Thai Shaved Ice Nam Kang Sai

      Try to think of one person you know who doesn’t like Thai Food, it’s practically impossible because you would have to be crazy to not love Pad Thai, Massaman Curry or Tom Yum Soup!

      But if you finish your delicious main course and are still craving more, then you definitely need to try this lesser known Thai Dessert – “Thai Nam Kang Sai.”

      In this article, we’ll explore the history, ingredients, preparation and show you how to eat it like a local!

      The History of Thai Nam Kang Sai

      Originating from Thailand, Nam Kang Sai is a traditional Thai shaved ice dessert. Its history dates back centuries, and it has evolved into a beloved treat in Thai culture. The name “Nam Kang Sai” translates to “crushed ice” in English, highlighting the dessert’s fundamental ingredient – finely shaved ice.

      Ingredients – The Building Blocks of Thai Nam Kang Sai

      Creating this delectable Thai dessert requires a combination of ingredients that balance sweetness, texture, and vibrant colors. Some of the key components include:

      1. Shaved Ice

      • The foundation of Nam Kang Sai is finely Shaved Ice, which provides a light and refreshing base.

      2. Syrup Selection

      • A variety of colorful syrups made from natural ingredients like coconut, pandan, rose, and palm are used to flavor the ice.

      3. Assorted Toppings

      • Thai Nam Kang Sai boasts an array of toppings such as red beans, corn, taro, grass jelly, and fruit chunks.

      Preparation of Thai Nam Kang Sai

      Crafting this delightful dessert is an art that requires meticulous attention to detail. The preparation process involves several steps:

      1. Shaving the Ice

      • Begin by carefully shaving ice into a fluffy, snow-like texture using an ice shaver.

      2. Layering

      • Layer the shaved ice in a bowl or container, alternating with the various syrup flavors to create a colorful, flavorful mosaic.

      3. Toppings Time

      • Sprinkle the assorted toppings over the ice layers, adding both texture and visual appeal to the dessert.
      Thai Shaved Ice Toppings

      Eating Thai Nam Kang Sai Like a Local

      Thai Nam Kang Sai is more than just a dessert; it’s an experience. As you take your first spoonful, you’ll be enchanted by the contrast of temperatures and the explosion of flavors. The delicate sweetness of the syrups, the crunch of toppings, and the refreshing ice create a delightful symphony of taste and texture.

      The Thai culture emphasizes the importance of enjoying every bite, and this dessert epitomizes that philosophy. Whether enjoyed on a sweltering summer day or as a sweet treat after a savory Thai meal, Nam Kang Sai is sure to leave a lasting impression.

      The Bottom Line

      In the world of Thai desserts, Nam Kang Sai is a shining star. Its colorful appearance, sweet flavors, and refreshing ice make it a favorite for locals and tourists alike. The combination of shaved ice, vibrant syrups, and diverse toppings makes every bite a delightful adventure for the palate.

      Unlock the world of Thai Nam Kang Sai and indulge in the authentic taste of Thailand. Explore the wonderful flavors, textures, and traditions of Thai cuisine, and you’ll find this dessert to be a true gem.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Where can I find Thai Nam Kang Sai outside of Thailand?

      • Thai Nam Kang Sai can be found at many Thai restaurants around the world. It’s a popular dessert, and you can often enjoy it in Thai eateries.

      Is Thai Nam Kang Sai gluten-free?

      • Yes, Thai Nam Kang Sai is typically gluten-free. However, it’s essential to confirm with the restaurant or vendor as some variations may contain ingredients with gluten.

      Can I customize the toppings in my Nam Kang Sai?

      • Absolutely! One of the joys of this dessert is its customizability. You can choose your favorite toppings to create a personalized Thai Nam Kang Sai.

      What are some variations of Nam Kang Sai?

      • Some variations include adding different types of syrups, such as taro or passion fruit, and experimenting with unique toppings for a twist on the classic dessert.

      Is Nam Kang Sai a popular dessert in Thailand?

      • Yes, Nam Kang Sai is a beloved dessert in Thailand, especially during the hot and humid months. 

      Is Thai Rolled Ice Cream the same as Thai Nam Kang Sai?

      • Nope!  Thai Rolled Ice Cream or “Stir Fried Ice Cream” doesn’t use any shaved ice.  It uses an ice cream base on an extremely cold plate.  The process looks similar to making stir fry which is where it gets its name!
      Japanese Kakigori Shaved Ice

      Japanese Kakigori Shaved Ice

      What is Japanese Kakigori?

      Japanese Shaved Ice Kakigori

      Dating way back to the 8th Century, Japanese Shaved Ice was originally reserved only for aristocrats.  Kakigori has since become an icon in Japan and around the world.  We’re going to dive into the history, preparation, and variations of Kakigor and also explore the cultural significance of this frozen Japanese Treat.

      What is Kakigori?

      Kakigori is a traditional Japanese dessert that consists of shaved ice, which is often flavored with sweet syrups, and then garnished with a variety of toppings. It is sometimes referred to as “Japanese shaved ice” or “kakigori ice.”

      History of Kakigori

      Kakigori has a long and storied history in Japan. It is believed to have originated during the Heian period (794-1185), where it was reserved for the aristocracy. Over time, it evolved into a popular treat enjoyed by people of all ages during the sweltering Japanese summers.

      Kakigori Ingredients

      The basic ingredients of Kakigori are quite simple: finely shaved ice and a variety of syrups. What makes Kakigori unique is the range of syrups and toppings available, offering a diverse set of flavors and textures.

      Popular Variations

      Kakigori comes in various flavors and styles. Some popular variations include matcha (green tea) Kakigori, fruit-flavored Kakigori, and even condensed milk Kakigori.

      Japanese Shaved Ice Variations

      How to Make Kakigori

      Creating Kakigori is a delicate art that requires precision and a good sense of flavor combination.


      1. Start by shaving a block of ice into a fine, snow-like texture.
      2. Choose your desired syrup flavor, which can range from classic strawberry to exotic yuzu.
      3. Drizzle the syrup over the shaved ice.


      Common toppings include sweetened red bean paste, mochi (chewy rice cake), fresh fruits, and sometimes a dollop of condensed milk.

      Serving Suggestions

      Kakigori is often served in a bowl or a tall glass, and the ice and syrup are carefully layered to create a visually appealing dessert.

      Japanese Kakigori Toppings

      Kakigori in Japanese Culture

      Kakigori has a special place in Japanese culture, particularly during the summertime.

      Summer Delight

      Kakigori is the ultimate summer delight in Japan. The combination of cool, fluffy ice and sweet syrups provides a refreshing escape from the oppressive heat and humidity.

      Festivals and Matsuri

      You’ll find Kakigori stands at many Japanese festivals and matsuri (traditional events). It’s a favorite treat for festival-goers, both young and old.

      Health Benefits

      Kakigori isn’t just a sweet treat; it also has some potential health benefits. The use of fresh fruits and syrups can provide vitamins and hydration, making it a healthier option compared to many other desserts.

      Wrapping Up

      Japanese Kakigori is more than just a dessert; it’s a cultural experience that encapsulates the essence of summer in Japan. Its rich history, diverse flavors, and cultural significance make it a must-try dessert. The next time you’re in Japan during the summer, be sure to savor a bowl of Kakigori to truly experience the tastes and traditions of this beautiful country.


      Is Kakigori only available in Japan?

      While Kakigori is most popular in Japan, you can find variations of it in other parts of the world, especially in regions with hot summers.

      What’s the most popular Kakigori flavor in Japan?

      Strawberry is a classic and beloved Kakigori flavor in Japan, especially during the summer months.

      Can I make Kakigori at home?

      Yes, you can make Kakigori at home with a few simple tools like a shaved ice machine and your choice of syrups and toppings.

      What’s the best time to enjoy Kakigori in Japan?

      The best time to savor Kakigori in Japan is during the hot and humid summer months, typically from June to August.

      What makes Kakigori different from other shaved ice desserts?

      Kakigori stands out for its variety of syrups and toppings, which allow for a wide range of flavors and combinations, making it a unique and delightful dessert.

      What is Korean Shaved Ice? Bingsu (Bingsoo)

      What is Korean Shaved Ice? Bingsu (Bingsoo)

      Korean Shaved Ice: Bingsu

      Korean Bingsu

      First K-Pop and Froyo took the world by storm and now Korean Shaved Ice is grabbing the culinary world’s interest with it’s unique flavors and beautiful presentation.

      Spelled either Bingsu or Bingsoo, this treat has been captivating taste buds and hearts worldwide.  Let’s take a big scoop and dive into the history, variations and ingredients of “Bingsu”.

      So What Exactly is Korean Bingsu?

      Korean Bingsu, often simply referred to as “Bingsu,” is a beloved dessert originating from South Korea.

      It is a delightful concoction that combines shaved ice with a variety of sweet and flavorful toppings, creating a refreshing and indulgent treat. Bingsu is renowned for its light and fluffy texture, making it the perfect dessert to beat the heat, especially during the scorching summer months.

      A Brief History of Bingsu

      To truly appreciate the essence of Korean Bingsu, it’s essential to delve into its history. Bingsu has been a part of Korean culinary traditions for centuries. Its roots can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty, where it was initially enjoyed by the royal court. Over time, Bingsu evolved and became a popular street food and dessert option for the masses.

      The Art of Making Bingsu


      Creating the perfect Bingsu requires a handful of essential ingredients:

      1. Shaved Ice

      The foundation of Bingsu is finely shaved ice, which forms the base of this delightful dessert. The ice is shaved so finely that it resembles delicate snowflakes.

      2. Sweetened Condensed Milk

      To add a creamy and sweet element, sweetened condensed milk is generously drizzled over the shaved ice.

      3. A Variety of Toppings

      What sets Bingsu apart are its diverse toppings, which can include fresh fruit, red bean paste, rice cakes, and even ice cream.

      types of bingsu

      Popular Variations

      Bingsu comes in a wide range of variations, each with its unique flavors and textures. Here are some popular options:

      1. Patbingsu

      Patbingsu features a layer of sweet red bean paste, often topped with mochi rice cakes, fruit, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and creaminess.

      2. Mango Bingsu

      For those who crave a tropical twist, Mango Bingsu is a heavenly choice. It features ripe mango chunks, mango syrup, and sometimes, a dollop of whipped cream.

      3. Injeolmi Bingsu

      Injeolmi Bingsu incorporates chewy rice cakes coated in a nutty soybean powder. It’s a delightful blend of textures and flavors.

      The Bingsu Experience

      Enjoying Bingsu is not just about the taste; it’s also about the experience. When you savor a bowl of Bingsu, you embark on a sensory journey. The coolness of the shaved ice, the sweetness of the toppings, and the delightful contrast of textures all come together to create a memorable dessert experience.

      Bingsu Beyond Korea

      In recent years, Bingsu has gained international acclaim and can be found in dessert shops and restaurants worldwide. Its popularity can be attributed to its versatility and the ability to customize it to suit local tastes.

      How to Make Bingsu

      Korean Bingsu is more than just a dessert; it’s a cultural phenomenon that has transcended borders and captivated dessert enthusiasts globally. Its rich history, diverse variations, and unique experience make it a must-try treat for anyone with a sweet tooth.

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

      1. Is Bingsu only available in South Korea?

      No, Bingsu has gained popularity worldwide and can be found in dessert shops around the world!

      2. What are some creative Bingsu toppings I can try at home?

      You can get creative with Bingsu by adding toppings like chocolate chips, caramel sauce, or crushed cookies for a unique twist.

      3. Is Bingsu a seasonal dessert?

      While Bingsu is often enjoyed during the summer months, it is available year-round in many places.

      4. Can I make Bingsu at home?

      Absolutely! You can make Bingsu at home with a shaved ice machine or by finely crushing ice. Just be sure to add your favorite toppings and sweetened condensed milk.

      5. Where can I find the best Bingsu in South Korea?

      Some of the best Bingsu can be found in traditional Korean dessert shops, trendy cafes, and even street food vendors throughout South Korea.

      6. Is Bingsu the best type of Shaved Ice?

      With so many shaved ice varieties, it’s almost impossible to crown just one type king.  We recommend trying all different kinds of Shaved Ice from around the world!  

      Italian Granita: A Refreshing Summer Delight

      Italian Granita: A Refreshing Summer Delight

      Italian Granita

      Italian Granita

      While most readers have probably tried a delicous Italian Ice at a local amusement park or frestival, few have had the pleasure of savoring a traditional Italian Granita.  In this article we’ll explore the origins of Italian Granita, discuss some popular recipes and show you how you can make your own!

      The Origins of Italian Granita

      Italian Granita, or simply “Granita,” can be traced back to the island of Sicily, where it has been enjoyed since the 16th century. This frozen dessert was initially created as a refreshing escape from the scorching Sicilian summers.

      What Sets Italian Granita Apart?

      Unlike other frozen desserts like ice cream or gelato, Italian Granita has a unique texture. It’s made by freezing a mixture of water, sugar, and various flavorings, resulting in a granular, icy consistency that’s both refreshing and satisfying.

      Classic Granita Ingredients

      To make a traditional Italian Granita, you’ll need:

      1. Water
      2. Sugar
      3. Fresh Fruit or Flavorings

      Preparation Steps

      Now, let’s explore how to make this delightful treat step by step:

      Step 1: Creating the Base

      • In a saucepan, combine water and sugar.
      • Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely.

      Step 2: Adding Flavor

      • Stir in your choice of fresh fruit puree, coffee, or other flavorings.
      • Allow the mixture to cool.

      Step 3: Freezing the Granita

      • Pour the mixture into a shallow, freezer-safe container.
      • Place it in the freezer.

      Step 4: Granulating

      • After about an hour, remove the container from the freezer.
      • Use a fork to scrape the mixture, creating the characteristic granular texture.
      • Return it to the freezer and repeat this process every 30 minutes until fully frozen.

      Popular Granita Flavors

      Italian Granita offers a wide range of flavors to tantalize your taste buds.

      Some of the Most Popular Granita Flavors are:

      1. Lemon Granita
      2. Coffee Granita
      3. Almond Granita
      4. Strawberry Granita
      5. Watermelon Granita
      Italian Granita Flavors

      Granita Serving Suggestions

      Italian Granita can be enjoyed in various ways:

      • Serve it in a glass with a twist of lemon for a zesty kick.
      • Top it with whipped cream or a dollop of fresh fruit for added indulgence.
      • Pair it with a brioche for a typical Sicilian breakfast experience.

      The popularity of Italian Granita lies in its versatility, as it’s not just a dessert but also a perfect way to cool down on hot summer days. Its natural ingredients make it a healthier alternative to other frozen treats.



      1. Is Italian Granita the same as shaved ice?

      No, Italian Granita has a different texture and is made by freezing a flavored liquid rather than shaving ice.

      2. Are Italian Ice and Italian Granita the same?

      They are not the same but Italian Ice is derived from Italian Granita.  Italian Ice was was introduced to the US in the late 1800s by Italians immigrants.

      3. Are there any dairy-based Italian Granita flavors?

      No, Italian Granita is dairy-free, unlike gelato, which contains dairy.

      4. Is Italian Granita gluten-free?

      Yes, Italian Granita is typically gluten-free, but it’s essential to check the ingredients for any potential allergens.

      5. Can I store leftover Italian Granita?

      Yes, you can store leftover Granita in the freezer for a few days, but it’s best enjoyed fresh.

      Get ready to savor the exquisite taste of Italian Granita this summer. Its cooling and flavorful qualities make it the perfect companion for beating the heat. Get Access Now to explore more delightful culinary experiences