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Halo-Halo

With Summer coming to an end, it’s only right to write about one of my favorite ice cream treats! In the Philippines, they serve “Halo-Halo,” which translates to “mixed.” This dessert is the Filipino version of shave ice topped with evaporated milk and piled high with yummy toppings like sweet beans, coconut jellies, fruits, and ube (purple yam) ice cream! The best part about making halo halo is customizing it however you like – it’s like going to one of those ice cream places with the topping bars! Some of my favorite summer memories were spending Saturdays with my cousins in the pool. My aunt would walk over with a tray of cups of halo-halo.

Red Bean Paste (Anko)

How can beans be a dessert? How could they be sweet? These are the questions my friend Daniella asked me when I tried to convince her she needed to try something with red bean paste. Daniella is of Puerto Rican descent and moved around between Spain, Miami, and Southern California, where she developed in a love for Asian food. But when I tried to convince her to try red bean desserts, she immediately associated red beans with Puerto Rican beans.
Puerto Rican beans are also red but unlike Adzuki beans, they’re usually prepared stewed with spices and vegetables to go with rice…not quite a dessert (but still delicious!) I promised her that red bean paste from Adzuki beans is nothing like Puerto Rican red beans. I told her to think of it like a third bean flavor to chocolate and vanilla because those are both beans too!