August 12, 2008

maiz con hielo & smoothies

Summertime brings on creative ways to cool off and there's nothing more appealing than having icy cold beverages and treats to beat the summer heat. In the Philippines, we grew up knowing that an ice shaver is a must-have gadget in every household. I still remember our old manual hand held ice shaver made of thick aluminum (shown here by scent of green bananas - thanks!). It's a compact gadget with a sharp blade underneath and a cover which can easily be lifted once it's filled with ice. It worked well with small blocks of ice. The shaved ice may then be transfered straight to the glass. We used this for many years until the plastic crank-style ice shavers became popular. I've mentioned halo-halo before, literally translated as "mix-mix"- it's an icy treat with a colorful mix of several kinds of sweetened or preserved fruits and beans, flan and ube (purple yam) ice cream, shaved ice and evaporated milk - often served in tall crystal soda fountain style glasses. It's perhaps the most popular summer treat in the Philippines, but there are other choices like a sweet corn version, called "maiz con hielo" (shown below) which I like as well.

Smoothies can now be made easily and anytime at home but back in my high school days, the popular version was "shakes" usually made with tropical fruits. I remember a couple of flavors I would order, cantaloupe (melon) and sweet corn shake, made with canned sweet corn and evaporated milk. They were such a big hit that fruitshake stalls lined with electric blenders were everywhere. I've always been fond of icy fruit treats like these strawberry smoothies we often make at home (shown below).

I guess the popularity of icy treats will prevail. Then and now, cooling off is big business.

No comments:

Post a Comment