Filipino Sweets and Desserts You Should Try

Philippines has many treat to satisfy a sugar craving — and they aren’t run of the mill desserts either. With many cultural influences throughout the country’s history, along with the use of Filipino flair and taste, a wealth of interesting sweets has resulted.

Kutsinta

It’s with these kinds of desserts that visitors will understand the glorious love affair the country has with rice. Kutsinta, like puto, is a steamed rice cake, but instead of soft and spongy, it is sticky and slightly rubbery. It’s extra tasty served topped with grated coconut and sometimes yema.

Turon

It is a very simple dessert that contains slices of saba banana and jackfruit are rolled in brown sugar, wrapped in spring roll wrapper, and deep fried with a little more brown sugar to glaze the entire roll. This sweet and crunchy bite can also be found sold street-side for merienda or snacks in the middle of the day.

Buko Pandan

This dessert is as simple as it is delicious. With only five ingredients, Filipinos have managed to make a tropically perfect treat. Its most basic recipe only calls for shredded young coconut, pandan (screwpine) leaves, gelatin, cream and condensed milk. The result is a creamy, aromatic dessert, with chunks of pandan-flavored gelatin, especially delicious when served cold on a hot Philippine day.

Halo-Halo

“Halo” is the Tagalog word for “mix”. So this complex dessert’s name is literally “mix-mix”, because it’s exactly what the diner has to do to be able to enjoy it in all its deliciousness. Halo-halo is a mélange of crushed ice, nata de coco, beans, sago pearls, jelly, sweetened saba banana, sweet potato, coconut, ube (purple yam) jam, evaporated milk, leche flan, ube ice cream, jackfruit, and fried pinipig (flattened immature rice grains).

Buko Salad

Thanks to the country’s tropical climate, it’s one of biggest coconut producers in Asia. As a wonder tree, the coconut offers a lot of products from their roots to the tips of its leaves. The flesh of its fruit locally named as “buko” (young coconut) is the main ingredient of Buko Salad – a popularly sweet and colorful Filipino dessert.

Mango Float

Mango Float is the Filipino version of the Italian Tiramisu. However, instead of ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with a delicious and creamy mixture of other ingredients, the Mango Float uses local ingredients: a local brand of Graham crackers, condensed milk, heavy cream, and its main source of flavor – mango.

Taho

Taho is not a very common dessert (though some restaurants now offer it as such) because traditionally, it is peddled by street vendors carrying two aluminum buckets via a yoke. Usually sold from as early as dawn, when the warm concoction is perfect for cool early mornings, the three-ingredient snack is made by mixing together soft tofu, arnibal (a syrup made of brown sugar and water), and sago pearls. To get a taste of this sweet Filipino favorite, keep an ear out for the peddlers’ ringing calls of “Tahooooo!”, and hail him over for a warm cup.

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