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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.