Sweets & Desserts

Maiz con hielo

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The spelling may differ — maiz con yelo, mais con yelo, maiz con hielo… But they all refer to the same thing — a cold and refreshing snack made with sweet corn, shaved ice, milk and sugar. Serve it plain or top it with crisp pinipig, crushed corn flakes or even with ice cream. If you want to go all out, ice cream and pinipig go well together; so do ice cream and crushed corn flakes. It was what we had for our afternoon snack today. My 13-year-old daughter Alex was so ecstatic because she had been dreaming of maiz con hielo for at least a week.

When I was a child — oh, okay, so that was decades ago LOL — there was a metal tool for shaving the ice that went into the maiz con hielo and halo-halo. This metal ice shaver is still used in some provinces but they are fast becoming obsolete due to the availability and proliferation of more powerful and, often, electricity-powered machines than can crush huge blocks of ice in seconds.

My husband buys crushed ice somewhere in Marikina. He just brings an ice chest and, for PhP 20.00, we can have maiz con hielo all day long. Well, unless the ice melts before it is consumed.

The best maiz con hielo uses freshly shredded sweet corn. The natural juices from the kernels get mixed with the milk and ice and everything is just tastier. But if you’re not up to shredding fresh corn — who would be in this oppressive heat — you can use canned corn.

Among my friends, there is a debate as to which kind of canned corn is better for maiz con hielo — cream style corn or whole corn kernels. Personally, I like the tender crisp whole corn kernels but some of my friends prefer cream style corn.

I suppose it depends on how you want to enjoy your maiz con hielo. If you prefer to spoon the corn and eat them with bits of crushed ice, whole corn kernels will do the trick. But if you like your maiz con hielo to be almost like a beverage that you can drink from the glass when the ice has melted, cream style corn would be the better choice.

Then, there is the debate as to which kind of milk is better with maiz con hielo — evaoprated filled milk or ready-to-drink fresh milk. Personally, I never liked evaporated filled milk so we go with ready-to-drink fresh milk in cartons. But my husband is a fan of evaporated milk and prefers it with his maiz con hielo. To each his own, I suppose.

Whichever kind of corn you choose — freshly shredded, canned corn kernels or cream style corn — and whichever kind of milk you prefer, just place several tablespoonfuls of corn in a glass, add a teaspoonful or two of sugar, add lots of shaved ice, pour in a generous amount of milk, stir and enjoy. It really makes the heat more bearable. :)

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