Dining Out

Taiwanese shaved ice

Taiwanese shaved ice

Halo-halo will forever be associated with Filipino cuisine. But this dessert/snack made with fruits, milk and shaved ice are found in a lot of other Asian countries too. Malaysia has its shaved ice with red bean sauce, China has its fruit salad, Korea has its paht bing-soo and, below, there’s the Taiwanese version with feathery shaved ice that is almost like a sorbet.

Sorry, don’t know the Taiwanese name for this wonderful dessert (or is it a snack?). I just got back from Taiwan and one of the places we went to was the Shilin Night Market (but naturally!). Hungry as I was, the overwhelming smell of simmering broth, fried meat and everything else in between were simply too much for my nose and I ended up not wanting anything else but a large bowl of shaved ice topped with some kind of syrup and preserved fruit.

Not that I can tell you what fruit it was either (they looked like raspberries). I simply chose from over two dozen photos, pointed out which one I wanted and that was it. I asked for no names (I doubt I would have been able to mouth the words anyway); neither did I ask for a rundown of the exact ingredients.

This much I can say though: it looked like the shaved ice was a mixture of milk and water. There were no ice crystals (like what we get with our halo-halo) but something lighter — feathery best describes the texture. I would have wanted to try another variety but after finishing a bowl of shaved ice, there’s no more room in my stomach for anything else but bottled water. :)

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