That would mean “mix-mix” in English.
Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”
With summertime right around the corner, it got me thinking of cool treats to eat when it is hot and humid.
As a Filipino, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a cool yummy treat is Halo-halo. Ahhh, that refreshing snack is hard to beat! I am craving it as I am writing this. To get us ready for summertime, let’s talk story about what Halo-halo is and share some of these places to get Halo-halo on Maui.
The literal translation of Halo-halo is “mix-mix” (in Tagalog). Actually, the correct spelling of this famous Filipino dessert is haluhalo which is an adjective in Tagalog that means “mixed together.” It is very common, however, to use halo-halo and that is what most restaurants and food establishments use on their menu. For this column, we will use the common spelling.
Halo-halo, as the name represents, is a mixture of various delicious (often sweet) and refreshing (some add fresh fruits) ingredients, put in layers, then topped with crushed ice and condensed milk. The special halo-halo is often topped with one or more of these special treats: Ube Jam (Ube Halaya), Ube Ice Cream, Macapuno and Leche Flan. Recently we have seen it served in restaurants where the ingredients are on top of the crushed ice but traditionally the ingredients are placed in the container before the crushed ice.
There is no specific or strict list of ingredients for Halo-halo. It is almost like a “choose your own adventure.” The variety is unending. While components vary there are some traditional ingredients found in Filipino halo-halo such as sago (similar to the jelly balls found in boba), kaong (sweetened palm seed), gulaman (agar-agar gelatin), sweetened red beans (or the white kidney beans) and pinipig (toasted young rice). When I was growing up, we used to have sweetened bananas and sweet potatoes added in too. Sometimes fresh ingredients are added. Fruit such as cantaloupe, avocado and mango are common additions. Some add sweet corn and shredded young coconuts.
The results of having these various ingredients are contrasting textures from chewy to crunchy, creamy to sticky. Combined with the refreshing crushed ice flavored with condensed milk and melted ube ice cream—oh it is truly a treat!
Now the question comes: “Where do we get Halo-halo on Maui?” Here are some options to start with:
1. Vidad’s FoodTruck in Kīhei at the South Maui Foodtruck Pod behind Azeka’s;
2. Da Soriano Grindz Foodtrucks have three locations: Wailuku, Lahainaluna, and Sunday Market in Kahului;
3. Tante’s Island Cuisine – located in the Maui Seaside Hotel on Ka‘ahumanu Avenue in Kahului;
4. Paradise Food Mart – also located in Kahului; and
5. Golden Coin Fastfood and Bakeshop on Lower Main St. in Wailuku.
And don’t forget that on May 26 and 27, the Barrio Fiesta celebration will be held at the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center in Kahului. This is a great time for you to immerse yourself in Filipino culture and taste the great Filipino food and desserts being offered by the various food vendors. We invite you to come. I hope to see you there!
Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media enthusiast. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend … and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Digital Media Specialist with Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. She is the author of the book Maui 2021 and Beyond.