10 New Pinoy Ice Cream Flavors You Need to Try
From nangkasuy to laing to..wait, what? These are not your lola's sorbetes.
(SPOT.ph) In Batangas, there is a street vendor who sells what could possibly be one of the most bizarre ice cream flavors in the Philippines. It's bulalo, based on the beloved Pinoy soup, made with beef stock and peppered with real beef bits. As far as we know, Metro Manila has yet to take part in this exotic brand of ice cream—not that we're the most conventional sort when it comes to these frozen treats. We're no slouch in the kooky and crazy and brilliant. We do have Ian Carandang, after all.
Just because it's August and we want to proclaim our being Filipino, SPOT.ph has rounded up ice cream flavors that celebrate NoyPi flair. There are safe options like classic local desserts turned into ice cream, but the more daring ones convert classic ulam into something sweet. Ready?
This article treats gelato and..."non-Italian" ice cream equally.
Alab's Laing Ice Cream (P100)
When Chef Tatung Sarthou moved back to the Tomas Morato neighborhood, he whipped up a new line of ice cream that takes inspiration from popular Pinoy snacks. There are safer, ready-to-be-ice-cream ones like Kamote Q (which reminds us a little bit of caramel ice cream), Quezo de Bola (the boldest one you'll ever taste), and Mangga, but the standout is the Laing. It takes a bit of courage to break the ice and down the first spoonful, but it's actually not as strange as it sounds. As ice cream, this veggie dish is pretty similar to matcha (and you know everybody loves that), with a kick of heat at the end.
Alab is at Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City. Read more about Alab.
Fog City's Ensaymada Ice Cream (P300/pint, P580/quart, P1,110/half gallon)
This is simply amazing. The buttery flavors, the chunks. It will blow your mind. You know what else we love? The solid chunks of processed cheese that make their way into every spoonful. Fog City collaborated with Homemade Treasures whose ensaymada recipe dates back to the 1930s! Think the decadence of brown butter, but localized into something even better.
Click here for a list of Fog City resellers.
Sarsa's Piaya Ice Cream (P145)
This dessert is almost as cultish as Chef JP Anglo's Sizzling Kansi and Sinigang Fried Chicken. It's an ice cream sandwich: two caramelized bread discs embrace rich ice cream (get ube for something truly Pinoy) doused heavily with muscovado caramel and sprinkled with pinipig. It's tempting to eat with your hands, but keep it on the plate. You'll want to wipe off every drop.
Sarsa has branches at Forum, 7th Street, Bonifacio Global City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Sarsa.
Macapuno from Carmen's Best
The roster of flavors by Carmen's Best is slightly hokey—funny enough, our personal favorite is called "Hokey Pokey." Here's a place where you'll find more classic than crazy, with bestsellers like avocado, butter pecan, honey, hazelnut, cookie dough, coconut, cheese in punny names like He's Not Worth It or Nuts About You. These flavors may be standard, but the quality is not. Case in point, Paco Magsaysay's Macapuno is divine: equal parts sweet and nutty, it's almost like enjoying the candied treat.
Click here for a list of Carmen's Best resellers.
Sebastian's Sapin-Sapin Ice Cream (P100/single)
It is hard to pick a favorite from Ian Carandang's selection of inspired flavors, so we're going for the safe bet—the one that started his popular line of kakanin-based ice cream, the Sapin-Sapin. Sebastian's uses malagkit rice in the base so this entire range features a heavier texture. More colorful than the rice treat it's derived from, this gorgeous Sapin-Sapin ice cream flaunts a bright assembly of ube, coconut cream, pandan, and langka, flourished with crunchy latik. Other local flavors are the now-legendary Mangga't Bagoong, Champorado at Dilis, Puto Bumbong, and Bibingka Espesyal. Ian's more flamboyant flavors are seasonal (we're still waiting for the return of the Bicool Express Ice Cream, darn it!), but the Sapin-Sapin is usually available.
Sebastian's has branches at The Podium, Mandaluyong City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; and Regis Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. Read more about Sebastian's.
BONO's Frozen Taho Gelato (P85 to P200++)
BONO's conversion of this street treat isn't available as often as we'd like, but catch them on a good day (or just wait around on their Facebook page for announcements), and you'll be rewarded with this yummy cooler. The readily available Mango Ube Symphony may have won the award at this year's Gelato World Tour, but this taho wins for being true-to-flavor. The gelato is soy-based, and topped with luscious coconut syrup. Real tapioca completes the illusion.
Manila Creamery's Mangga't Suman Gelato (P120/cup with one flavor, P150/cup with two flavors, P450/pint)
The men of Manila Creamery are as hot as their ice cream is cool. Much has been said about the Black Sesame with slivers of dark chocolate, but the Mangga't Suman is stellar as well. These young start-ups studied at the Carpigiani Gelato University (same as Chef Zarah Manikan of the aforementioned BONO) in Italy and they emphasize deep and authentic flavors in every pint they sell. The Mangga't Suman is speckled with real mango and rice bits to truly replicate that experience.
Roasted Forbidden Rice Ice Cream (P55 to P95++) from Papa Diddi's Handcrafted Ice Cream
Owner and ice cream artisan Paul Perez makes it his personal mission to highlight the Philippines in every ice cream he produces. In his growing arsenal, he already has Champ-O-Rado, Farm Cheese (which uses kesong puti to shake up your usual cheese ice cream), and Exhibit K (featuring corn from Katipunan vendors), but it's one of his original flavors that catches our eye and taste buds. The Roasted Forbidden Rice uses black rice from the Mt. Province to make a one-of-a-kind nutty profile.
Papa Diddi is at 168 Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. Read more about Papa Diddi's Handcrafted Ice Cream.
Fruits in Ice Cream's Nangkasuy Ice Cream (P45 to P290)
This proudly Pinoy combination is a winning treat of sweet and nutty. FIC uses fully ripened (super sweet and flavorful) jackfruit and turns it into a puree that's used to set up the ice cream base. Finally, to round out the flavors, bits of jackfruit preserves and toasted cashew nuts make their way into the final product. It's a safe choice, but we're choosing this over their more...exotic Durian.
Click here for a list of Fruits in Ice Cream branches.
Tibok-Tibok Ice Cream (P450/pint) from Food MNL
Chef Jam Melchor started selling his translation of this kakanin at his old restaurant, Bite Contemporary Cuisine, but now that that ship has sailed, he makes it available via food delivery service Food MNL. Tibok-Tibok originates from Pampanga, made with carabao's milk, glutinous rice powder, and cornstarch. Chef Jam's version, which is embellished with corn, also calls to mind another Pinoy favorite, the maja blanca.
For orders, contact Food MNL at 0917-412-2210; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos from the SPOT.ph archives or from the establishments' official Facebook pages