The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

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Junior McKayla Mar’s favorite cultural food is “halo-halo,” a dessert from the Philippines. Layering shaved ice, condensed milk and a variety of toppings, halo-halo — which means “mix-mix” in Tagalog — is a refreshing dessert full of contrasting textures. “You can honestly put anything you want in it, but you’ll usually find ice cream, condensed milk, fruit, beans or jelly in it,” Mar said.

Mar’s family makes halo-halo after finishing meals. Because of its convenience and flexible recipe, family members bring their own ingredients to personalize the dessert. “It’s just a really nice treat that I associate with my family,” she said. “Food has a special meaning in Filipino culture. Our culture is centered around food and giving, and we express our love through making and giving food.”

Recipe | Ingredients:

• 2 ripe mangoes
• 2 cups of shaved ice
• 2 cups of evaporated milk
• 4 scoops of ice cream of choice
• 1 large ripe banana
• 1 cup of young shredded coconut, fresh or bottled
• 1/2 cup of sweet corn or chickpeas
• 1 cup of firm gelatin, set into a gel
• 1 cup of ripe jackfruit
• 1 cup of cooked sweet yams
• 1/2 cup of nata de coco
• Optional toppings: nuts, leche flan, corn flakes, jellies


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