Text and Photos by : Leona Nepomuceno
I don’t really mind that it’s hot and humid in Singapore most of the time. It gives me the perpetual excuse to look around for snacks and desserts to keep my body temperature and more importantly mindset , cool. This is not a difficult fete at all. These can easily be found along the sidewalk s of Orchard road , food hawkers stalls and food courts, from Chinatown to Holland Village. It is also budgeting savvy! From sliced fruits to “sliced” ice cream, move over Haagen dazs!
Ice cream is commonly served in scoops in Cup, cone, tumblers, waffles and buns. But have you seen ice cream sliced and served either in a piece of sandwich bread or in between rectangular wafers? Right across the Tang’s Department Store on Orchard Road is a mobile ice cream stall with “uncle” (Philippine counterpart is “manong”) slicing carton bricks of Selecta ice cream. Most of the flavours are Asian in origin like, mango, red bean, durian, coconut and sweet corn. For those who prefer western flavours there are chocolate, peppermint choco chip, blueberry, strawberry ripple, mocha and chocolate chip.
My favourite flavour is coconut with wafers. My first bite is pure pleasure of semi -sweet crunchy delight of the thin wafer followed by the creamy yet firm confection brick with tiny bits of chewy coconut- chances are this is macapuno. Yummmm……… and I bask in the cool of the moment. The ice cream is priced SGD 1 per serving.
How many times can one hear about choosing fruits for desserts as a healthy option? More than enough, I guess. With people on the go and in a rush, they opt for fast food and food to go. In Singapore, fruits are also sold conveniently “to go”. Oh yes, they have these in Bangkok and Manila too. Personally , I find this idea very handy and economical. Why would you want to buy a whole dragon fruit when you only want a slice? And for tourists and travellers this is the most convenient way to get your daily dose of vitamins, fiber and fructose without having to buy a whole fruit that you can’t really finish. Fruit stalls which sell slices of fresh fruits from melons to sour sop (guyabano) and green apples(!) in sticks can be found in most food courts and hawkers stalls. Price range from SGD .80-3.
Ice kachang is a Malay dessert sweetened with red and green colored light syrup, condensed milk, red beans and palm fruit or kaong. It has evolved into a versatile dessert or snack with the use of fresh fruits such as strawberries, mangoes, pineapple and for the adventurous , pureed dragon fruit.
Lactose-intolerant people will not miss out on these cool concoctions. The black tea jelly (black gulaman) with palm fruit (kaong) with light syrup is very ideal for weight watchers as well. But the real treat in eating this snack is the sensation of chewing several kinds of texture and yet savor the refreshing flavour of black tea with the slight sourness of the palm fruit and just a wisp of cold sweetness .
Another light and refreshing version of these icey desserts is the fruit cocktail (canned ) and almond gelatine with crushed ice and served with calamansi. This would be the best dessert right after a fiery lunch of chili crabs. A bowl of this dessert will definitely clean your palate to get ready for the next gustatory adventure.
These icey desserts can be found in Bedoc Hawkers Center.