Featured Product: Iskrambol or Ice Scramble
Filipinos have a peculiar but gorgeous approach to their frozen desserts. The fundamentals involve ice and luxurious layers of tropical fruits and treats that you wouldn’t usually imagine to be under a scoop of shaved ice. But sometimes we’d like to have the simplest summer cooler for no particular reason, as long as it is reasonably satisfying to our sweet tooth. We want to feel the ice melting in our mouth and subsequently washes the tongue with decadent suggestions of milk and chocolate syrup.
We refer to Iskrambol or Ice Scramble, the Filipino version of slushy for children, which became the street food craze in the 1970s or ‘80s. Filipino millennials today have fond memories of their elementary and high school days when they raced towards an iskrambol cart parked outside their school during break time in a sweltering afternoon. Back when today’s concepts of iced beverages and frozen desserts haven’t existed yet, Filipino children could have this icy treat, mixed and served on the spot, for dirt cheap.
The vendor opened the lid of a large styrofoam cooler and revealed soft, fluffy ice that would remind you of snow but in enticing rose pink color. A scoop of ice goes into the cup until half full to allow for a thin layer of skim milk or condensed milk or banana extract to settle in the middle. The rest of the cup is almost filled to the brim with shaved ice. A bit of room on the top is reserved for colorful candy sprinkles, micro marshmallows, chocolate kisses, a dash of milk or extract, and a drizzle of either chocolate or strawberry syrup on top. Mix it, and you get a flurry of refreshing sweetness in every spoonful.