Mamang Sorbetero! (The Ice Cream Man)-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
THE sun is out, the heat is on. But is it? With the rainy season not far behind, it is still warm and humid. And whether it is hot, humid, cold or in-between, we still like this cold treat any time of day or year!
Let’s be more “generic,” or shall I put it this way, the more popular name it is known for, “sorbetes,” and sometimes, it is also known as “dirty ice cream.”
Picture this: a man with a large native hat, enough to cover his head and partly his body, against the golden rays of the sun, wearing a comfortable and loose cotton long shirt and sometimes folded up till the elbows wearing rubber sandals, holding and ringing a bell on one hand and pushing the ice cream cart with the other hand and at the same time targeting the young ones and the young-once alike for a sale.
Well, that was many years ago. Because we seldom see them anymore. Unless, we are talking about the more modern, commercially prepared, more expensive ice cream selections being sold by uniformed individuals in their motorcycles or bicycles with a large umbrella and recorded music to attract buyers.
But then, worry not, because I can still see these vendors once in a while.
Compared to the more advertised ones, these are a lot cheaper, maybe not as creamy, but equally as good because most often, they are home-made and free of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
The one thing that I remember liking this ice cream during my younger years (even until now!) is the “cone” or what we call “apa.” But it is not just any cone because I like the “sugar cones.” The one that is sweet, thin, crisp and really delicious in every bite, with or without the ice cream.
But, of course, I like two cones, both with two separate ice cream flavors and “glued” together where I would then start enjoying the mixture of both flavors all at the same time! Just amazingly great!
And what unusual flavors would satisfy my taste buds the most? Exotic purple ice cream (ube, for short) and tropical golden mango! Truly a pair made in heaven!
Well, other mouth-watering Pinoy flavors like jackfruit (langka) and quezo (cheese) will be my next two top choices. And who would not like chocolate (tsokolate)?
But why do we call them “dirty” ice cream in the first place?
I know for one, it is called as such because they are being sold in the “streets” where dust and dirt “circulate.” What about flies and bugs? What about hygiene? But who cares?
Even with that in mind, we still liked them! Maybe because that was what we all can afford then, right? Besides, it can be bought practically right at our door steps! No lines, no hassles, no waiting! And if our “Mamang Sorbetero” becomes our regular guy, he would put extra scoops, much to our amazement and delight! Who can beat that?
Ah, well! It wasn’t as bad, say, 20 to 30 more years ago, right? When pollution was not even a by-word! And everything was simple, yet everyone enjoys life to the max! Simple pleasures, simple living, simple life, simple needs, simple wants.
What a life! So, before the ice cream melts, take the pleasure of enjoying them before it becomes an ice cold drink!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 12, 2012.