Sira-sira store: Summer’s best-A A +A
By Ober Khok
Friday, March 8, 2013
THE days have definitely become hotter, an all-time clue that summer has arrived. Since we are not the experts in meteorology, we turn to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Pagasa forecaster Jun Galang said that with the exit of the northeast monsoon and predominance of the north Pacific high-pressure ridge, the Philippines has entered summer.
It’s official, then. So bring out your thin summer clothes, the ultra-slim bathing togs, the sun glasses and the tanning lotions.
“But, uncle, what is a meteorologist and what is meteorology?” my nephew Pannon asked. ”Is it about meteors.”
Definitely summer is a magnet for cold food. What would you consider the top cold foods to have when the sun is at its zenith and fiercest? Here’s what I think as tops for my chops, in no particular order because I have not done a survey. And I have a nephew to educate about meteorology.
Ice cream. This item appears early on the list because ice cream is super-great as heat killer. For added interest, top vanilla ice cream on warm chocolate cake. The contrast of temperatures will be a conversation piece.
Under this category are sherbets, ice pops and even cold yogurt drinks.
Fresh buko. I have spotted a couple of street corners dotted with makeshift carts loaded with young coconuts. It’s very Pinoy to have these summer coolers. The vender tops off the green husk and accurately slices out a portion to make a hole, from which a buyer can drink the sweetness of summer. Or a buyer can have the tender coconut meat scraped into ribbons and mixed with the coconut water. Whichever way anyone has it, it’s delicious.
Traditionally, fresh buko water is mixed with milk and sugar. Ice is added, and the cold soup is ladled into chilled dessert bowls. Sometimes, a creative homemaker will add pineapple chunks or cantaloupe cubes.
Improve the presentation of buko by reserving the water for another purpose (maybe add apple juice to make a frosty drink). Now top the buko with ice cream of your choice.
Cold salads. Fruit salad, green salad—as long as it’s ice cold, it fits the bill as a summer cooler. What could be more refreshing than something creamy and bursting with juicy fruits or buko with sensuous cubes of flavored jelly? Green salad, of course.
A cold green salad can have dried tomatoes, pomelo segments, olives, arugula—the works! Just serve it cold and the homemaker has created an instant summer balm for the stomach.
Frosty drinks. I know I have done this last week, but it’s on the list since it’s very easy to create a summer solace using a tall glass filled with ice cubes, a brightly colored julep and mint leaves for accent.
Fruits. Cold fruits can lower the heat in your body. Oranges, apples and pineapples make good snacks when eaten cold. There is a burst of flavor that seems like there’s a party in your mouth.
Burgers. I know. They’re hot but when paired with a cold soft drink, it can make a person feel like summer does not have to be ice cream all the time.
Dips. No, not dips into the sea or waterfalls. Fondue is the classier name of dips, and they spell summer. Rich melted chocolate as medium for sliced fruits, cookies and cakes (cut into cubes) can make summer seem festive.
Stuffings and toppings. Crepes can be filled with buko and cream, or fruit salad. Hot cakes can be topped with ice cream. For a change, fill fresh lumpia with sotanghon, a mixture of sautéed chicken, carrots and cashew nut—but serve it really cold. It will shock your senses.
Now I must get out of here. I have a nephew to educate and a summer destination to take.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 09, 2013.