Tilapia ice cream? Labuyo Leche Flan? Coffee made from poo? In this article, we’ve listed down the weirdest and most bizarre foods in the Philippines, from unthinkable flavor combinations to downright exotic preparations. How many of these have you tried?
Unique Ice Cream Flavors
The Buzzz Café’s Malunggay, Spicy Ginger, and Durian Ice Cream
The Buzzz Café, Bohol Bee Farm’s café and pasalubong center, starts out alright with typical flavors like Mango, Buko, Chocolate, and Ube. Read further down and it stings with variants like Malunggay (moringa), Nipa Fruit, Durian, and Spicy Ginger. It looks like someone’s taking ‘it’s more fun in the Philippines’ a little too seriously!
Price: Two scoops here would cost you P50.
Where to buy: The Buzzz Café has four locations in Bohol: Bohol Bee Farm, Alona Beach, Island City Mall, and Loboc Tourism Complex
Photo: Bohol Bee Farm's Website
Sebastian’s' Green Mango and Bagoong Ice Cream, Sapin-Sapin Ice Cream, and Champorado with Dilis Ice Cream
Sebastian’s takes ice cream making to the next level by experimenting with unthinkable flavor concoctions. When he first started creating ice creams in Sebastian’s, owner Ian Carandang was brazen enough to come up with Once in a Blue Moon, a signature flavor with bleu cheese, Palawan honey, and walnuts. Then he progressed to offering Mangga’t Suman and Frozen Taho. The craze got through the roof with flavors like Green Mango and Bagoong Ice Cream, Sapin-Sapin Ice Cream, and Champorado with Dilis Ice Cream.
Where to buy: Podium, Regis Center, SM Mall of Asia
Photo: Sebastian's Ice Cream's Website
CLSU’s Tilapia Ice Cream
There were plenty of fish in the sea during Mercato’s Ultimate Taste Test 7, but one stood out quite remarkably.
If Bohol Bee Farm’s durian ice cream and Sebastian’s green mango with bagoong scoop made you feel a little iffy, then this news about the existence of a Tilapia ice cream would probably make you scratch your head. Made with “tilapia fillet, all-purpose cream, condensed milk, fresh milk, chopped walnut, and diced cheese,” the Tilapia Ice Cream concocted by Prof. Dana G. Vera Cruz of the Central Luzon State University’s College of Home Science and Industry is no fish tale. Those who have tried a scoop attest that it doesn’t taste fishy at all and is not much different from a regular vanilla ice cream.
Where to buy: Chives Café, Central Luzon State University, Nueva Ecija. To inquire about this product, contact Professor Dana Vera Cruz through firstname.lastname@example.org or +63906 - 384 – 3707.
Photo: DOST-PCAARD's website
In Mad for Garlic get the Garlic Sprinkle Gelato, a garlic ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup and paired with a garlic cookie triangle. Fret not. Even with garlic, it’s not an assault to your sweet tooth. Oddly, the pairing works, and the garlicky taste is more of an afterthought than the main focus.
Garlic Sprinkle Gelato
Krazy Garlik on the other hand offers Crema Catalana-- a Spanish-style crème brulee topped with garlic, and Crepe Dynamite, with sweet slices of mangoes, peaches and bananas wrapped in homemade crepe and layered with Nutella. Careful caramelizing stripped off the sharp spicy flavors of the cloves and all you’ll get to taste is a sweet garlic note, just ever slightly discernible in a mouthful of crepe mush.
Chocolate Labuyo Leche Flan
Most of the items listed on Chef Sharwin Tee’s The Quirky Bacon menu are familiar with a unique twist. But the most twisted of all has got to be the Chocolate Labuyo Leche Flan (P245). This quirky dessert has dark chocolate, siling labuyo, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar and whipped cream in it and is likened to a “fireball encased in sumptuous dark chocolate flan.”
Chocolate Labuyo Leche Flan
Gumamela and Santol Chocolates
Christian Valdes and Marvin Bagube, two surfers with a taste for the weird and extreme, put up CMBV Confectionaires,Co. which specializes in unique Filipino-flavored chocolates. Most talked about among their creations are their Gumamela flower and Santol Chocolates. Gumamela, as most of you would recall is that ubiquitous flower in the neighborhood used for making bubbles. Now you can pop it in your mouth and enjoy it in chocolate form.
Where to buy: CMBV Confectionaires,Co. 49 Bayani Road, Suite I Fort Bonifacio Taguig City Metro Manila | (02) 986 0268 | email@example.com
Photo: CMBV's Facebook Page
Kapeng Alamid a.k.a. Civet Cat Poop Coffee
Bote Central Inc. collects wild civet cat droppings on the different forest floors of Philippine mountains to make Alamid coffee-- the world's rarest and most expensive brew. These civet cats binge on cherries, partially digest them, and then excrete them. The enzymes from the stomach of the civet are said to be responsible for the unique fruity flavor the Alamid coffee has. The droppings, which the coffee farmers painstakingly search for amidst all the leaves and twigs of the forest grounds, are washed, dried, and sorted into different categories: Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa. These beans will undergo a few more processes before they end up in a cup.
Civet Cat Droppings
A kilo of Coffee Alamid clocks in at $974.40 (that’s P42,698.21 in today’s rate). Why the insanely high price? Primarily because of the very limited supply. “Our one year supply, which we harvest from November to May, wouldn't even fill a small truck! The beans are that limited,” Director of Systems and Operations of Bote Central Inc. explains. According to him, the process of collecting the beans is also very laborious. An entire day spent at the forest grounds will only result in less than 5 kilos of droppings.
Where to buy: online, at Bote Central Inc.’s website.
Alamid Coffee-- world's rarest brew
Soup no. 5
Okay, this will sound like a cock-and-bull story but there are places in the Philippines where you can order Soup no. 5 (or ‘lanciao’ in Cebu) made with chopped bull’s testicles and phallus. The soup, said to be an aphrodisiac, purportedly makes a man bullish in the bedroom. Unfortunately, we can't find men who are bold enough to confirm its "powers".
Where to buy: Café Mezzanine above the Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli in Binondo.
Soup no. 5
Photo: James Espinoza
Fried Frogs and Crickets
Everybody's Café is one of Pampanga's longest standing restaurants. The display counter a few steps away from the entrance showcases different Kapampangan classics that are available for the day. Most ordered are their bright orange, creamy, and succulent Morcon, and their Fried Hito with Buro, Wrapped in Mustasa Leaves.
The above-said dishes are excellent but above all else, foodies take the trip to Everybody's Cafe for their exotic specialties: Fried Camaru (cricket) and Stuffed Betute (frog). Betute is pretty easy to tackle because once you get past its gangly appearance, you'd find that it just tastes like chicken wings. Camaru on the other hand is a lot more challenging because no amount of deep frying can rid its distinct “insecty” zing.
Balut (Fertilized Duck Embryo)
And last but definitely not the least, we have the infamous balut, Pinoys’ favorite culinary hazing tool to uninitiated foreigners. Balut is essentially boiled fertilized duck eggs. The good ones, called balut sa puti, are around 17 days old. At this stage, the chick is barely recognizable and can easily be slurped. Past this age, the chick develops its features and almost always sends foreigners running to the opposite direction.
Bravo de Balut by Crisostomo
Are you a culinary daredevil? What other weird/bizarre/exotic/unique foods have you tried in the Philippines? Let us know in the comments section so we can challenge our palates, too!