Koolstix Barquillos en Sorbetes


koolstix barquillos ice cream

Wafer sticks are quite popular as ice cream topping/garnish. But lately, we have been spotting people strolling at the mall with this frozen novelty, a wafer stick and ice cream combo. Remember Jollibee’s Flip Floats? Well, this is another flipped concoction. Instead of a wafer stick stuck in ice cream, Koolstix is ice cream stuck in a wafer stick.

Actually, Koolstix has been around for quite some time in some malls. It is only this weekend that me and my sissy got around to trying a piece each.

First, you choose between a classic and a dark (chocolate-flavored) barquillos (wafer stick) which is then filled with soft serve ice cream. Yup, the same ice cream you get from a dispenser and not the ones that you scoop out of a tub. Ice cream options during our time of visit were vanilla or chocolate. The ice cream you picked is swirled around at the end of the barquillos and you’re asked if you prefer rainbow sprinkles  or chocolate syrup as topping.

The bottom end of the barquillos is rolled in paper which manages to keep the ice cream in. The barquillos is thicker than the usual plain barquillos I’ve been accustomed to so you are assured that it will take a while for it to turn soggy from being filled with ice cream. This also means that it will not fall apart once you take a bite. They’re fat too so sticking them into your mouth then biting will be a tough feat. I finished mine by biting at the edges.

My sister went for dark barquillos filled with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup swirled on top. I went for the options she didn’t choose.  Sissy likes her Koolstix, particularly noting how chocolate-y and creamy it is. For me, it’s creamy but not very smooth. It drips down the side of the barquillos rather fast.

As intriguing as it might be, ice cream filled barquillos is not as outlandish as it sounds. Or at least taste. I mean, barquillos taste very much like sugar cones, so what you have is essentially sugar cones in roll form.

At 8 inches for P25, get your Koolstix at Koolstix carts found in malls like SM Marilao, Greenhills and Robinsons Place Pangasinan (Yup, they’re mostly at provincial malls).  For more about Koolstix, visit their facebook page over at https://www.facebook.com/koolstix.

Mia’s Italian Water Ice


So it’s officially summer where I am and so far the highest temp to be recorded in Manila this year has been 35 degrees Celsius, which was last Friday. Malls can get pretty crowded during summer since most people tend to take refuge there and take advantage of its cool confines.


And icy cold food/beverage offerings sold by stores and kiosks. This weekend, we opted to try the offerings of one of the newer kiosks, Mia’s Italian Water Ice.  Flavors during our visit included root beer, banana, peach, pina colada, blue raspberry (yes, there is such a thing.), strawberry, tangerine, and honeydew. The ices are served in paper cups with a small plastic spoons A large scoop goes for P10, two scoops for P20,  P25 for 3 scoops. You can opt for one flavor or a combination of flavors per cup. We opted not to mix and match.The seller said that banana was among their best sellers so my aunt got that and I went for root beer.

Water Ice or Italian Ice according to wiki is similar to sorbet and undergoes the same process as that of ice cream so it’s not shaved ice (in which the flavor is poured on the shaved ice). It’s a frozen sweetened dessert flavored with fruit purees, juices or concentrates or other natural or artificial food flavorings. My brother, after sneaking a spoonful, thinks Mia’s Italian Water Ice is a lot like Slurpee. Only it takes far longer for it to turn liquid. I wonder if it tastes no different than the snow cones the penguins of Madascar so obviously love.

Mia’s Italian Water Ices were quite sweet. This is particularly evident in my cup, where the root beer flavor is quite muted. And so I like the banana more than the root beer. The flavor swirls around your mouth. It has none of that bitter taste I’ve come to associate with banana flavored stuff.

We may be trying out more flavors in the next visit, possibly mix and match them up, then head on to try more cold desserts since there are still a lot more summer weekends before the rainy season’s upon us. Ice cream filled barquillos is quite intriguing.

Polland Hopia


Brother brought these treats home when he dropped by before he and his family left for Sydney. More Chinese New Year related goodies – locally produced hopia.

polland hopia1

Polland Hopia is one of the better hopia I have ever tasted.  So once the packages were left on the table, I pounced on one of them with the kitchen shears.  The labels recommend keeping the pastries in the refrigerator when storing and popping them in the oven for 5 minutes before serving. I have no qualms eating them in whatever way. That time, right away. I just wanted a hot beverage on the side.

While I was liberating a tea bag from its paper envelope, my sister observed that it would have been better if things were matchy-matchy, like the Red Mongo’s in the red wrapper, the Wintermelon in the green wrapper and the Mongo Special in the blue. Just as the Ube or Purple Yam is in a purple foil wrapper. She may have a point but I think people are already used to the Red Mongo being in the green wrapper.


I am not a fan of the Wintermelon (Hopia Baboy – Pork Hopia) variant as I don’t like pork fat if it ain’t in chicharon or bacon form.  I could taste pork fat in the pastry but couldn’t find it in the list of ingredients. No lard either. There’s corn oil instead.  And onions too. And I could definitely identify the winter melon in it. Growing up, we had wintermelon or kondol plants in our backyard and of course , we’ve often had jars of winter melon preserves in our refrigerator. Of the four variants, this is the only one with crunchy bits. My dad and my sister are all for this variant.

Of the four, I like the Mongo Special the best. It has yellow mung bean paste which is both smooth and creamy. The Red Mongo variant of course has a red mung bean paste filling which is characteristically a bit maligasgas, a tiny bit course in texture. Ube is purple yam and is my second favorite. The filling of ube halaya is just as smooth as the Mongo Special’s filling but denser.

What I like about Polland hopia is how the filling and crust come together. The filling’s thick, not overly sweet, soft and generally smooth. Consistency is consistent. The crust, crumbly, flaky and bland provides a good counterpoint. It may be on the thin side in and yet, as a chew on a bite, I find it proportional to the fillings.

For more about Polland Hopia, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PollandHopia.