June 22, 2012

The Search for Halo-Halo and Turon (and somehow architecture was there)

It's summer time! Besides trying to work on a portfolio and working out (I promise to be stricter on the weight loss after my NYC trip), I'm trying my best at all means to enjoy the break. This time, after working out at the school gym...I decided to go the other way round of being healthy to indulge in some Filipino desserts!

Halo Halo - Filipino Dessert of shaved ice, fruits, beans, jelly, ubĂ© (sweet purple yam), condensed milk, leche flan (egg custard), pinipig (crispy rice, kinda like rice crispies). SO. DAMN. GOOD.

Ok, I'm not really a Filipino foodie. For the most part, my taste buds do not enjoy many Filipino Foods (most of the stews and soups)...I’m quite partial to Filipino desserts though...and my parents all the more find it shocking how I can easily try different cuisines before Filipino food (Thanks university friends). Some of my friends from the Kapisanan Filipino Arts Centre in Toronto were posting photos of Halo-Halo Desserts that you can get in downtown Toronto. I just had to go...and I made it my mission to get some iced-cold goodness even if it was out of my way.

To my surprise, I discovered a little interesting architecture intervention along the southeast corner of Dundas Street and Bathurst. A row of old shipping containers have been converted into mom and pop food stands selling food from the different cultures in our city. There have been many attempts to figure out how to transform cargo containers into buildings and it comes with a lot of challenges, especially the cost and durability of these shipping containers. However, I think it's kind of cool and neat how these little things contribute to the activity and energy of the city. There's an element of uniqueness and energy that reflects the kind of urban food stop typologies one would find in many non-western cultures. The format of these street vendors is quite similar to what you would find in the streets of Manila. Additionally, these types of food stands echo the grunge feel and vibrancy of Toronto's Kensington Market which is just a few blocks away. Discovering these little niches makes Toronto more interesting and dynamic for people to discover and explore. Gives small businesses a place to showcase different foods, and activates the intersection that much more. This adds diversity to the variety of street food that is rarely found in Toronto, well beyond the ubiquitous hot dog and Italian sausage stands you would find in Toronto. 

That ends my architecture spiel, now onto the real issue: my strong affinity to Filipino desserts:
Definitely worth having when you need to cool down in Toronto this summer.
TURON!!!! They were fresh out of the fryer and rolled around in sugar and syrup. SO DARN GOOD!
If you love street food that is not the ordinary hot dog or italian sausage, come and check out Kanto by Tita Flips! (Southern part of Dundas Street, east of Bathurst Street in front of the Scadding Court Community Centre) I discovered that not only do they serve Halo-Halo (Tagalog dessert called "Mix-Mix" consisting of shaved ice, condensed milk, and topped with various fruits, jellies, beans, custard and/or ice cream). At Kanto, they have alot of foods that all Filipinos love to enjoy from Lumpiang Shanghai (deep fried springroll filled with pork and shrimp), Ice Candy, Cassava Cake, Lechon (Roast Pork), among others. I just had to get some Turon for the commute home. (Turon is a Philippine dessert spring roll of banana and jackfruit

So if you're near the Toronto Western Hospital site, just south across the street on Dundas, you'll find Kanto!!!

1 comment:

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