As we approach the end of our time in the tropics I thought I'd touch on some beverages, soups, and scarier food items that are not exactly what you'd find in your local Dairy Queen.
First, our hot chocolate. This is not your watery, cocoa-from-a-powder stuff, a la Swiss Miss or Hershey's. This is the thick, chocolatey, melted-a-chocolate-bar-into-a-hot-drink, Spanish stuff. It comes in round tablets that we stir into milk laboriously over a hot stove with a batidor. We serve it with churros or pan de sal or ensaymadas or just drink the yummy stuff by itself (less commonly).
Ice cream is western. Sometimes I find western foods here that are even better than what I've had "Stateside" (my cousin Gaita's successful restaurant chain, Cibo, serves the best pasta dishes outside of Italy, cooked al dente every time). The reverse is not true, however - Asian food is never better there than here. What makes our ice cream so rich and creamy is carabao milk. I guess it's kind of like eating mozzarella di bufala in Italy. The milk from these draft animals is pure heaven. So ice cream made from it is...well, heavenly.