Sago Tapioca or pearl balls

The recent craze is to serve the humble sago (tapioca or pearl balls) with milk and powdered artificial flavoring. I am not exactly into artificial flavoring, especially the ones with artificial sweeteners. They always leave a nasty aftertaste. What I did earlier today was to make some sago drinks the traditional way. Well, almost the traditional way. This is the kind of drink sold by ambulant vendors almost everywhere in the Philippines.

My 12-year-old daughter cooked the sago yesterday. The left photo shows the cooked and uncooked sago. Uncooked sago can be bought in most supermarkets. They come in different sizes and colors. My daughter concocted her sago drinks yesterday afternoon using condensed milk and drops of food color. She gave me a glass of sago in a milky blue liquid. Well, she has her own food and photo blog and her concoctions are for her to publish. I’ll just put up the links when she says she’s ready to go public.

Anyway, to make traditional sago drinks, you just need cooked sago, cold water, crushed ice, and molasses. The old-fashioned way is to use melted carnival or blocks of raw sugar. Using Arnibal does impart a more natural flavor but I don’t like the sediments that come with it so I used bottled molasses. Just place a few tablespoonfuls of cooked sago in a class add some cold water, sweeten with molasses, and top with some crushed ice. Great way to feel refreshed in the tropical summer heat.

Mango and melon fruit shake

Because mango season has long been over, mangoes these days aren’t all that sweet. They are what we describe as nag-a-agaw tamis on the verge of sweetness but with a sharp tang of the sourness that it is about to discard. Half a melon and one not-quite-sweet mango and the fruit shake was just perfect. My daughter, Sam, took the opportunity to play with my camera and she took step-by-step photos of the whole process while I made the mango and melon fruit shake. This recipe yields enough fruit shakes for three to four people.