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Philippine Taho: Sweet Tofu Delight

by April Mycenae

Taho is a popular snack in the Philippines, often enjoyed during breakfast or as a mid-morning treat, it is a healthy alternative for breakfast.

It consists of three primary ingredients:

1. Silken Tofu: This is the primary component, a soft, silken tofu that has a pudding-like consistency. It is slightly sweetened and has a smooth texture.

2. Arníbal: A sweet syrup made from caramelized brown sugar and sometimes with vanilla. It gives taho its distinct sweet taste.

3. Sago Pearls: Similar to tapioca pearls, these are small, translucent balls made from the starch of the cassava plant.

They're boiled until they become chewy and are often mistaken for the similar-looking boba used in bubble tea.

Preparation and Serving:

Taho is served warm. The silken tofu is scooped into a cup, sweet arníbal syrup is poured over it, and then it's topped with the sago pearls. Vendors typically call out "Taho!" as they walk the streets in the early morning, carrying large containers of the three components, ready to serve eager customers.

Cultural Significance:

Taho holds a special place in the hearts of many Filipinos.

It is more than just a snack—it's a part of childhood memories and cultural traditions.

The image of the taho vendor walking the streets, calling out for customers, is iconic in many neighborhoods.

It's not uncommon for children to rush out to the streets with their cups and coins in hand, eagerly waiting for their warm cup of taho.

Over the years, there have been innovations and variations to the traditional taho.

Some now come in flavors like strawberry or chocolate, especially in tourist areas or specialty shops.

If you're ever in the Philippines, trying taho from a street vendor is a must-do experience!

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