Halo-Halo

Flickr / dbgg1979 / CC BY 2.0

Bon Appétit’s Westernized Halo-Halo Is Received Poorly

Contributor
Bon Appétit’s “reimagined” version a Filipino dessert includes gummy bears and popcorn

Although culinary innovation is usually applauded, this take on a classic Filipino dish was far from well-received. Bon Appétit’s “Ode to Halo-Halo” struck readers as anything but, instead receiving hordes of disapproval from the Filipino community on social media and a one-star review on its website. Although the piece was originally published in July, the story resurfaced recently and sparked as much negative attention as ever in the last days of October, which is also Filipino American History Month.

Halo-halo, which translates from Tagalog to English as “mix-mix,” is a sweet, eclectic Filipino dessert that traditionally combines leche flan, ube ice cream, macapuno (a naturally occurring coconut mutant) strips, jackfruit, rice flakes, gelatin cubes, and more, as listed on the Filipino Kitchen.

Bon Appétit’s concoction, however, used ingredients such as bananas, brown sugar, blueberries, lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and shaved ice with gummy bears and popcorn to top it off, with little insight into the traditional dessert, the Huffington Post reported.

Twitter users called it “an abomination” and wrote, “Hey @bonappetit, maybe contact a Filipino before posting this gentrified excuse for a #HaloHalo recipe.”

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In September, Bon Appétit made a similar mistake in a video titled “This is How You Should Be Eating Pho,” featuring a white chef. The controversial video was promptly removed from the site after being called racist.