I never really understood why it’s called “dirty ice cream”. It sure didn’t look and taste dirty to me My afternoons as a child, at around 4pm, was filled with the music of ice cream bells. The chorus from passing vendors could be heard around the neighborhood , walking through streets greeted by hungry kids.
With its festive patterns and colors, it is such a happy sight and I’m glad I still see them around Manila!
The cool thing about dirty ice cream is the staple selection of flavors: sweet cheese, ube (purple yam), chocolate (tastes like Milo!) and strawberry (which really tastes like pineapple). And when it’s in season, we get lucky and get avocado ice cream. I’m not sure if the flavors have changed over the years but these were flavors of my childhood.
The cart usually carries two kinds of cones — the typical dark orange wafer cone and what is called a sugar cone. It’s crunchier and sweeter than the wafer cone. Kind of like the consistency of a fortune cookie which I like. Back in the day, we used to come out of the house and bring our own bowls so we could buy more (we had bigger appetites back then)! And because I eat so slow and end up making a mess, I buy mine in a plastic cup and pay extra for a cone and put it on top of my ice cream like a hat.
One must be creative even with the simplest of things, I believe.
Oh! See that little bag on top of the box of cones? Those are buns. It seems some people like to make an ice cream sandwich with bread. It sounds odd but it works for many. I thought it was unusual but when I walk along Orchard Road here in Singapore, I see old ice cream vendors selling the same sweet concoction!