23 August 2009

Can I spit this out?

I love ethnic food, and I love Kansas City's annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Terrible name, though. We call it the ethnic cleansing festival. Yeah, I know.
Usually everything is pretty good, albeit much of the spicy or foreign flavors are clearly toned-down for its audience. That's understandable. As a matter of principle, I pretty much refuse to buy anything that's easily available elsewhere. That means no Chinese food, bratwursts, tacos, that sort of thing.
This year the Philippines booth was serving halo-halo. I've read of it, Dale whipped up a praiseworthy batch on an episode of Top Chef, and I've had a similar Asian dessert of crushed ice, fruit and condensed milk at Sung Son that I really enjoyed. What could possibly go wrong?
Oh god it was unspeakably nasty. From beneath, it looked like somebody chundered a bean burrito.
Granted, that's not a fair way to characterize any food.
That thing at the top was supposed to be flan, but tasted more like a hunk of scrambled egg. Those other things that look like beans are beans — just canned beans, not the sweetened preserved type I expected. Missing from the photo was the cheery chunk of green gelatin (it sank.)
All my friends are good sports and obligingly tasted it; thus, the $3 wasn't entirely wasted — their expressions of horror were priceless.

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