Even though I don’t shop there often Phil-Am Food Market fascinates me. Maybe it’s because I feel there’s much more to learn about Filipino cuisine. Then again, maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to work up the nerve and intestinal fortitude to purchase their balut, the infamous partially developed chicken fetus. Yesterday I browsed the aisles of this cozy store located on the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue known as Little Manila. I didn’t see any balut, but I wasn’t looking that hard either. I did, however, spy something almost as strange lurking amongst the frozen desserts: Selecta Quezo Real Mellorine.
What’s better than ice cream? Ice cream fortified with cheese for a dairy double whammy. Or as the label puts it, “Heavenly cheese mellorine loaded with bits of premium cheddar cheese.” Since there were no smaller containers available, I grabbed a half-gallon tub of this freaky frozen dessert. The girl working the register was surprised by my purchase, but was quick to tell me that it's really good.
I wouldn’t characterize this bizarre frozen confection as crazy good. More like plain crazy. Flipping the lid off the half-gallon tin revealed a shocking yellow-orange colored mass that smelled likeSmartfood. Thankfully it didn’t taste like popcorn ice cream, that would be just too weird. It had an intriguing sweet-savory taste thanks to the combination of cheese and coconut milk (among other things.) It's simultaneously salty, sweet and cheesy. And, yes, there is real cheddar in there. I'm not sure it's premium cheddar, but chewing through the roughly grated partially frozen cheese provides a nice textural contrast to the creamy mellorine. In case you’re wondering, mellorine is an ersatz ice cream where vegetable fat is used in place of animal fat. As far as I can tell though, this frozen treat is made with animal fat. In any case, Quezo Real Mellorine, strikes me as an easier taste to acquire than balut. I'll be working my way through the rest of the container as summer draws to a close this weekend.
Phil-Am Food Market
70-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (map) 718-899-1797
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