My Favorite Food
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Throughout the world, there are thousands of foods to choose from. Everyone has a certain dish and a certain way to prepare it and enjoy. Penang is truly a food paradise. It has a good mix of traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan dishes and many of them can be found in hawker stalls throughout George Town. My favourite food is … Ice Kacang
The first ice-cold dessert were ice balls made from finely-grated ice, packed into a ball and topped with a type of coloured sugar coated syrup, typically held and eaten using the hands. The ice ball was a common sight in the 1950s and 1960s and sold along the roads and street corners, usually by push cart drink vendors wanting to supplement their income. Traditionally, a special ice machine is used to churn out the shaved ice used in the dessert, originally hand cranked but now more often motorized. Nowadays, ais kacang is mostly known as ‘ABC’. Formerly, it was made of only shaved ice and red beans, though the number and diversity of ingredients has since expanded. Today, ais kacang generally comes in bright colours, and with different fruit cocktails and dressings.
In Malaysia, almost all variants now contain a large serving of attap chee (palm seed), red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and cubes of agar agar as common ingredients. Other less-common ingredients include aloe vera, cendol or ice cream. A final topping of evaporated milk, condensed milk, or coconut milk is drizzled over the mountain of ice along with red rose syrup and sarsi syrup. Some stalls have even introduced novelty toppings such as durian, chocolate syrup and ice cream. There are also versions that served with just a drizzling of gula melaka syrup instead.