When in Manila, there’ll always be that one Pinoy snack you’d always remember growing up in the Philippines. To many, one of them would have to be taho. Taho is a sweet snack made of soft/silken tofu, arnibal (caramelized brown sugar and vanilla syrup), and sago (tapioca balls). The Malaysians and Indonesians have a similar version of this and it’s called tahu.
I remember as a kid I would wake up to the sound of the magtataho (taho vendor) yelling “Tahooo!, Tahooo!,”. And even before I go on with my morning rituals, I’d run out of our house to catch Manong magtataho (taho vendor) and ask him to stay. Then I’d grab my coin purse, an empty mug and I’d give it to Manong to fill it up with the hot taho. Then, breakfast is ready! Ahh, good memories.
I remember taho back then was as cheap as Php 2-3 for half a mug and Php 5 for a mugful. Now taho costs Php 5-10 for a regular plastic cup and Php 20 for a large one. Not exactly rocket science lol.
I was used to eating taho for breakfast. But now, I often eat it for merienda after work, courtesy of Manong magtataho who constantly drops by the building where I work. What I love about Manong’s taho is that the arnibal has ripe jackfruit bits which makes it more flavorful. And if I’m lucky enough, I get to have some of the fruit bits on my cup. Yum! I think I’m gonna buy one for myself later.
Over the years, many variations of taho have emerged in the market. Aside from the original version, it now comes in flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, pandan and vanilla. There are also taho stalls found in some malls to the convenience of shoppers and foodies alike. But if you ask me, nothing comes close to the taho which the vendors carry in two large aluminum buckets over their shoulders like Atlas day in and day out. It’s a labor of love unmatched by any tofu specialty store out there.
Serve it warm or cold, with a spoon, sip it, or slurp it straight from the cup. Whichever way you want to have it, taho is love at first, well slurp lol.