Monday, April 15, 2013

Magnolia Memories of Lolo

photo via
How close were you to your grandparents? There are those that have none (deceased), or don't have good relationships with them, or are too far away. Some are lucky, like my BFF, because they have a very close relationship with a grandparent. And hard as it is to believe, there are actually people my age (late 40s) that are already becoming grandparents themselves!

I only got to know one grandparent from each side of my family. On my dad's side, my grandfather died when I was about five. I saw my grandmother every once in a while til her death at the age of 98. She was trying so hard to make it to 100 because apparently you get a birthday card from the Queen - she was British. 

On my mom's side, her mother died when she was a child and so I only knew my grandfather. In the Philippines grandfather is "Lolo" and grandmother would have been "Lola". I infrequently saw Lolo since he was in the Philippines and I only got to see him when we traveled through. That means I have only a handful of Lolo memories. 

I have a few key memories, but one that was often repeated was going for ice cream at a Magnolia ice cream store. We would usually get banana splits so that my brother and I could share. My brother would eat the chocolate sauce mound and I would eat the strawberry. Pineapple was where we split the boat. 

Back then I wasn't into eating exotic flavors, even though in the Philippines they are popular. Not surprisingly they have mango, coconut, pineapple, lychee, avocado, and ube (taro). 
Ube is the same as taro

I happened upon the Magnolia ice cream booth at the Fancy Food Show in January and happily tasted all those wonderful tropical flavors. I was taken aback when I saw that they also had ice cream bars and one was of halo-halo. Halo-halo is usually a parfait like dessert of shaved ice, coconut milk, and then add-ins such as beans, tapioca pearls, fruit, and more. Magnolia has managed to make a frozen treat bar out of it! It's also available as an ice cream pint.

I was thrilled when a few weeks later I found an ice chest on my porch filled with Magnolia products. They gave me one of almost every flavor pint and bar! Jackpot! My freezer was filled with tropical frozen favorites!

I love that the coconut ice cream has real coconut milk and pieces of coconut in it. Avocado ice cream is hard to find, yet Magnolia has it.

Magnolia ice cream is distributed by Ramar Foods.  Ramar Foods has been manufacturing Magnolia in California since 1972 and distributes throughout the US and Canada. It's a family business that has grown over three generations to become the brand it is known for today. Magnolia can be found in some Asian grocery stores and Whole Foods Markets. In Sacramento, the biggest Filipino grocery is Seafood City on Mack Road.
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