HAVING sated my curiosity and appetite at PB &Co., I suggested to my friend that we head over to the Sebastian’s Ice Cream stall downstairs.
Novelty fades quickly. If you choose to use novelty as a selling point in some of your products or services, make sure that your other non-novelty offerings are as good or even better than that novelty item.
Sebastian’s Ice Cream is a local enterprise that specializes in making artisanal ice creams. While they sell classic and beloved flavors, they are also constantly pushing the envelope with experimental flavors, mostly based on local cuisine. And again, it was my curiosity that drove me to check out one of their unique offerings, the Green Mango and Bagoong ice cream.
Fresh green mango is a traditional street snack in Asia (Thailand and Philippines, as far as I know), which is usually paired with bagoong or shrimp paste. If you haven’t tried shrimp paste yet, it’s a highly aromatic (or stinky) paste made out of crushed and fermented tiny shrimp. It’s very salty, and can be mixed with vinegar, sugar, chiles, and other spices to balance the flavor. In the Philippines it is usually sauteed with garlic, onions, and white vinegar to kill any remaining bacteria and to extend its shelf life indefinitely.
Now while the mango and bagoong is tasty — and an acquired taste — consuming it in ice cream form would be a different matter. Or so I thought.
The ice cream is a green mango sorbet topped with warm, sweet shrimp paste, a pleasant combination of cold and warmth. Better yet, the dessert did not deviate at all from the traditional sharp-sour-shrimpy-sweet flavors the original snack is loved for. I had feared that it would be strange, the way some new twists on classic comfort food tend to be, in an attempt to be different.
My friend and I had initially planned to share a cup, because it was rather expensive for just a scoop of ice cream. After tasting it, she got another serving.
Sebastian’s Green Mango and Bagoong ice cream hit the spot. The downside? It costs exactly 10 times as what you can get out on the street, if you buy fresh green mango with bagoong. For the price of 1 cup you can support 10 street vendors, or 1 street vendor 10 times. So while I loved the ice cream, in the end it is only a novelty to me, and I would rather go back to buying the original snack.
As for the other Sebastian’s Ice Cream products, I will try some of them one of these days.
Sebastian’s Ice Cream Katipunan
Ground floor Lobby. Regis Center
In front of Ateneo de Manila University
Cell phone no.: +63927 290 1633