Jars filled to the brim with thick syrup, macapuno, red mung beans, jackfruit, and nata de coco; brightly colored fruit preserves of all kinds, the likes you would only see in your wildest sugar crazed fantasies. These are Escaba Sweets, some of the nation’s best sweet preserves.
I sampled a jar of mixed fruit and beans with its layers of jackfruit, beans, nata de coco and macapuno (coconut) strings. I immediately went for the jackfruit – its sweetness hits home as the thick syrup coated my mouth. The nata de coco was delightfully springy as I bit into it while the beans, with its natural flavour still intact, were soft and tender. I was pleasantly surprised at how the flavor of the coconut was made more pronounced by the sugary sweetness of the syrup that surrounded the divine treats.
Escaba Sweets are not available in supermarkets but only in local markets like Divisoria. Now, it is finally online! When I find myself craving for childhood memories of halo halo, I know that Escaba Sweets is one sweet click away.
Perla Escaba, 70, owner of Escaba Food Products started their business almost 44 years ago when her husband was laid off from work. Her father-in-law, a trader of macapuno, suggested that they sell sweetened macapuno preserves. The couple started with one cooking pot, one stove, and PHP1,000. Since then, Escaba Sweets has grown to 75 employees, many of them the children or grandchildren of the company’s original workers. Over the years, the company has gained a steady customer base, garnered awards for its product quality, and obtained international certifications for its good manufacturing processes.