Carabao’s milk is the secret ingredient to Filipino desserts

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Because of its higher good fat content and richer and creamier texture, carabao’s milk is an excellent choice for families who love ice cream.

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) —  When it comes to creating desserts, the Philippines has one premium, world-class ingredient that families will love: carabao’s milk.

Carabao’s milk has long transformed desserts, making everything richer and creamier: ice cream, pastillas, leche flan, dulce de leche, and even native favorites such as kesong puti and Pampanga’s tibok-tibok (pudding).

In Pampanga — one of the Philippines’ most vibrant food capitals — carabao’s milk is called gatas damulag, which Kapampangan author Alex Castro describes as having a “richer, creamier flavor than your ordinary cow’s milk … when it’s bottled, carabao’s milk pastillas is what gives some halo-halo recipes ‘a truly distinctive flavor.’”

It seems like gatas kalabaw is the ‘secret’ ingredient to richer, creamier desserts, making it the best choice for Magnolia’s Premium Ice Cream products.

In fact, it’s considered the finest milk among dairy animals, according to the Philippine Carabao Center. Carabao’s milk makes everything thicker and creamier due to its higher fat and protein content.

Because of this higher fat content (sometimes called “butter fat”), carabao’s milk is an excellent choice for families who love ice cream, making it the perfect base ingredient for Magnolia newest line of premium ice cream flavors: Kesong Puti, Avocado, and Pastillas Ice Cream, all made from premium carabao’s milk.

In the Kesong Puti ice cream, the rich carabao’s milk gives the ice cream a creamy, even buttery taste, with just the slightest hint of savory cheese at the end. The flavor is fuller compared to regular ice cream made from other kinds of milk: the sweetness not overpowering, only complementing the richness of the taste.

Carabao’s milk is also the perfect match for the Avocado ice cream, which is made from real avocado, without artificial flavors. If you used to have mushed, frozen avocado mixed with condensada as a child, this flavor comes close to that, perhaps even better: the buttery and earthy flavor of avocado harmonizes with the creaminess of carabao’s milk. It’s a taste reminiscent of home — the best taste there is.

As for the Pastillas ice cream flavor with carabao’s milk? It’s milk on milk, which doubles the goodness of the sumptuous carabao’s milk.

Gatas kalabaw has long been ingrained in Philippine culture — perhaps more than any other kind of milk. In fact, even our national heroes loved carabao’s milk: Apolinario Mabini, for example, liked carabao’s milk so much that he would have porridge with carabao’s milk for breakfast (like many of us do!) and later, a glass of carabao’s milk for merienda.

Being 100 percent local, gatas kalabaw could even be a prime source of livelihood for farmers in between crops. There are efforts to bring more of this rich, indulgent milk to households. All the effort needs is more demand for carabao’s milk, which shouldn’t be hard to come by, in light of its exceptional taste.

For the meantime, there is some comfort in knowing that carabao’s milk ice cream, at least, is now readily available. All three Magnolia Ice Cream flavors are available in major grocery stores (for ₱195 per 800 ml), to satisfy your cravings for the richness and creaminess of premium carabao’s milk.