I have had my fair share of dabbling in international arenas here and there, yet I have never met a community so committed to laughter, celebration, and having fun as much as the Filipinos. I was introduced to the macaroni “salad,” which is in fact a form of sweet or dessert for me, by a true Filipino eager to celebrate their new year.I was told that the point of this festive “salad” should not only be sweet, but it must also be colorful. Color is inserted in the form of gellified coconut products (white and green) that go by the names Nata de Coco and Kaong respectively. Any Asian markets should have these. Red is represented by the glacé cherries, black through raisins, canned fruits bring in a whole lot more color, and then a considerable lot of milky ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, mayonnaise, and cheese being some of the prominent ones.
450g elbow pasta
2 cups canned cocktail fruits, drained
1 jar (340g) nata de coco, drained
1 jar (340g) kaong, drained
2 Tbsp black raisins
2 Tbsp glacé cherries, quartered
1/2 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook the pasta as per package directions until tender.
Drain the pasta well and place in a bowl.
Stir in the drained canned fruit, nata de coco, kaong, raising, glacé cherries, and cheese cubes.
Next, stir in the mayonnaise, thickened cream, and sweetened condensed milk to coat evenly.
Chill until ready to serve.
Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.