This sherbet is made with young coconut which we call “buko” in the Philippines. Buko is perfect for a sherbet because the water from a young coconut has a slight sweetness that makes the perfect base. The tender coconut meat when chopped fine and churned with the buko juice also enhances the sherbet’s texture, making it amazingly creamier.
Under the Selecta brand then, this sherbet was available in the Philippines back when I was a kid and then suddenly disappeared when Selecta stopped production. Eventually, the brand was sold to a large food company who now produces the Selecta brand.
Fortunately for a new generation of Filipinos, the Arce family has revived their old creamery and is churning out familiar favorites again. Distribution is not as spotty as it used to be too. You can get Arce Dairy products virtually anywhere you have an SM Hypermart which is quite a few places around the country now.
The sherbet is best served when it’s starting to melt so you’d have to leave it out at room temperature for about 10 to 30 minutes before scooping it out. Being a sherbet and having no dairy ingredients at all, it’s very refreshing and light – just perfect for a hot afternoon in the tropics. In fact, I have a 2 and a half year old nephew who, unlike other kids, doesn’t like ice cream and other rich foods but he took to this sherbet instantly.
My nephew’s acceptance of this product really made me smile. You see, this was my Lola Blanca’s favorite and seeing it in the frozen food section of the supermarket the other day reminded me of all the hot summer afternoons in the garden where we enjoyed this sherbet. I’m so glad my little nephew can enjoy it too and I hope he’ll always be reminded of happy times in the garden whenever he takes a spoonful of his buko sherbet in the future…