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Gulaman, in Filipino cuisine, refers to the bars of dried seaweed used to make jellies or flan, as well as the desserts made from it. Agarose or agar is made of processed seaweed, mostly from Gelidium corneum--one of the most common edible alga,<ref name="Medicinal">Gulaman. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Retrieved on 2008-07-07.</ref> dehydrated and formed into foot-long dry bars which are either plain or coloured.<ref name="Lafang">Gulaman at Sago (Agar-Agar and Tapioca Pearls). Lafang: a Pinoy food blog (2006-07-13). Retrieved on 2008-07-07.</ref>
It has also come to refer to the refreshment or dessert, sometimes referred to as samalamig or sago't gulaman, sold at roadside stalls and vendors. This drink consists of gulaman cubes and/or sago (tapioca pearls)<ref name="Lafang"/> suspended in milk, fruit juice or brown-sugar water flavored with pandan leaves. It is most likely a cheaper local version of the Chinese conjac jelly (which is served floating in cold tea).
It is also sold commercially as Pearl Shakes.
Gelatine and Gulaman
The term gelatine and gulaman are used synonymously, although they are very different products.
While gelatine is a protein, gulaman is a plant-derived carbohydrate,<ref name="food"> (December-January 2006-2007) "Things you need to know about gelatine". Food Magazine-Philippines: 99. Retrieved on 2008-07-07. </ref> made from seaweed. Gelatine dissolves in hot water but boiling water is necessary to dissolve gulaman.
Unlike gelatine which sets at refrigerator temperature, gulaman sets at room temperature. While gelatine can melt at room temperature, it is uniquely thermo-reversible<ref name="food"/> to its previous shape and form.
When used in desserts, gulaman produces a firm-textured product.<ref name="food"/>