Philippines Must-Try Native Delicacies
Filipinos’ love for food is something they treasure and is passed on from generation to generation. Delicacies go way back from their ancestors which are enjoyed by many Filipino families until today.
Puto (Rice Cake) with Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew)
An all-time favourite merienda (snack) is the puto (rice cake). Other Filipinos love it so much, they even eat it for breakfast. It is best paired with dinuguan which is a dish made from pork blood and meat simmered with spices). It may not sound good but when you finally taste it, you bet you’re going to ask for another serving. Puto is made from a mixture of rice flour, sugar and baking powder as well as other secret ingredients – to make it even more appetizing – steamed with banana leaves on top. The banana leaves add that distinct and native flavour. Add some freshly grated young coconut to complete the authentic experience.
Sapin-Sapin (Multi-Layered Sticky Rice Cake)
This is a recipe made from sticky rice flour. It is a multi-coloured and layered sweet rice cake served with grated coconut (which is optional). Aside from its mild sweet taste, children and adults are drawn to its fascinating colours. It is a delicacy served during merienda (snack) but some prefer to eat it during breakfast for some energy boost before going to work or school. Some local markets have designated place for those who sell native delicacies such as sapin-sapin.
Turon (Sweet Fried Banana Spring Rolls)
The banana fritters is locally known as turon. These are sold at the local markets and sidewalks. It is a traditional Filipino snack that is made from banana that is thinly sliced and wrapped in spring roll wrapper. Diced jackfruit can be added for a more delectable flavour. It is sprinkled with brown sugar and then deep fried until the sugar is caramelized and the spring roll wrapper is golden brown. It is best served (and eaten!) when it’s hot. This very inexpensive snack will surely goes a long way – if you’re on a tight budget during your vacation travel in the Philippines – but it is surely packed with goodness. A serving or two is already enough to make you fully satisfied.
Pastillas De Leche (Philippines Soft Milk Candy)
This is equally famous among children and adults alike! This sweet native delicacy is simply made from any kind of processed milk but the authentic pastillas de leche is made from carabao’s (water buffalo) milk. It is like a candy but much softer to taste. The best pastillas de leche is the one that quickly melts in your mouth as soon as you take a bite. You can actually buy these in packs in an affordable price. Take these sweets back home and have a lovely reminiscing of the vacation you spent in the Philippines.
Halayang Ube (Purple Yam Jam)
The halayang ube is a Filipino dessert quite common during holidays, town fiesta (feasts) and special occasions. It is famous for its rich colour and sweet flavour. This signature Filipino treat is also one of the main ingredients of the halo-halo (crushed ice with a mixture of different sweets and milk). It is best served after having your lunch. You’ll definitely savour each spoonful of this sweet treat. Halayang Ube is also used as a topping for ice cream, cakes, and other baked dishes. Its mere colour, which is purple, is very attractive on its own but as soon as you taste it, you won’t be able to stop from taking another spoonful of this famous purple yam jam.
Suman (Steamed Sweet Sticky Rice Rolls)
Filipinos are very hard working people and that is the reason they make sure they take their time to eat their snacks. They make sure that what they eat is definitely good and delicious to spend time with. Suman is one of these Filipino delicacies that are a favourite among many people especially those living in small towns or in the countryside. You dip it in brown rice. And don’t forget to have some kapeng barako (Batangas signature coffee) on the side. Suman is sticky rice concoction wrapped in banana leaves and then either steamed or baked. These are available in local markets in towns although you can also find them being sold at different stalls inside the mall. If you’re lucky enough to attend a town fiesta celebration during your vacation holiday in the Philippines, you’ll definitely be able to find suman on the buffet table for free! The hostess would even urge you to take some back home – a testament of the warm hospitality, generosity and kindness of Filipinos.