Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sweet Taste and Flavor of Ilonggo Delicacies

photo by Ray Tabafunda

There are several foods that you will want to try out when you are in Iloilo. Every destination in in the province has its delicacy or specialty food item that is a must-try for visitors but if you are only going to bring some as presents, try these tasty sweets that is guaranteed to leave a good impression on your taste buds and of Iloilo.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

BANDI is a delicious candy made of peanuts and caramelized brown sugar.  Peanuts make a classic brittle. The traditional way of making it is by heating a big saucepan then put-in sugar, water, and a little salt. Stir and bring to a boil till it caramelizes. Add the peanuts (toasted) then stir using a wooden spoon. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.  Quickly spoon out bite-size pieces onto the layers of banana leaves that serve as its tray.  Then allow to cool during which they solidify. They are crunchy, sweet, aromatic, with loads of peanuts and sinfully decadent and addictive. This popular livelihood endeavor is ideal in the provinces’ peanut producing areas. Barangay Qui-anan in San Joaquin is the home of Bandi in the province of Iloilo.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

BAYE-BAYE is another popular Ilonggo sweet delicacy. It is a mixture of scraped young coconut meat, coconut water, sugar and newly harvested pounded rice locally known as pinipig. It is made by bringing to boil the ground pinipig mixed with coconut water and sugar. Blend well then add grated young coconut meat. Let it cool and divide it into serving portions. Wrap the mixture either in banana leaves or wax paper. Chill before serving. Traditionally, Pavianhons make it with lots of coconut milk. A treat as sumptuous as baye-baye is no longer surprising when ways of cooking has spread down to other municipalities, and thus now being enjoyed by many. They make and sell their versions of baye-baye. However, nothing beats the original with Baye-baye in Barangay Anilao, Pavia, Iloilo.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

TABLEA is a local cuisine with indigenous and foreign influences. The drinking of chocolate has a long tradition in many local towns all over the country. It said that sometime in the 17th century, Spanish authorities pushed the growing of cacao trees and making its beans into cacao tablets popularly known as tablea.  Fresh cacao beans are removed from their pods, and peeled then dried under the heat of the sun. The beans are then roasted and are manually grinded. It is then mixed with a little sugar and formed into tablets. It is then mixed with a little water, milk and sugar and boiled to almost syrup consistency and served hot especially during breakfast and other special occasions. Cacao Tablea is now a sought after delicacy and famous cottage industry in Cabatuan. It even has its own specialty house where visitors can taste the best native chocolate drink in the province.

photo by Bombette G. Marin

Polvoron is a Philippine dessert or snack popular for “pasalubong” or homecoming gifts. Bay’s nutrifood polvoron is a semi-sweet concoction made of fish protein concentrate, flour, buttermilk, sugar and iodized salt. There are several polvoron recipes available today. There are the cookies and cream polvoron, peanut polvoron, chocolate polvoron, and many more. The protein rich fish polvoron produced by BAY’S Nutrifood of Banate is a product of the project financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2009. Presently, it employs 3 fisherfolks for its operation producing 250 pieces of dark and white chocolate coated fish polvoron daily. It has a selling price of P6.00 per piece. A box for 4 dark chocolate and 4 white chocolate-coated polvoron is also available. The chocolate coated polvoron has a life span of 3 months.

photo by Ray Tabafunda

BUCO PIE is a traditional Filipino baked custard pie with a mixture of young coconut meat. Popularly, it uses sweetened condensed milk to make it denser and healthier. It is considered a specialty in the municipality of Oton, in Barangay Trapiche. The enterprise, was solely considered as an ordinary household undertaking meant to augment the family income. But as it were, improvements and innovations were continuously made on the product by its owner. By word-of-mouth, the product became known not only in the Ilonggo community, but also, to friends, acquaintances and relatives in places all over the country. Preparations starts daily at 2 in the afternoon till 11 in the evening. A number of 300 boxes of buco pies are consumed daily. Shelf life of the pie is up to a week if refrigerated and only 3 days if not.

If you are still thinking of a good gift for your friends and relatives, this is surely a good idea. These perfect sweet snacks are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth in no time. These are yummy treats that everyone who goes to Iloilo would want to have a bite of.

See more of our local delicacies in Bugana, an Arts Month celebration of the province of Iloilo on February 20-24 at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo.  The event is organized by the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism in partnership with the Department of Tourism Region VI, Department of Trade and Industry and Robinsons Place Iloilo.

For more information about the event, please contact the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism at (033) 3384910 or visit the Provincial Tourism Office, 3rd floor, Provincial Capitol, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.

1 comment:

  1. I really love Iloilo and of course, it is because of this :) you guys could also check this out :)


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