Snacks – A Love Hate Relationship Filipino Style


Snacks a love hate relationship the Filipino style. The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, comprising more than 7,000 islands. The Philippines is not only a historic country with cities like Manila, Camarines Sur, Davao City and Iloilo City. Visiting the Philippines is big fun. Perfect beaches. Friendly locals. Beautiful nature. Paradise beaches and islands. Plus, it’s a cheap country to travel, you’ll get a great value for your money. The Philippines is also known for its churches, great diving destination, hiking, hospitality and cuisine. Please comment below to let us know what you think.

This is a favourite afternoon snack among Filipinos. A local banana called “saba” is coated with brown sugar, deep-fried in oil and skewered on a stick a la barbecue. Aside from banana, there’s also kamote-cue, a sweet potato variety prepared and cooked in the same process.

First-time visitors to the Philippines should expect a good-natured hazing from their local contacts, one that comes in a culinary dare. No trip to the Philippines would be complete (they’ll say) without eating balut!

What is balut? What makes it so special? And why is this Filipino food constantly being pushed in the faces of foreign visitors by well-meaning Filipino locals?

Balut is very simple: it’s a fertilized duck egg, the embryo permitted to develop in the shell from 16 to 25 days, then boiled in the shell.

(For your reference, duck eggs typically hatch at 27 to 30 days.) Crack a shell of balut open, and you’ll find a partially-formed duck embryo soaking in a pocket of chicken-soup-like broth and surrounded by the usual components of a hard-boiled egg.

The presence of the embryo defines balut (a boiled duck egg without an embryo is penoy, a different thing altogether). For the subtlest, most tourist-friendly balut, ask for balut sa puti (“balut in white”), so called because the balut is covered in a sheath of eggwhite.

Bite-sized, crunchy cheese sticks AKA heaven on earth.

They’re bite-sized, so you can stuff multiple sticks into your mouth at once. And you know, the more the manier.

Ice candy is a very popular treat in the Philippines, particularly during the summer months of April and May.

Many enterprising Filipinos sell these heat busters because they’re very easy to make. Pour some juice into the slender plastic bags, tie the open end, and then place in the freezer.

The wealth of knowledge found online can uncover the mystery behind the question that my cousin posed onto me. As history values the varied perspectives of people, here are the different reasons why it is called as such:

I can still recall my hilarious experience as we danced to the tune of the Tagalog song entitled “Mamang Sorbetero” by Celeste Legaspi. The song is about the tantalizing power of an ice cream. It alleviates the strong feelings caused by the heat and induces the children’s genuine happiness.

As a wooden pushcart passes buy and the sorbetero (male ice cream vendor) rings his bell, Filipinos will flock immediately. His product is called “dirty ice cream” (traditional) to differentiate from the store-bought ice cream. The name does not stop us from eating it without fear or hesitation.

Traditional ice cream is made from unique ingredients such as Carabao Milk, Nangka (Jackfruit), and Ube (Purple Yam). While, store-bought or commercial ice cream boasts the brand of Selecta, Magnolia, Arce Dairy, Magnum, and so on.

My favorite Filipino dessert by far is Bigingka. It’s a thin, unfrosted cake made with sweet rice flour and cream of coconut.

I first had Bibingka at a Filipino family barbecue when I started dating my husband. My now father-in-law taught me how to make it years ago. Now every time there is a family gathering, either he or I are asked to make it, which says a lot about the recipe because neither one of us are Filipino.

Sweet rice flour has an interesting texture. It’s very fine, but has a bit of grit to it. Once it’s cooked, the starches explode (not really, but they do something magic) and the cake becomes spongy and sticky like a cross between Jell-O bars and pudding.

My only change to his recipe is that I sprinkle the top with brown sugar and granulated sugar to create a nice caramelized crunch.

We are going to start this list off with a street food that I think reigns supreme on the afternoon grills throughout the Philippines: isaw, which refers to both pig and chicken intestines, grilled over hot fire.

Starting in the middle to late afternoon, you’ll smell the charcoal being lit, and you’ll know it’s time for your afternoon snack. The intestines are coiled onto skewers, and grilled until charred and smoky. The pig intestines are a little chewier and stronger tasting, while chicken intestines are just like mini tube sausages.

One of the best things about eating isaw (and true for lots of Filipino street foods) is seasoning with vinegar. Most people like to soak their isaw in chili onion vinegar and let is absorb as much vinegar as possible. The contrast of the smoky isaw with vinegar is extremely satisfying.

The name sounds so funny and rhymes as quack-quack for a duck, queck-queck for a deck. But no, Kwek-Kwek is not an animal sound, it is a favorite food among the children and teenagers here in the Philippines. It is actually one of the popular street foods along with the level of fishball, kikiam and barbecue.

If Japan has the Tempura, the Philippines has this “Kwek-Kwek”. It is a boiled quail egg, with shell removed, dipped in an orange batter ( batter is a mixture of cornstarch, baking powder, water, annatto powder (which makes it orange in color), salt and ground pepper), when the eggs are already coated, the final step is to deep fry it . It is best served with vinegar as the dipping sauce.

Kiamoy is a salty dried plum that is one of the many popular Chinese treats in the Philippines. It is usually dry and ranges in color from red to orange to brown. There are versions that are not very dry.

A Chinese name for this salty dried plum is Li hing mui (旅行梅), but it is called huamei (話梅) in many regions. Kiamoy is likely a southeastern rendition of the word huamei.

Kiamoy is good for overcoming feelings of nausea as a symptom of carsickness or other forms of motion sickness when traveling on a ship or by air.

This is more like a rite of passage than a juice drink, to be honest. In school, it’s probably as constant and as much as a necessity as a pencil. Nothing beats the good old Zest-O. May you never, ever leave the baons of the Filipino school kids.

Kakanin comes from the word kanin, which means rice, but it also means edibles. Typically, edibles are made from rice, it’s the most popular among Filipino snacks as it’s widely available in the market as well as in the malls. Some of the most popular kakanins are puto, kutchinta, bibingka, sapin-sapin, and cassava cake.

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