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Home Must-Try Local Eats Combo, Bandi and Bibingka, a Cuyonon dessert

Combo, Bandi and Bibingka, a Cuyonon dessert

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combo palawan

The municipality of Cuyo is small but is the cradle of Christianity in Palawan and also the birth place of most Palawan’s officials. People here live a simple life, as the husbands go fishing; the wives stay at home to cook that also serves as their source of livelihood. And it is thru this that these parents where able to send their children to college and made their lives and the municipality progressive.

Ms. Bing Pena, the provincial economic enterprise development officer, and also the event coordinator said “ADLAO Y ANG CUYONON” is a day during the Baragatan Festival that is focused purely on Cuyunon culture.” And we are privilege to meet these wonderful people as they present three of their famous local desserts, the “Combo”, “Bandi” and “Bibingka”.

How to make a “Combo”?

This is one of the simplest desserts that you could have, provided that you have all the ingredients at hand.

Basic ingredients are Saging na Saba (Banana), Galapong (Rice Flour), Atsuwete (shrub with berry fruits used for food coloring) and Dahon ng Kakaw (Cocoa Leaf). It is as simple as placing the thinly sliced ripe banana on top of the Cocoa Leaf, coating it with the Rice flour that was pre-mixed with Atsuwete. Dipping it in hot oil and fry it for few minutes.

There is no alternative for the Cocoa Leaf for it is the only leaf that will remain in tact and strong after frying.

The cooking of Combo never stops in this event as it is consumed automatically by the guests.

How to cook “Bandi”?

Bandi is simply what we can call a sugar-coated-cashew. So for all our sweet-tooth readers out there, this is definitely for you.

First step, make sure that you soak your cashew in water for a few hours and then clean thoroughly with water. Mix 2 cups of Panutsa (Crude Sugar) and ½ cup of brown sugar in water to boil in a pan. Then pour over 3 cups of cashew nuts and stir. When it’s thick enough, you can then make small patties and let it cool.

When it’s cool enough, it will harden and ready to eat. But during the demo in Palawan, we were not able to give it any chance to cool down. A few minutes after it was lifted off the pan, we (the onlookers) were not able to control ourselves (not minding the heat that is penetrating our fingers) and grab ourselves a few bite right then and there.

Bandi sure is irresistible and mouth watering!

What makes their “Bibingka” different?

Bibingka in Cuyo is available all year round. What makes their bibingka different? Coconut!

After draining the water that was used to soak the Giniling na Bigas (grounded rice) for a few hours, they mix it with coconut meat, sugar and salt. After mixing the ingredients, they pour on coconut juice and baking powder to make the mixture.

The mixture is then poured in a clay pot which is then placed in between charcoal fire. The crowd wait patiently as the battered mixture slowly cook and the aroma slowly fill the air. Bibingka has to be consumed at least within 24 hours, but during the event, as soon as bibingka have been sliced, no trace of it will be found in a matter of minutes.

What we have witnessed here is not just a demonstration of how to cook the desserts, but the fellowship that goes on around the food that makes it more interesting and fun. Countless stories being shared; laughter heard from all around; meeting new friends; learning cultures; and all this enjoyed in the midst of good people and good food.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 19:17  

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