Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Central Visayan delicacies to spice up food event

This year’s International Food Exhibition (IFEx) Philippines, to be held May 16-18, will highlight ethnic delicacies from Cebu and other provinces of the Central Visayas region as the Department of Trade and Industry promotes food exports through tourism.

The department’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions says IFEx Philippines will showcase products from the provinces of Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, and Cebu through the show’s partner region program.

The products will include “guinamos” (fermented fish), “caycay” (peanut-coated biscuits), “kalamay baye-baye” (similar to Southern Tagalog’s “espasol”), “budbud” (a version of glutinous rice) and “bud-bod kabog” (millet).

There will also be food innovations such as oatmeal cookies with mango chips and chewy fruit bars that consist of popped rice, nuts, and dried mangoes and papayas. And then there will be traditional fares, such as “broas,” butter scotch, mamon tostado” (toasted chiffon cake), and diet chocolates from Cebu; “tajada” (also known as “biscocho”), herbal teas and spreads, “salabat” [ginger ale], and ginger-flavored candies from Bohol; jam squares and fruit bars from Negros Oriental; and banana fries and “tortalitas” from Siquijor.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said his department was promoting community-based rural tourism to optimize the production and sale of indigenous products, boost household incomes and encourage ecological preservation in the countryside.

With editing by

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mangaon Ta!


Central Visayas, which includes the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, takes the spotlight in International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines’ Partner Region Program on 16-18 May 2008 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Its wide array of products is interestingly identified by names based from the Visayan dialect, while some are sourced from their original Spanish names.

So, indulge in the healthfully filling and flavorful Visayan food specialties. Enrich your vocabulary and learn more about the Visayas gastronomic fare. Manga-on ta!

ampao - round, sometimes square-shaped, sweet crunchy rice crispies.
apas - wafer cones
bahalina - a type of liquor made from coconut sap, tanbark, and clarified with egg white; tastes like red wine.
barquillos - rolls of crunchy sweet wafer
baye-baye - a delicacy made from pilit and shredded young coconut strips. So named because, traditionally, it was prepared by pounding the rice repeatedly (v. baye, to pound) in a huge wooden mortar. Similar to southern Luzon’s espasol; some varieties contain freshly roasted pinipig (pounded young rice) that adds flavor and aroma to the delectable merienda fare.
bibingka ala Cebu - steamed pilit mixed with strips of young coconut meat and topped with goat or carabao cheese.
biscocho - baked bread topped with butter and sugar; some varieties add garlic for extra flavor
broas - lady fingers. Some ’flavored’ broas incorporate peanuts, cashew, or pili nuts in their ingredients.
bucarillos - made from sweetened butong (grated young coconut meat) and milk.
budbod - a version of glutinous rice, or suman (as known in Tagalog) (also budbud, bodbod) made of pilit cooked in coconut milk and sugar, and finally, wrapped in banana leaves. Interestingly, the ones made in Tanjay always come in pairs, in a full embrace, with the ends of the banana wrapping deftly folded inside the budbod.
bud-bod kabog - made from millet (bird seeds).
calamay, also kalamay - a thick, sticky delicacy made from pilit, sweetened creamy coconut milk, vanilla, and chopped peanuts. It is enjoyed as is, or spread over a slice of bread or pan de sal. It comes in a pair of clean, smoothened coconut shells joined together by a string of red sticky tape. An Augustinian Recollect friar, Mariano Gutierrez de los Dolores, was said to first prepare this sweet concoction. Available in ubi and traditional flavors.
carmelitos - caramel candies
caycay - peanut-coated biscuits
chicharon - pork crackling
consilvas - thinly sliced glazed bananas that are fried and coated in a sweet, sticky caramel; also known as pinasugbo.
danggit - dried split sleek unicorn fish
guinamos - fermented fish
kinampay - the most expensive variety of purple yam (ubi) in the Visayas; the King of the Ubi, primarily grown in southwestern towns of Dauis, Bohol.
linubid - similar to Southern Tagalog’s pilipit
mamon tostado - toasted chiffon cake
mani con leche - crunchy peanuts steeped in sweet milk
masareal - peanut bars
otap - oval rice biscuits
pasencia - egg drop biscuits
pastel de leche - soft, fragrant buns with yema filling
pilit - glutinous rice; the major component of Central Visayas’ delicacies, as it can be processed into biko, budbod, or bayebaye.
puso - hanging rice; made from budbud.
puto maya - made of pilit and tapol ( ) which are then mixed and boiled in rich coconut milk and flavored with salt, sugar and ginger.
rosquillos - egg ring biscuits
sikwate - a traditional hot chocolate drink blended from cacao (tablea).
tajada - also known as biscocho
tagaktak - a triangle-shaped delicacy made from lubi (coconut milk), sticky rice, and sugar. Sometimes, a kind of sweet potato is included, too, to make the tagaktak mixture crunchy (hence, they fall off); tastes like apas.
torta - in Spanish, torta means cake; a sweet yellow baked delicacy moistened with pork lard and leavened with tuba (coconut liquor).
tortalitas - small muffin-like version of the famous torta.

Original pictures taken by Edik Dolotina

We Will Be There


The upcoming International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines show in 16-18 May promises a sumptuous and interesting selection of food products from the Philippines’ seventh region. Also known as the Central Visayas and the highlight of this year’s Partner Region Program (PRP), Region 7 includes Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, and Cebu.

Primarily promoted as prime tourist destinations, these provinces are distinguished, too, for their grand culinary traditions. It offers a plethora of special delicacies and sumptuous desserts made from the wealth of fresh ingredients. All are delightful discoveries: deliciously exotic food for the ethnic epicure, and a novel find for the global market searching for new savory fare.

Because Central Visayas was among the strongholds of Spain during the colonization more than four centuries ago, it is no wonder that some of Europe’s heritage cookies are produced here more than anywhere else.

For this year’s PRP, Cebu - the Queen City of the South - offers tempting bites such as broas (lady fingers; other varieties include peanuts, cashew, and pili in their ingredients); butter scotch, mamon tostado (toasted chiffon cake), and ‘diet’ chocolates. God’s little paradise, Bohol, presents tajada (also known as biscocho, or baked bread topped with butter and sugar, or in some cases with garlic), herbal teas and spreads, salabat (ginger teas), and ginger-flavored candies.

The city of gentle people, Negros Oriental, on the other hand, offers jam squares and rich, healthfully filling fruit bars while Siquijor, the mystic island, boasts of banana fries and tortalitas – small muffin like version of the famous torta.

Ethnic food delights
But more than the traditional treats, it is also in Region 7 where you can find signature Filipino foods. Guinamos (fermented fish), caycay (peanut-coated biscuits), kalamay (in ube and traditional flavors) and ube abound in the area. Baye-baye (similar to Southern Tagalog’s espasol, made from glutinous rice, pilit, and shredded young coconut strips), Tanjay’s famous budbud (a version of glutinous rice), and bud-bod kabog (millet) are also some of the provinces’ exotic foods that are substantially nutritious, and favorite pasalubong items of tourists and locals alike.

Food innovations include oatmeal cookies with mango chips and chewy fruit bars that consist of popped rice (some make it more delectable by using pinipig, toasted green glutinous rice), nuts, and dried mangoes and papayas. They are indigenized food, or examples of foreign food, which was Filipinized by tweaking the preparation through the use of available local ingredients.

Region 7’s delicacies in IFEX’s Partner Region Program
More than ethnic food products, IFEX’s Partner Region Program Setting will also underscore the significant developments introduced and adapted by the wide selection of food products from Central Visayas. These include new packaging designs, improvements on manufacturing processes, and product innovation systems. Adherence of Region 7’s industry players to strategies like these continues to emphasize the commitment to mandatory requirements needed in the international food market. One example concerns product labels. Foods made and sold in the area reflect allergens and trans-fat information on their product labels. This practice puts weight on food safety and quality – two major issues that are significant to concerned, label-conscious consumers.

An initiative of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) launched in 1999, the Partner Region Program is aimed to assist the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in food packaging, systems development, and product promotion. It is held in collaboration with relevant government agencies and the private sector, it highlights the best foods from a chosen region.

Since it began, the PRP Program has assisted 160 companies from the regions of Central Luzon, Western Visayas, Southern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, CARAGA, and Bicol.

The Partner Region Program featuring Central Visayas’ food products will be showcased in the International Food Exhibit (IFEX) Philippines on 16-18 May 2008 at the SMX Convention Center located within the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Admission fee is Php100.

For details, call Chief Jose Mulato of the IFEX Secretariat-Agrimarine Division at (63 2) 831 1282 exts. 204 and 238, or you may log on to

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