I’ll start with bananas–the many ways we cook this fruit. We have many varieties back home, but the ones I’ll show you are the cooking bananas “saba” or Musa acuminata × balbisiana.
The first one is minatamis–cooked in sugar syrup. The green leaf that you see is pandan which exudes a very lovely aroma.
The next one is banana-Q–deep fried in a wok with brown sugar melted in the hot oil. I actually found one blogger who makes this perfectly. I don’t make this myself as I’m too scared of the hot oil and the burning sugar.
The third one is turon–the banana is sprinkled with red granulated sugar then rolled in (sometimes with a sliver of ripe jackfruit) in a spring roll wrapper, before being deep fried like one would with banana-Q.
Next is cassava or balinghoy. Again, many ways to cook this root crop, but the one I got here is carioca. The root crop is grated first and then fried like with banana-Q. I don’t make this either–preparing cassava could be tricky as some varieties have got naturally-occuring cyanide, but I don’t remember any in our family or among the neighbours or anyone we know falling ill.
Another sweet is halaya from the root crop ube or purple yam. Oh I love this! But it takes community effort to make this one as it takes a day and people will have to take turns mixing it. It’s usually cooked over wood fire otherwise you’ll use up all your gas. The ingredients are just ube and condensed milk, sometimes another root crop, gabi (from the taro family) is added for a more chewy consistency. Ube is harvested in the cooler months, so this is not an all-year round crop.
The next ones are shop-bought–at this point in time I cannot be bothered to experiment, but you’ll be surprised how some bloggers are actually making them. These are: 1) brazo de mercedes–a cake made from whipped egg whites and cremed egg yolks; 2) silvanas–it’s like buttercreme sprinkled with ground cashew nuts (wicked! wicked!); 3) yema–a candy made from egg yolks and condensed milk (this one is quite simple).
And here’s more:
- Coconut jam or matamis na bao (coconut milk and jaggery goor–boiled and simmered until the liquid becoms like sticky toffee–again, takes a very long time)
- Piyaya–a delicacy from the province of Iloilo (like flattened eccles cake, but the filling is melted jaggery goor)
- Puto seco – A hard cookie that crumbles to powder when you take a bite. Made from cornstarch.
Happy weekend! ☀🎣🍢🍦