food moment: PAKUMBO

Pakumbo

When we had a family outing in Laiya, Batangas, Philippines… I’ve noticed something sweet being sold by the locals on the shores of the beach. Out of curiosity, I came to know by the vendor that it’s called “Pakumbo” or “Pacombo”

pakumbo on the beach

“Pakumbo” is a sweet delicacy with the use of young coconut meat strands as its main ingredient and boiled in coconut juice with brown sugar until done with its translucent form. It is usually recognized for its packaging in a dried banana bark. Locally known and sold in the beaches and nearby towns in the provinces of Batangas and Aurora, Philippines. 

pakumbo vendor

It is sometimes mistaken as “Bukayo”, only that it is served in a dried banana bark and not on the leaf. Nowadays, this yummy treat have evolved with different twist and flavors like being added with ripe langka (jackfruit) strips, peanut, and cashew nuts.

Photos taken by: Sukito San

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food feature: SUGARCANE or “TUBO”

sugarcane

“Sugarcane” commonly known in the Philippines as “Tubo” is native to tropical regions of South Asia and the primary source of sugar around the world aside from sugar beets. Sugar which is extracted from its fibrous and jointed stalks and when fermented can produce ethanol which is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Its scientific name is “Saccharum” and was among  in the species and family of tall grasses which is perennial or sturdy enough to survive while being the largest crop that grows 6 up to 19 feet tall. The global demand for sugar reinforces the sugarcane agriculture to be primarily driven into priority. The main product from sugarcane is sucrose which is an organic compound and popularly known as table sugar. Brazil was the biggest producer of sugarcane in the world followed by India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico. The Philippines is also a sugar-producing country… and sugarcane is widely grown in the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Negros and Panay. Sugarcane crop is sensitive to the type of soil, irrigation, climate and its harvest period depending on its varieties as well as the fertilizers used in its growing stage.

SUGARCANE  JUICE

tubo

When I was a kid, we were taught to have a taste of sugarcane juice by means of chewing. The stalks were chopped for about 12 inches as the rind was then removed. Next, its internal tissues were bitten then sucked while being chewed and spitting out the pulp afterwards.  Presently, you don’t have to do it the hard way as that. it is now commercially available in malls particularly in “CARICA” stalls, wherein the juice from the sugarcane were naturally extracted with the use of sugarcane machine for cane processing and pressing then placed in a bottle for a more comfortable consumption as a plain beverage without the chewing part. Plus the fact that the said juice is free from any chemicals, artificial food color and flavoring.

sugarcane in mall

Drinking sugarcane juice have many health benefits such as an alternative remedy for sore throat and flu. It’s good for our digestive system which can prevent constipation due to its rich potassium content. It also decreases our body’s bad cholesterol which in return can refresh and energize us. To add up, it can strengthen our stomach, kidney and heart. Best of all, it can help us prevent and fight cancer because of it’s being alkaline in nature. Moreover, it hydrates our body quickly. Regular intake of its juice can naturally boost our immune system, improve our intestinal health, breaks kidney stones and prevents hypertension to name a few. Drinking  a delicious and natural sugarcane juice can give you a healthy and sweet life ahead!

Photos by: Sukito San

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane

http://www.netafim.com/article/sugarcane–philippines

http://beautyhealthtips.in/best-health-benefits-of-drinking-sugarcane-juice/

food feature: TAHO!

“Taho” is one of the most famous Filipino delicacy that you can see as it was being sold in the street usually every morning. This sweet food captures the taste of both young and old especially the children. Derived from the influence of the Chinese cuisine, this food is made out of fresh soya or soybean which is also used in making soy sauce. It includes “arnibal” (caramelized brown sugar) or sweet vanilla syrup with the combination of pearl sago bought from local market and are boiled to a gummy-like condition until it turns out to be transluscent white.

magtataho

The “Magtataho” are commonly seen strolling in the streets, parks, markets and other public places where people can see them easily. They usually carry these two metal buckets in a yoke. One bucket contains the soya while the other one has dividers and contains the syrup, the pearl sago and the coins separated on the other part of the bucket. You can have a taste of this delicacy for ten pesos (Php 10.00) or sometimes with five pesos (Php 5.00) depending on the size of the plastic cup. You can also bring you own glass where the vendor will fill it up with “taho” and the price will depend on the size of your glass. Anyways, you’ll never unmind the vendor for you can always hear him shouting, “Tahoooo! tahooo!”, several times as he passed you by. Nowadays, the syrup is available in many flavor choices like the strawberry (in Baguio), buko pandan and honey. 

Photos by: Sukito San

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