Sarrat patupat and tupig up close and personal

Apart from Christmas, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are the times of the year when we get to have a fling with tempting carb-rich native rice cakes. Besides being the home to the elegant Sta. Monica Church and remaining binakol-weavers in Ilocos Norte, the eastern town of Sarrat is also known for its delish patupat and tupig.

My in-laws (some visiting from Manila) bring the specially ordered kankanen from their suki (favorite maker) in Sarrat to the cemetery for us to enjoy while we catch up on each other. I had around ten of the patupat with that lovely shiny “nakilnet a diket.”

A personal favorite is tupig with toasted black sesame seeds. The Sarrat tupig had those black bits plus rich ladek (coconut paste) enveloped in sticky buttery goodness, just so wonderful!

What’s life without a few guilty pleasures?

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2011

Sari-Sari Store

Convenience stores are sprouting like mushrooms in Laoag. We went food-hunting at our favorite Shop & Go on Halloween night. I like it there because my money stretches far. Ericke drinks their coffee usually while Brandon alternates between dumplings and frozen yogurt. I got rigatoni pasta, Japanese siomai and kimchi. I know, so very strange! It’s united flavors, yum!This is actually the weirdest  product I’ve encountered. Cashing in on the Filipinos’ fondness for whitening stuff, papaya-and-glutathione is not only limited to soaps and creams now. I died!Just when we were about to leave, a plateful of atang makes a dramatic entrance at the store. I ended up taking photos of the owners and the treats (thanks, guys!). It’s an Ilocano thing — a traditional offering for the reposed — there’s busi (popped rice with tagapulot, like caramel popcorn) and an assortment of sticky rice cakes (baduya, patupat and linapet). Atang commonly includes pinais, mama (bua, gawed and apog) and tabaco.Have a happy long weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to say a prayer for your dear departed.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2011

“Binanlay man”

Found something more interesting than a monstrous Narra butaka (armchair) in Butaka City, otherwise known as Ilagan City, in the province of Isabela. I heard a man say, “binanlay man.” I had to check what I heard ‘coz I’ve heard about binalay before. Anyways, the lady said it clear, “Binanlay.” I asked for one and she passed me a bundle. I opened one of the neatly folded banana wrappers and sampled the shiny white content. I thought it would taste like our very own tupig, but it was more like bilo-bilo. Maybe she read my confused reaction, so she handed over a tiny plastic bag with thick brown sauce.

She was right, the rice cake had to go with a dollop of panucha, like Ilocano inkalti.

According to my Ilagan insider, binanlay is an Ybanag specialty.

They also had patupat.

Photographed by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved