A friend dropped by to give a bagful of special patupat from Ballesteros, Cagayan. They even have a festival in honor of these native sticky rice cakes made of glutinous rice or diket, coconut milk, sugar, and, surprisingly, a good sprinkling of salt.
They are so good when eaten hot with ripe mangoes and fresh getta (coconut cream) — really makes me forget where’s east and west!
These patupat aka balisongsong are smaller than our own Ilocos patupat, but they taste just as great, or even better than what are being sold in the market of Laoag. The made to order patupat from Barangay Barit and the town of Sarrat are really especially wonderful, though.
Filipino suman differs from every region. In the Mountain Province, patupat is spelled as patopat and either banana or squash leaves are used as wrapping. In Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, it’s also spelled as patopat. Quite differently, they’re wrapped in woven coconut leaves, and instead of sugar, Pangasinenses use molasses, locally known as tagapulot, which charmingly oozes out through the wrappers’ tiny holes. Another festival in Pangasinan is named after this Ilocano delicacy.
I noticed Chinese machang looks like patupat. How interesting?
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I was sort-of depleted after watching Inception, a total brain workout. When I got home, I checked the refrigerator and found this. It’s a Chinese dish called zongzi, but Chinoys who speak the Hokkien dialect call it machang. It’s like our native suman, except that it is prepared with pork and chicken filling. It’s more like Chinese adobo in taste. Making this sticky rice dish is a laborious process, and the wrapper has to be pandan or bamboo leaves. The dude buys cooked machang in the Ongpin area, from Chinese restaurants or delicatessen shops like Sincerity or Diao Eng Chai. Keeping them in the freezer makes them last longer. It takes one hour, though, to reheat them.
We usually eat ours with Del Monte tomato catsup and chopped garlic. Banana catsup is not a good companion, imo.
Just like suman, there are regional variations. Machang in Singapore is white and tiny. Also in the States. There are all sorts of filling — mushrooms, bean paste, Chinese sausage, salted duck eggs, barbecued pork, etc. The most popular kind in the Philippines is the pork-filled. Several makers in Binondo prefer a combination of pork slices with red beans.
I guess the only restaurant that serves machang in Laoag is Macy’s Diner, if you wish to try.
Photo by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED