I am a kakanin
(rice cake) lover.
When I was little, every time my mom visited her bestfriend at her office in Malabon, she would bring home a bilao
of sapin sapin
, a round kakanin
with various colors that are pleasing to the eyes and irresistible for the stomach.
In Antipolo City where we used to live, I also had tasted many times the triangular kalamay
sprinkled on top and suman
which can be fried in margarine or butter.
Then in Pangasinan, my taste buds have been aquainted with other kinds of kakanin.
One of these is bibingkang latik
, a mixture of glutinous rice, coconut milk and sugar. Spread on top is a mixture of coconut milk and sugar. Recently, due to a project I’m currently working on (Basista’s audio-visual presentation), I was lucky enough to witness the step-by-step process in making this delicacy.
In Basista, Pangasinan, Kuya Romy is the lone bibingkang latik
maker in Brgy. Dumpay. His product, however, is not sold at the public market. He only makes some when there are orders for such occasions as wedding and christening, or for pasalubong.
Even the employees at the municipal hall order bibingkang latikfrom Kuya Romy.
He showed us the arduous task of bibingka making including the extraction of coconut milk from coconut shavings.
For a 16-inch bibingkang latik, the following ingredients are needed:
2 kg malagkit (glutinous rice)
3 coconuts (1 for the malagkit, 2 for the coconut-sugar spread or katiba)
6 packs of white sugar (1/4 kg per pack—4 for the katiba, 2 for the malagkit)
Four packs of sugar had been cooked until it melted and turned red. Kuya Romy, then, poured the previously extracted coconut milk (from the shavings of the two coconuts) into the preparation. He boiled the mixture for about 45 minutes until it thickened. At the same time, he cooked the malagkit in another mixture of coconut milk and sugar, just the way we cook rice.
Later on, Kuya Romy transferred the cooked malagkit into the round earthenware laid with banana leaves and flattened it.
Then, he spread the katiba on top.
Another earthenware was placed on top of the one containing the preparation. Kuya Romy filled it with several pieces of wood and set them on fire later on. This would cook the preparation beneath.
Three hours later, et voila! Bibingkang latik was ready.
During the Holidays, production is at its peak and orders come rushing in.
While Basista pushes for the promotion of bibingkang latik as its One Town, One Product (OTOP), Kuya Romy wishes to acquire a huge concrete stove (pugon) with a chimney. That way, he said, he could increase his production to meet the growing demand for this delectable delicacy.
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