A lot of people would say that the best way to get to know people from a certain place is by tasting the food that they eat. When visitors come to Cebu, they will be greeted by different food choices that are considered the sources of prides for Cebu. While puso, lechon, and sutukil are for heavy meals, there are also other food choices that Cebuanos are well-known for. Here are some delicacies you shouldn’t miss:
This is a very popular delicacy often cooked during Lent and All Souls’ Day. Think of it as a hot version of the halo-halo. It has different ingredients like gabi, ube, saging na saba, kamote, langka, tapioca (sago), malagkit or glutinous rice, coconut cream, coconut milk, and brown sugar. This is skillfully cooked by mothers during special observations when the rest of the family are at home. This filling delicacy is perfect for Lent since it can already make one full and the best part is it is made of delicious and healthy ingredients.
Made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and coconut cream, this is also a Holy Week and All Souls’ Day staple. Biko is usually shared by Cebuanos to guests and neighbors.
Puto and Sikwate
It is not a surprise that a lot of Cebuanos have a rather hearty breakfast daily. Instead of coffee, many would pick sikwate, a native hot chocolate drink made from tablea. It is usually paired with puto maya, a sweet delicacy made of glutinous rice. To make it even more special, many Cebuanos eat this combination with ripe mangoes.
Well sure, torta can also be found in other parts of the country but what sets Cebu’s special torta apart is the lard and tuba used as ingredients. Lard or the oil from pig to raise the wheat used in baking. Tuba, on the other hand, adds flavor and also helps preserve the torta.
Carcar is popular for its lechon and chicharon but another thing that can fill one’s tummy when visiting this city is the ampao. The sweet ampao is made of rice that is air dried and cooked until it reaches the right crispiness.
Bibingka is another popular Filipino delicacy but what sets Cebu’s version is the generous strips of young coconut meat. If you are craving for the most delicious bingka, go to Mandaue and taste their specialty.
No, Cebuanos are not making suman out of bats. Kabog is the Cebuano term for millet, a cereal that is also used for other food and purposes. Budbod kabog, unlike its sticky rice counterpart has a finer texture and sweeter taste.
Salvaro could come in two forms: as a coconut bread or as a coconut biscuit. In towns far from the city, salvaro is cooked by grandmothers or mothers and are sold to neighbors. The fresh-from-the-kitchen goodness is best paired with coffee.
The salvaro biscuit, on the other hand, is a flat and very thin biscuit that is cooked until it becomes very crispy. The brittle snack is well-loved by children.
Rosquillos are heavenly cookies. The cookies originated in Liloan. It was said to be first served by Lola Titay, the matriarch of the Frasco family. Her cookies are so well-loved that they decided to open a bakery where it is sold to visitors. Most buses heading to northern Cebu would also stop by this bakery to buy the delicious snack.
Bao-bao is another delicacy that looks like a biscuit but it actually has a sweetened coconut filling known as bokayo.
Of course, among the favorite pasalubongs, Cebu dried mangoes are considered world class because of their sweet taste. These are also usually neatly packed and ready for sharing.
Which of these Cebuano delicacies have you tried? Share your Cebuano foodie experience with us!