BALUT: Filipino duck egg


duck egg with a developed embryo

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Also see balut.

hardboiled duck egg


Photo of Penoy Balut

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Deep-fried pork rinds of the Philippines… That’s chicharon!

Munch, munch, munch… dip in vinegar spiked with chili peppers and pray you don’t get a heart attack later in the day.

Did you know that there are many different kinds of chicharon in the Philippines?

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Filipino Candy

The Filipino word for “candy” is kendi, from the English, but this usually refers to Western-style hard, semi-hard, and soft candies.

Branded candies that can be considered vintage or classic Filipino: Bobot Candy-Coated Peanuts, Candyman Kendimint, Jack n Jill X.O. Coffee Candies, Viva Caramel, Nuts Caramel, Lipps Strawberry, Starr Eucalyptus Menthol (the candy formerly known as Storck), Orange Swits, Peter’s Butter Ball, Mikmik, King’s Chocnut, Hany, Ricoa’s Curly Tops, Ricoa’s Flat Tops, Stay Fresh, Maxx Honey-mansi Menthol Candy, Potchi Strawberry Cream Gummies, Nips Candy-Coated Chocolate

Tropical or Southeast Asian flavors used for Filipino candy: ube (purple yam), langka (jackfruit), mangga (mango), kundol (wintermelon)

Candied Kundol
Candied Kundol

Aside from sugar-glazed pili nuts, here are examples of local Philippine sweets and their notable ingredients in parentheses: Yema (egg yolks), Bukayo (coconut), Pakumbo (coconut), Sampalok (tamarind)

The native Tagalog word minatamis refers to “sweetened” fruits, such as bananas or jackfruit stewed in sugar syrup.

Filipino Candy
Peanut Kisses & Peanut Fingers: Filipino Candy from Bohol

A few regions of the country are known for their particular confectioneries. Foremost among these is Bohol province. As soon as you mention Bohol to a Filipino, the first thing that pops to mind are the Chocolate Hills geographical formation, and not far behind are Peanut Kisses and perhaps their slightly lesser cousins, the Peanut Fingers.

Durian Candy of Davao
Lola Abon’s Original Durian Candy

The great Davao area on the large island of Mindanao in southern Philippines is famous for the wide variety of fruits that are mostly found only there. Among these fruits is the odoriferous durian.

Lola Abon’s is a brand that has national recognition. Her family and company have been making durian candies since the year 1950.

Lola Abon's Durian Candy Bar
Lola Abon’s Durian Candy Bar, a Davao Specialty

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Fondly known as “Filipino crack” to young FilAms, polvoron is a sweet molded treat whose basic ingredients are toasted flour, margarine or butter, sugar and powdered milk. Continue reading “PULBURON”


from the Spanish leche, meaning ‘milk’


It is an old-fashioned exclamation of annoyance, displeasure or anger. Often shortened to tse.

Leche: Minsan Flan, Minsan Ikaw

letse plan / letseplan
leche flan

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Also spelled as champoy.

Tsampóy is a popular Chinese sweet in the Phlippines. It is made from the Myrica rubra fruit called yangmei, which has also been called Chinese bayberry or Chinese strawberry. The raw fruit at its prime is a briliant red (see photo below), but the preserved fruit that is sold as a treat is dark brown to black in color. Each fruit has a single seed in the center.

The origin of the name may somehow be related to Chenpi (陳皮), which in Hong Kong is transliterated as Chanpui and literally means “citrus peel.” A popular Cantonese sweet is called Chanpuimui (陳皮梅 or “tangerine-peel plum”).

The Difference Between Champoy and Kiamoy? →


Suman [soo-mahn] is a slender-shaped Filipino rice cake steamed in banana or palm leaves. Continue reading “SUMAN”