TURON

Filipino turon consists of a plantain wrapped like a spring roll and then deep fried — sort of like banana lumpia.

turon
banana “fritter”

Continue reading “TURON”


LETSE

from the Spanish leche, meaning ‘milk’

Letse!
Dammit.

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

Continue reading “LETSE”

BARKILYOS

from the Spanish word barquillos, meaning “wafer rolls” or “rolled wafers” 

Barkilyos look like empty tubes.

Barkilyos (Barquillos)

Iloilo in the Visayas region is known for barkilyos.

Watch how barkilyos are made. Click here!

PANDESAL

Pandesal is a type of Filipino bread that’s slightly sweet and baked as small, oval loaves. The name comes from the Spanish pan de sal, which literally means ‘bread of salt.’

Pandesal with butter

Continue reading “PANDESAL”

TSAMPOY

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

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

Filipino Seed Snacks

Among many Filipinos’ fondest memories is gathering around a bowl of dried watermelon seeds with a piece of old newspaper on hand ready to be piled with discarded shells. Ahhh… butong pakwan!!

Filipino Seed Snacks

Dried seeds are old-time favorite Filipino snacks. Fun and addictive to snack on, satisfying one’s oral fixations, unshelled seeds boast a fairly low “calorie to bite” ratio — what with the amount of effort involved in carefully extracting each seed’s kernel from out of the shell. In terms of nutritional value, seeds run a close second to traditional nuts as a source of potassium, manganese and zinc.


WATERMELON SEEDS (BUTONG PAKWAN)

Among many Filipinos’ fondest memories is gathering around a bowl of dried watermelon seeds with a piece of old newspaper on hand ready to be piled with discarded shells. Parents and older relatives take on the task of cracking open the buto (“seed”) for young children who have yet to develop the skill of extracting the kernels as whole as possible.

Snacking on butong pakwan happens when family and friends are just hanging out, chatting or watching television. It’s a great “busy food” to give bored hands something to do. The ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia are known to do this type of snacking over the Lunar New Year or during a funeral wake. The seed-eating session usually only ends once you’ve run out of seeds or your lips and tongue have become too painfully sore from the salt.

Watermelon SeedsButong pakwan does have a distinctive flavor beyond mere saltiness, brought about by the addition of sanki, which is star anise (Illicium verum), and it is not uncommon to find one or two of the beautifully desiccated anise flowers still mixed in among the black seeds, providing a subtly sweet enhancement. Watermelon seeds come in packets that are sometimes labeled simply as “melon” seeds.

Popular Filipino and Fil-American brands include Captain Sid’sPaning’sAling Conching and Tropics.

Continue reading “Filipino Seed Snacks”

BARKIRON

More often spelled as barquiron, influenced by Spanish. Barkiron is the spelling based on Tagalog orthography.

Barquiron from Bacolod: Bongbong's brand

Barquiron are barkilyos filled with pulburon, then individually wrapped in colorful cellophane.

It is highly likely the name barquiron is a portmanteau of the words barquillos and polvoron.

Barquiron and Barkilyos are delicacies associated with the city of Bacolod, the capital of Negros Occidental province, which is part of the Visayas region of the Philippines. BongBong’s is a popular local brand.

In the nearby Iloilo area, Rewel’s is a known brand, spelling their product’s name as barqueron.