Photo by Backpacking Philippines
Binagol (BEE-Nah-GOL) is a Waray dessert made from a mixture of talyan (a type of root crop similar to gabi), coconut milk and sugar placed or poured into coconut shells or “bagol” (in Waray) and then steamed until cooked.
Binagol, although mostly made in Dagami town, can be found and are sold in Tacloban City and other parts of eastern Leyte region. With a ‘coco-nutty’ sweet taste, binagol is a popular food souvenir for visitors. The coconut shell not only makes an attractive, ecologically-sound packaging but also preserves the freshness of binagol. One can also eat directly from the coconut shell, making this dessert a very handy, filling and tasty snack-on-the-go.
Mabuhay ang binagol!
Photo from: One Filipino Dish a Week blog
Puso (Hanging Rice) is an ingenious if not an eco-friendly way of packaging cooked rice. Puso is popular in the Visayas region particularly in the provinces of Cebu and Leyte where one often sees them being sold by roaming vendors to travellers in bus stations, ship harbors and public marketplaces.
A handful or fistful of rice is poured into a woven heart-shaped bag or pouch made of young coconut leaves and then carefully cooked or steamed in hot water. The cooked rice, which has expanded, fills up the pouch and the package of rice is eaten by slicing open the woven pouch. This traditional packaging obviously predates the modern use of Styrofoam and plastic boxes, and recalls those nostalgic days of pre-Tupperware days when nature (read: leaves, stalks, bamboo, etc…) provides the main materials in food packaging.
Puso may look like a simple pouch of packaged rice but the cooking process is tricky since one has to correctly estimate the water contents, cooking time and amount of rice to avoid overcooking or undercooking the rice, or worse, using too little rice. It takes experience and technique to master making a puso of rice. But the efforts are worth it to impress your ecologically-conscious friends.
Long live native Pinoy packaging methods!
Filed under Food, Traditions