Ampao (pronounced as AM-PAW) is a rice ball puff lightly coated with sugar syrup. A favorite snack ampao has several varieties and in the Visayas, Central Philippines, ampao is made of rice that are crispier but less light or puffy than those found in Luzon island.
Ampao is also shaped or formed in various ways; flat and rectangular, round, squares, thin slabs and the more common ball-shaped rice puffs. Ball-shaped ampao also comes in various colours, obviously as come-on to kids. From green, red, rose pink, yellow to blue, these colored rice puffs are often sold in small sari-sari stores (Mom & Pop stores).
Carcar in Cebu is known to produce the best rice puffs or crispies in the Visayas. Carcar’s ampao makers used cooked rice that are sun-dried to make it crispier. Rectangular in shape, Carcar ampao has peanuts embedded in the rice puff as an added treat.
Long live Pinoy-made snacks!