Long before McDonalds´ invasion of the Philippines, kamote-que onced ruled the street food scene in the country.
Kamote-que are sliced sweet potatoes which are deep fried and coated with caramelized brown sugar. Served in barbeque sticks, which gives this potato snack the name, kamote-que were once popular and were found in every street corner served directly from the frying pan and piping hot!
Today, with the popularity of French fries from fast-food chains, kamote-que has been pushed to the sidelines and is seldom seen on the street compared to bygone years.
But for real Pinoy street food afficionados nothing beats kamote-que serve on banana leaves, which gives an extra fragrant banana scent to the hot caramelized potato chunks.
Mabuhay ang kamote-que!
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!
Champoy Photo from Sulit.com
Champoy is a sweet-salty-sourish dried plum that is popular in the Philippines as snack candy. Chinese in origin as the ‘hopia’ and ‘tikoy,’ champoy is best loved for its strong taste, and afficionados swear to its unique tangy flavor.
Wrinkled and often-rust colored, champoy is a candy that one either loves or hates. There are several varieties of champoy, but the basic flavor is the sharp sweetness mixed with saltiness. A preference for champoy can also be an acquired taste. Champoy has been thoroughly adapted into the Filipino eating culture, and remains popular up to this day despite the widespread availability of Western candies and snack food items.
Mabuhay ang champoy!