Top Filipino Snacks
In the Philippines, almost every city and every province has different kind of festivals that is celebrated all year round and it shows the rich culture of the Philippines. This kind of practice yearly has been in the tradition of the Filipinos and they have started even before the country was colonized by the Spaniards. There are different types of festivities in the country, some of them are seasonal, some are national while the others are religious. Most of the festivals that are celebrated in the country are religious and it honors the patron saint of the city or the province. Most of the time, masses, novenas, parades, beauty pageants and processions are held and it brings the community together to express gratitude to God. Festivals in the country lasts for an entire day to an entire month. These festivals attract both local and foreign tourists because of its fun, colorful and festive nature. Attending a festival in the Philippines is something that you must experience at least once in your lifetime. Since there is a festival going on in the country each month and they last for days, this should not be a problem.
Ginataan is a food that is cooked in coconut milk, or gata. The savory version can include seafood or vegatables, but for snacks, we loved Ginataang Halo-Halo or Bilo-Bilo. Bilo-Bilo or glutinous rice balls, are extra sticky, chewy and the main ingredient of a sweet, light porridge that is made with sago balls or tapioca, strips of langka or jackfruit, cubes of kamote or purple yam, saba or cooked banana and lots of coconut milk. Usually served warm, ginataan, as it is simply referred to for short, and it is delicious once it cools down. You can eat a bowlful after bowlful of this satisfying treat.
2. ) Ensaymada
Ensaymada, is the Filipino version of brioche topped with lots of butter, sugar and premium cheese is a tradition for many Filipino households, especially during the holiday season when it is best paired with a cup of hot chocolate. But for everyday snack fare, you can turn to a humbler version of this pastry. The signature coil-shape of the ensaymada is still present, but the rich buttery dough was more bread-like and along with loads of sugar came a lathering of margarine, and a sprinkling of cheese. These ensaymadas can be bought in the corner bakery, sliced in half and perhaps if you had a bit more time, they were even heated in their own margarine on a pan like pancake, turning them crisp, slightly caramelized, and it is welcoming whiff whet your appetite till you could not wait to devour them.
3.) Chicken Mami
Steaming bowls of chicken broth right out of a bubbling pot at a market stall, that is chicken mami for you. Modern times, however, make for different circumstances, and the instant noodle versions have replaced true broth and noodles combinations of days past. There are many 5-minute packs that includes the instant noodles, a packet of seasoning and another packet of oils and sauces. This version is still hearty and heartwarming especially on rainy afternoons, it could easily be jazzed up with a garnish of hardboiled egg slices or some chopped up fresh veggies.
If you have been walking on the streets of the Philippines, you will hear the signature call of the taho vendor as they advertise their goods and the walk through the neighborhoods. You can run out with an empty glass and a few coins for payment. From there we would be rewarded with a dark, syrupy treat sweetened with arnibal that was layered with silken tofu and sago pearls. Taho is usually served hot and it will warm you up as it slides down your throat, but some of the vendors also serve it cold. Many supermarkets and shopping malls now have taho stalls or even old-school vendors selling this snack, making it easier for us to delight in this sweet treat, hot or cold.
5.) Ice Buko
Ice candy are frozen treats that come in different flavors included melon and chocolate, but the most famous one is the ice buko and it is considered as an all-time classic favorite. Ice buko is a mixture of buko juice and condensed milk, with strips of fresh buko meat that was frozen either on a popsicle stick or in a long thin plastic bag. The shape of it never mattered, especially on hot summer afternoons, where the foremost goal was to enjoy every icy, slurpy bite before it melted. And for those who wants to get ice buko immediately, there are those that are easy to make at home or you can purchase them at a supermarket.
6. ) Fish balls
This snack is a favorite amongst students, these are normally ordered after school with other street food favorites like squid balls, fried quail eggs or kwek-kwek or cheese sticks, fish balls are easy afternoon treats eaten at the risk of getting a tummy ache. The appetizing smell of these flat, white, flour-filled snacks deep frying in oil just could not keep up away. It was the brown sauce that are sometimes sweet and sometimes spicy, that always managed to seal the deal. They are available in big packs in the frozen section of supermarkets, so essentially you can also make them at home, and yet the ones off the streets are still incomparable.
7. ) Halo-halo
This snack is an all-time Filipino favorite especially during the summer season. Although we are guilty of loving it even on a rainy season. For foreigners, this snack is a must try. It is called halo-halo because it is a Filipino word that means mixture or different things put together into one. Halo-halo is filled with different sweet ingredients that are cooked individually and served with crushed ice and milk and topped with ice cream, leche flan and ube.
8. ) Palitaw
Palitaw is a sweet rice cake snack that is topped with grated coconut, sugar and sesame seeds. It is usually round, small and flat in appearance. It is made from sticky rice or popularly known as the malagkit here in the Philippines. It is called palitaw because it is floating in the oil when cooked and in Filipino, palitaw means to float.
9. ) Banana cue and camote cue
A deep fried banana that is covered with caramelized brown sugar. It is usually skewered on a bamboo stick and it is sold on the streets and it is loved whatever the season is. Camote cue is almost the same with banana cue, the only difference is instead of using banana, we use camote. If you are on a tight budget but you want to have a full tummy. Banana and Camote cue are perfect for you.
10. ) Saging con yelo and mais con yelo
Saging con yelo and mais con yelo is made up with the same ingredients: crushed ice, evaporated milk and sugar. The only difference with these two is that one is topped with bite-sized, cooked and sweetened bananas while mais con yelo uses corn kettles that you can purchase in the market.