I am not very proud to say that it is my first time to go to the Bulacan Food Fair Expo (BuFFEx), let alone explore Bulacan food. What rock have I been under, living here for 22 years O-O?! My ignorance is so bad that it is only recently that I have heard that my hometown Marilao, has its own version of pancit, aptly named Pancit Marilao; which I have successfully traced (it was not easy) but yet to try. You see I have researched different pancit varieties here in the Philippines because it is part of my buckEat list to sample each one (check out the list here). But as they say, better late than never! I am just so happy that I have finally gotten to know some of Bulacan’s Culinary Treasures through BUFFEx and share it with all of you. There are a lot more to explore so this is definitely just the beginning.
Empanada de Kaliskis (Mercy’s Original Empanada de Kaliskis since 1820)Yes, you read that right, the recipe for this Empanada de Kaliskis dates back to the 1820’s!!! How amazing is that?! The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and it is such an honor to get to enjoy it even to this day. For more information about this antique food, check out this article. You can buy this at Bulakenya’s Eatery in Sto. Rosario, Malolos (downtown).
GorgoryaAt this point, let me introduce you to my long-lost hero, Milagros Santiago Enriquez, a food and culture historian. She documented heirloom recipes like this egg yolk-based Gorgorya (recipe here) into a book entitled “Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan”, which is no longer in print today =(. I really hope to get a copy of this book because I love her advocacy and it is in many ways my own. Nonetheless, I am just glad that I crossed paths with her somehow. This Gorgorya is distributed by Lihan Enterprises – 2F #568 Paseo del Congreso St., Liang, Malolos City, Bulacan/795-5655,09954890514,09321279939
Kurbata de CeboThis is another heirloom recipe from the Spanish period that can be associated with The Women of Malolos, to which Dr. Jose Rizal wrote a letter to. This Kurbata de Cebo is distributed by Lihan Enterprises as well.
PinasoThis is another egg yolk-based dessert (recipe here) from the Spanish period that tastes like Leche Flan but with a bite and burnt on top like a crème brûlée. Many egg yolk-based desserts were developed during that time because of the overflowing surplus as egg whites were used for construction of churches (BlauEarth, 2013). You can avail this at Bistro Maloleno – #1 Valenzuela St., Brgy. Bulihan Capitol View Park, Malolos City, Bulacan/09428247876,09395218656
Hamon BulakenyaSpeaking of Bistro Maloleno, this is the restaurant that inherited (to commercially offer) much of the recipes from “Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan” including this Hamon Bulakenya . Aside from this, they also offer the favorite dishes of our national heroes. See their menu below:
Inipit by EurobakeI have heard of Inipit before, as there is a big corporation that manufactures this; and I have also heard of Eurobake before, as they are quite popular. However, it is only now that I have made the connection between the two! So apparently, Eurobake made the first ever Inipit. Oh! How I wish I can also develop a beloved recipe that many generations can enjoy! By the way, this is technically not included in BuFFEx 2016 (as well as the next one) but it is definitely part of Bulacan’s Culinary Treasures so I am including it here.
Ensaymada by EurobakeAnother beloved snack from Eurobake (along McArthur Hi-way, Malolos) is their traditional Ensaymada.
Minasa The abovementioned foods are all from Malolos but that does not mean that only Malolos has heirloom recipes and culinary treasures. Take for example, this Minasa or Cassava Cookies of Bustos, which has its own festival every January. And which I am snacking on right now, hehe. To know more about this heirloom snack, click here. You can buy this from one of the pioneer manufacturers, Fe’s at 16 General Alejo G. Santos Highway (Infront of Bustos Fire Department), Bustos, Bulacan (contact numbers: 8920540, 09178012253)
Tamales (Aling Tasing’s Original Tamales Pandayan)I never liked Tamales so I was skeptical about this very popular version originating from Meycauayan. Again, it is only now that I have heard of this 50 year old delicacy that is apparently sought after by many non-Bulakenyos. It has five flavors: the classic latik at itlog na maalat (not in the picture), cashew, adobo, latik at keso and langka at macapuno. So does it deserve the hype? YES, IT DOES!!! Here’s the contact details of Ate Estrelle, the second generation maker of this deliciousness – 09152346840/#38 S. De Vera St., Pandayan, Meycauayan City, Bulacan.
Longganisang CalumpitMy husband loved this so much! He was humming to himself how delicious it is late into the night of the day we had this for dinner. It is similar to the longganisa of Northern Luzon, garlicky and not sweet. You can contact one of the more famous makers, Linda Garcia at 0932-3203441 for orders.
Putong KaninOf course, there has got to be some awesome kakanin and kalamay in this list! To start, this Putong Kanin is the best Putong Kanin I have ever tasted!!! Soft, moist and flavorful! This is from Rico and Arlene Special Kakanin of Bustos (contact numbers: 761-0498, 09336128782, 09256420091, 09757336315)
I am very much interested with all kinds of kakanin and kalamay because it is also part of may buckEat list to sample and document all kinds from all over the country (The BuckEat List: MUST EATS in the Philippines)
Pineapple VinegarFrom here on, I’m sharing a couple of the more recent food innovations here in Bulacan. It’s good to keep tradition alive but it is also good to explore other food possibilities. I am so proud that Bulacan has beautifully done both! The Pineapple Vinegar pictured above is a product of the SAMAKA Multi-purpose Co-operative in San Jose del Monte (contact details: 09167673089, 09759211084, 09358027237/Brgy. Kaybanban, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan). Incidentally, I am also a supporter of the co-operative concept and movement. I actually helped develop a co-operative in a relocation community in Brgy. Gayagaya, San Jose del Monte for my Field Work as a masteral student of Community Development. Before I forget, their vinegar is amazing! It’s a wonderful addition to my vinegar collection as sampling all Philippine vinegars is also part of my buckEat list.
Oyster MushroomsMany Bulacan municipalities have apparently been growing these oyster mushrooms. Rightly so for it has been reported to be very profitable.
Dragon Fruit Ice CreamThis unique and vibrant ice cream is manufactured by Dragon Farm in Brgy. Capihan, San Rafael, Bulacan (contact numbers: 09228448727, 09175327041, 09199913325). We didn’t find this at Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center where BuFFEx 2016 was held but rather in another Singkaban-related fair at Robinsons Place Malolos.