Food, People, Places, Events

Of Foods and Holy Week: Why I Miss Home

More than just a tradition, Good Friday is like a display of culture around the world. Yet one thing I'll associate it with too is food. [Biko (on the lower left) courtesy of filipinofoods.hubpages.com; binignit (lower right) is from istorya.net]
More than just a tradition, Good Friday is like a display of culture around the world. Though religious in nature, like my nephew kissing the life-size ‘dead’ Jesus image (top), I also associate it with food most especially Biko (on the lower left, courtesy of filipinofoods.hubpages.com) and binignit (lower right, from istorya.net).
If there’s one thing I can associate Good Friday with aside from its religious significance that will be local food!

The old adage is ringing true for me: the best celebration is always at home. This is the second Good Friday I spent away from my family in Leyte, Philippines, and the feeling is not different from the first time. I still miss home! I miss the delicacies my mom would prepare during this normally very hot weather. I know everyone can relate to my nostalgia.

Therefore, as Christians across the globe commemorate the death of Jesus Christ, let me champion the two Filipino gastronomic delights I grew up with. The delicacies I would always associate with this celebration. I am no chef or pretending to be so I asked my friend to share her recipes. Feel free to add more to the list.

Rice is a staple crop in the Philippines, therefore, there is no doubt that it's a main ingredient to satisfy our sweet cravings. Photo from www.paulaq.com
Rice is a staple crop in the Philippines, therefore, there is no doubt that it’s a main ingredient to satisfy our sweet cravings. Photo from http://www.paulaq.com

1. Biko (Glutinous rice cooked in muscovado sugar syrup). Cooking this native delicacy brings several memories to me. Normally, my mom would ask me to grate the coconut early on Friday so she can cook it before noon. Who would forget the sweet biko we share every three o’clock in the afternoon on a Good Friday? This sugary delight would really satisfy your sweet tooth.

Check out this sample recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups glutinous rice (I prefer mixing black and white)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups muscovado sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vanilla or lemon rind, optional

Simple cooking steps:

  1. Cook the glutinous rice in a rice cooker.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, combine the coconut milk with muscovado sugar, vanilla/lemon rind, and salt in a separate pot and cook in low heat until it becomes thick. Stir constantly.
  3. As soon as the mixture is thick enough, add the rice to it. Continue cooking over low fire until it becomes all the milk evaporates. Do not overcook.
  4. Share and Enjoy!

2. Binignit (root crops and fruits cooked in coconut milk). Who said that binignit is only

Healthy and delicious, this delicacy is well-loved and enjoyed by Visayans. Photo from www.pinterest.com
Healthy and delicious, this delicacy is well-loved and enjoyed by Visayans. Photo from http://www.pinterest.com

for fasting? I doubt it. I really could not get my spoons off from this popular native delicacy—a mixture of different crops and fruits like sweet potato, taro, purple yam, banana, jackfruit, among others.

Here’s a sample recipe.

  • 1 piece taro or cassava whichever is preferred, cubed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  2 pieces sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small piece purple yam, cubed
  • 4 tbsps tapioca
  • 4 pieces ripe plantain banana, sliced small
  • 6 pieces jackfruit
  • 2 cups pure coconut milk
  • 1 cup of coconut milk diluted in 1/2 cup of water.

Here’s how you cook it.

  1. Cook taro, sweet potato, and plantain banana in the diluted coconut milk.
  2. Once tender, add brown sugar and jackfruit. Simmer until all ingredients cooked and the mixture is thick.
  3. Add 2 cups coconut milk. Let it stay on a low fire for a minute. Do not boil or it will curdle.
  4. Serve hot.

What do you miss from home? Share us your thoughts!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Of Foods and Holy Week: Why I Miss Home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s