Hey guys! There’s more to Cebu than danggit, lechon, otap & dried mango when it comes to pasalubong. Unknown to many, Cebu offers a whole lot more yummy local delicacies like masareal, shakoy, salvaro, tagaktak and bibingka from mandaue and chicharon from carcar. Last Sunday titus & i decided to go to Mandaue City near their cityhall to buy some of these native delicacies
My sister’s favorite native kakanin – sinudlan – shakoy stuffed with bucayo
Bucayo or bukayo are shredded young coconut, cooked in brown sugar or moscovado until it has caramelized. When i was younger whenever we go to Mindanao for our summer vacation our kin there never fails to cooked bucayo. And i get to watch how bucayos are made from scratch, i’d be in rapt attention until the coconut strips will turn to brown. And you can be sure that when it’s time to go home to Cebu we would be bringing a container full of bucayo with us ^_^ But that was a long time ago, lately the only chance i get to eat bucayo is when they are stuffed in shakoys which is being peddled often in our neighborhood. My sister kenneth is not very keen on kakanin in general but she likes this shakoy stuffed bucayo so she is all smiles when she hears manang’s booming voice shouting ’shakoy, bucayo’.
bucayo stuffed shakoy or sinudlan ^_^
This is not white chocolate, this is Masareal
Masareal is made from finely ground peanut and sugar syrup and shaped to form a rectangular bar. Masareals are usually available in the kiosk stores selling kakanin or native delicacies in the vicinity of Mandaue church. Popular brand is didang’s masareal, the small bar sells for P15 while the larger block is P30 each. Sometimes when i have cravings for masareal, i just pick it up in supermarkets because price in Mandaue is more or less the same in supermarkets. The texture of masareal is akin to that of camote candy.
Sweet, Sweet Masareal Love!
The famous Mandaue Bibingka
We didn’t bought one because we were out of budget already buying loads of masareal and tagaktak haha. The best Bibingka or rice cakes in Cebu can be found in Mandaue City in the same stalls that sells other native kakanin. Mandaue bibingka is P50 a bundle where a bibingka bundle contains three delicious bibingka. For a bibingka to be extra-special it should be made out of pure grounded malagkit (glutinous) rice and tuba, cooked in traditional way. So sad we didn’t saw anyone cooking bibingka on the spot in Mandaue, it would have been great to see! And everyone knows bibingka is best eaten when it’s still hot right off the oven. Oh well.
Mandaue bibingka wrapped in banana leaves
Another native delicacy – Salvaro
Most of my non-Cebuano friends doesnt know what salvaro is. Well, salvaros are wafer thin biscuits made out of coconut ,sugar and flour, it has a very distinct taste due to the finely grounded coconut. The thinner the salvaro is, the yummier it gets. I ‘m seeing branded and well package salvaros in supermarkets lately so i guess some enterprising individuals have discovered that this wafer thin delicacy has a following. If you have not tried it, why not try some?
Salvaro Biscuits Local Delicacy
Tagaktak I like!
Tagaktak is the main reason why last sunday we made that special trip to Mandaue City. A magazine-tv show last year aired an episode regarding native kanin or local delicacies and tagaktak was one of those kakanin that was featured. And I was amazed by how it is made, how much skill and control you need to be able to whip out a decent looking tagaktak. It’s all about control, flexibility and speed, and no room for error as you pour the malagkit mixture in crisscross pattern to deep fry in piping hot oil and fold it to a triangular shape in just a few seconds! We were terribly disappointed though because we were expecting we get to see the tagaktak expert in action but all we saw was ready to go tagaktak. bummer but it’s okay, tagaktak always makes my day I like that when i bite this yummy treat it’s so crispy, you can actually hear the sound when your teeth sink to this snack. You can’t eat it without some pieces crumbling and falling, that’s why its called ‘tagaktak’, in cebuano ‘crumble and fall’ is ‘tagak’ or ‘ma-tagak’. This tagaktak from Mandaue cost P30 a pack and there’s 3 pieces per pack.
The Tagaktak Triangle – Crunchy Yum!
So there, at least you know, travellers and visitors to Cebu, that there is more to Cebu’s popular pasalubong items. And I hope the next time you swing by Cebu, you get to taste our off-the beaten path local delicacies and mayhap bring home some. You’d love our kakanins I swear!