Your best bet for a Cebu pasalubong center when you are traveling up north of the island is the central bus terminal in the City of Bogo. This is where you can get local delicacy as your pasalubong. If you are thinking of what to bring back home, I suggest getting the kakanin called Pintos and Budbod Kabog.
Have you heard about this two Cebuano delicacy?
If you haven’t and curious about this kakanin, well for starters; these two are popular pasalubong food items from Cebu North particularly Bogo City, Catmon, Tuburan, Tabuelan and nearby towns. If you go to Cebu South, we have a different set of popular kakanins and if your vacation requires you to stay in the city, we offer another set of famous Cebu pasalubong items for you to bring home. Cebu offers diversity even in our top pasalubong selections. *wide grin*
Generally the kakanins of a town or municipality reflects the produce of the land, and this also holds true with the northern towns of Cebu. Corn and kabog grains or millet are two of the most popular grains locally grown in the area. You can hardly see rice fields when you travel the road to northern Cebu, what you’ll see however are plantations of sugarcane, hectares of corn rows, mango plantations and off the main roads are farms planting millet or kabog.
Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, the pre-colonial natives of the north side of Cebu Island already cultivated kabog grains and eating this as their staple food. But this has changed since then because kabog is expensive compared to other grains like corn and palay.
Millet Grains or Kabog
This picture of Millet grains are from the display in Museo Sugbo.
Currently, many of the residents of the northern and southern towns of Cebu serve corn grits instead of steamed rice during meals . Milled corn is cheaper than bigas and because life in smaller towns is simple and sometimes harder, many locals serve kan-ong mais to save. If you don’t eat mais rice, don’t worry because you can still find regular cooked rice in carenderias and restaurants wherever in the province. But it’ll be a great experience to try eating kaon-ong mais.
Anyhow back to our special pasalubong picks from North Cebu, I hope you buy and try these kakanins. Who knows you might come to really like it.
Budbog Kabog mo bai!
This is like suman only that instead of using “pilet” or glutinous rice, the recipe uses fresh millet grains. Another mark difference is in the cooking procedure wherein the final steaming of budbod kabog uses less water compared to the final stage of cooking suman.
Growing millet is difficult making this delicacy all the more in-demand. This native delicacy sells for P20 per pack in Bogo, each pack have 4 budbod kabog rolls. Reminder though, this product has a short shelf life at about 1 to 2 days if not refrigerated. I think it’s because of the coconut milk added in cooking budbod kabog.
By the way, my lola cooks budbod kabog really, really well! My great grandpa tilled a hectare of millet farm in Valencia town near Dumaguete and all the girls in their family learn how to cook budbog kabog the traditional and right way.
I mentioned that piece of my lola because cooking budbod kabog correctly is a feat in itself haha. You can easily cook it wrong LOL. None of her children could ever get it right, and unfortunately too, none of us her grandchildren can cook this native delicacy.
During the 1970s, kabog is already expensive my lola says; 1 kilo of glutinous rice sells for P20 to P30 then while a kilo of kabog sells for P50 and up. I have no idea of the pricing of these grains now.
Budbod Kabog : A Local Delicacy in Cebu
This is made from grounded or scraped young corn from the cob and usually sweetened by white or ‘central’ brown sugar or if there is enough budget, condense milk. A spoonful of the corn mixture following a traditional recipe is then placed in the middle of the young corn husk, after which the husk ends are folded and tied to effectively wrap the mixture in and then steamed until cook. Pintos is almost like tamales without the savory ingredients.
One pack of pintos in Bogo City cost P20 with 6 pintos wraps. This is like a good old corn meal best paired with hot sikwate. ‘Sikwate’ is Cebuano term for hot chocolate. =)
Pintos made from young corn
Pintos: Simple and fulfilling delicacy up North Cebu
If you have a sweet tooth and loves delectable cakes and pastries, you would probably find the taste of Pintos a bit bland. It’s unpretentious, simple local snack. Budbod kabog on the other hand is naturally sweet but not with overpowering sweetness. Ask for a fresh off the steamer budbod kabog, peel off the banana leaf slowly to reveal the golden grains of well-cooked millet. Its wonderful aroma mixed with the subtle scent of warm banana leaves makes this local delicacy more delightful to eat.
I consider Pintos and Budbod Kabog the top picks for pasalubong food items from Cebu North. There are restaurants in the city that sells budbod kabog like La Marea but I haven’t tried their version though. You can try it if you want but I still maintain the best place to get this budbod and pintos is straight from Bogo City.
Have an awesome road trip to the northern towns of Cebu, a prime weekend getaway destination in the Visayas!
You can also check this post on non-mainstream local delicacies sa Sugbo: Cebu’s Sweet Treats Local Delicacy
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