The best thing about traveling the rest of the southern towns of Cebu is its varied selections of Cebu pasalubong food items. When you pass by Argao you should not miss having some of their delectable Torta and locally made and fast becoming famous ‘tableya’. If you’re going to climb Cebu’s highest peak Osmena Peak, then drop by the vegetable market hub in Mantalungon. From there, you’ll be able to buy and bring home veggies at their freshest and cheapest in Cebu. Traveling to Carcar on the other hand is a delight as this town is a one stop pasalubong center!
I’ve listed below some of the top pasalubong items from South Cebu particularly Carcar. Drop by Carcar and look for these delicacies when you are on a road trip to the southern towns!
Carcar’s Delight Lechon, Chicharon and More Pasalubong!
One of the Many Carcar Pasalubong Stores
If your idea of bring home gifts is not Carcar made footwear, then you ought to be hunting for these famous pasalubong choices in this heritage town. Actually it’s not much of a hunt because in Carcar rotunda you’ll be able to find kiosks, stores and peddlers of local delicacies. If you are riding a bus bound whether bound for Cebu City or bound to Santander in the southern tip of the island, expect that peddlers will climb on board your bus a few kilometers before reaching the Rotunda. They’ll be offering Chicharon, Ampao, Bocarillo, Banana Chips and more. You can buy from these vendors or if you have time, get off in Carcar center and explore the place to score best buy pasalubongs.
Lechon baboy from Carcar is unique, different from the offerings of famous Cebu Lechon houses in the city. What makes Carcar lechon a stand out is that it is ‘juicier’ than normal pit roasted pig from Cebu. Your lechon will be oozing in juices, in fact I would advise for you to bring a plastic ware to place your lechon in after buying, so you won’t accidently spill any of the liquid if the plastic bag gets torn or rip.
For those asking how much a kilo of Carcar lechon, it cost around P350 which is barato dyud! We bought a kilo when we had that trip to climb Osmena Peak last summer. Anyhow, you can find these lechon stalls at the back of the wet market of Carcar. Just ask any local where to find the ‘litsonan’. This is super sulit top pasalubong food item indeed!
Lechon from Carcar, Approved!
What is visiting Carcar and not bringing home a pack of Carcar chicharon? Incomplete! Take a bite and you’ll hear crackling sound the way good chicharon should be. Made from special pork rinds with “laman”, this is one pasalubong choice you just want to munch and munch. Unya, you dip the chicharon in vinegar with chili pa..ahhhhh.
Prices are a bit expensive though, I was surprised when we first visited Carcar last year for footwear hunting trip, mahal pala ang chicharon hehehe. But I guess this is really the on-going market price. I rarely buy chicharon from the local supermarkets no wonder I am not conscious of the normal market pricing haha.
2012 Carcar Chicharon prices:
1 kilo – P500
¾ kilo – P375
½ kilo – P250
¼ kilo – P125
1/8 kilo – P62.50
100 grams – P50
Carcar Chicharon Da Best!
Honestly, I am not a big fan of ampao but my mom and my Lola loves it, as well as lots of other Cebuanos. If you rank the most in demand Carcar pasalubongs, ampaw or ampao would probably be among the top 5.
What is ampao? Ampao is a local delicacy, a rice puff or rice crispies that is a bit sweet. You cook your rice and then have this dried up by exposing to sunlight, effectively dehydrating them. So what’s left are rice grains turn fluffy and airy. Then you use a binder to hold the rice crispies together. I suspect the “sweeteners” are what bind these crispies together to create the final product – ampao. But don’t trust me on this, as I’ve said I’m not a big fan and did not really ask my lola how sweet ampao are made.
Usually ampao comes in rectangular shape and in different sizes, some vendors offer different colors. But in my eyes, ampao from Carcar is white, any other colors are aberration. But if the ampao comes in any other shape but rectangle like a circle, then it’s okay. But rectangle ampao for me must be white as is traditional.
Ampao Straight from Carcar!
Anyhow, when you bite into ampao, be careful because chances are the little rice puffs will loosen up and a few would land on your clothes if you are not careful. Take your sweet time in eating this delicacy lest you look like a child with amos – amos hehe. =)
A hit among kids is Carcar’s bocarillo, it’s also a hit for me hahaha. Made from young coconut strips, sweetened and immersed in food color to get that attractive hue and molded to look like flower petals. Bocarillo is a familiar pasalubong from South Cebu that I really love as a kid. This is so cheap too at P5 per pack. Go get one especially if you are following the Southern Heritage Trail and wants to taste the best local delicacies along the way. 🙂
Bocarillo Sweets from the South!
Yep, that’s it, that’s my top picks for Pasalubong from the Carcar.
You might also be interested in reading the following Cebu Best Pasalubong posts:
Cebu Sweet Treats – Mostly about non-mainstream pasalubong choices in the city.
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