The kakanin” -in all its mouth-watering forms-is not just a local delicacy meant to boast the versatility of the Filipinos’ staple food, rice or “kanin” (from which the term itself is derived). It is an essential slice of the Philippines’ rich food culture; a piece of the country’s history and the Pinoy palate’s identity.

Filipinos like to eat a variety of food. There’s the classic Lutong Bahay, the Lechon, the Halo-Halo, and the. But one should never forget to taste all the Sweet native delicacies meticulously prepared by the locals of each province.

Here’s a look at some well-loved kakanin.

Cheesy Puto

Puto is a Filipino steamed cake snack that is served any time of the year. It is the perfect dish to bring to a gathering or potluck because it’s easy to eat and to transport. It is traditionally made from ground rice and can be eaten by itself, with butter or grated coconut. However, this puto recipe is an adapted version, using cake flour instead of ground rice. There are many variations that include different flavorings such as ube (purple yam) and pandan. It can also be topped with cheese or salted egg.

Suman sa Ibos, a Filipino traditional sticky rice cake wrapped in buli leaves

Suman

It’s a rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar and a pinch of salt. Usually wrapped in banana leaves before steaming, suman is typically eaten with latik (a sugary syrup), a sprinkle of sugar or fresh fruits like mango.

Some suman is already sweetened, while others don’t have a lot of sugar. Those wrapped in Buri leaves are quite sweet, while those in banana leaves are not.

Biko

Biko is a rich, chewy Filipino rice cake made with sticky rice, coconut milk, and dark sugar. Traditionally served in a round, shallow bamboo tray lined with banana leaves known as a bilao, biko belongs to a category of sweets called kakanin, which is made up entirely of rice cakes. The word “kakanin” stems from the Tagalog words “kain” (to eat) and “kanin” (rice), and while there are many types of kakanin, each one contains rice and coconut. 

Sapin-Sapin

One of the most colorful types of kakanin, sapin-sapin is made up of different colored layers of glutinous rice made from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, water, flavoring, and coloring. Sapin sapin is usually sprinkled with latik or toasted coconut flakes on top. 

Bibingka

Some bibingka have salted eggs, which gives it a special kick. Bibingka is made from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, milk, baking powder, and softened butter.

They’re famous among churchgoers during the Simbang Gabi. It’s best served hot with margarine, butter, or cheese on top.

Puto Bumbong

Another Holiday favorite just like bibingka, puto bumbong is a type of Filipino purple rice cake prepared by steaming ground purple rice mixture inside a bamboo tube. The steamed rice cake is usually placed on slice of banana leaf and topped with margarine (or butter), freshly grated coconut, and muscovado sugar.

Cassava Cake

If you’re a fan of cassava or tapioca, then this is the kakanin choice for you. Besides its unique taste, Cassava cake is very special because making one is a tedious job. Just imagine the trouble one puts up with peeling the cassava tubers, then grating them one by one.

Kutsinta

Kutsinta is one of the simplest kakanin in the Philippines. It’s also very easy to find in the markets or malls. It’s that brown cupcake like kakanin that’s sold alongside puto or suman.

It is basically comprised of flour, sugar, annatto powder, and lye water. They are commonly eaten with grated coconut.

Palitaw

Palitaw is a small, flat boiled rice cake made from galapong – washed, soaked, and ground malagkit (sticky rice). Before serving, the small cakes are dipped in grated coconut and served with a mix of sugar and toasted sesame seeds.

Maja Blanca

A magkakanin would always have Maja Blanca among the food they sell. They’re usually sold in square slices, sometimes topped with cheese, or sometimes with latik.

These small sweet treats are made from mixing Corn starch, sweet corn kernels, sugar, and coconut milk. Special majas are very creamy and even melt in your mouth.

Turon – Fried Sweet Banana Rolls

Turon is a popular Filipino street food. These banana rolls are fried and dusted with brown sugar. Other fillings can also be used together with the banana, most commonly jackfruit (langka), and also sweet potato, mango, cheddar cheese, and coconut.

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