Albay will not only wow you with its endless list of beautiful tourist spots. It also has a long line of delectable food that will make your taste buds go loco from the first taste. From the celebrated Bicol Express (read The Mouthwatering Bicol Express) or the weird kurakding (read The Sense of Masiram), to the luscious laing and the sweet pili nuts, you can’t resist taking a dip in Albay’s gastronomic treats. Here’s a list of food you must try when visiting the province.
Fresh pili is a pulpy purple fruit. Trade Winds Bicol, a website maintained by the Department of Tourism and Industry, describes pili to have “the flavor of pumpkin seed when raw” and takes a different tast when roasted. “It is soft yet crisp, with an easy crunch that surprisingly melts in your mouth, making it a favorite snack food among Filipinos. The same delighted acceptance is true even in other countries that have already obtained the nut as an imported staple.” The pulp of the fruit can be boiled and dipped in sugar or fish sauce and eaten. The priceless item, however, is the kernel which can be made into sweets. Often, it is coated in sugar, but it can also be roasted and salted or made into tarts and cakes. The delicacy is easy to find in the stalls of pasalubong in every town in Albay. Read more about pili at the DTI Website, Trade Winds Bicol.
On the Facebook page of Dad’s Special Pinangat, the dish is described as “the most sought after” food in the Bicol Region. This age-old vegetable dish is more than laing cooked in coconut milked. Pinangat is made of shredded gabi leaves, ginger, tiny shrimps (balaw), lemon grass, some meat or fish, and hot chili. The mixture is folded into layers of gabi leaves, tied securely with coconut leaves, and then cooked in rich and creamy coconut milk.
Dad’s Pinangat Owned by Ronaldo Nicerio, Dad’s is one of the popular restaurants in Camalig that serves the dish. It’s along the highway, where you can also get a view of Mayon Volcano. The restaurant also sells frozen pinangat, a good pasalubong to your loved ones.
Mobile: 0916.846.3923 / 0932.881.8992 / 0999.765.8979
Address: Bgy 1, Camalig, Albay
Albay’s halo-halo is simply cheesy. It’s not the kind of halo-halo that overwhlems you with the ingredients. It can be as simple as the basic: crushed ice, nata de coco, sago, banana, ice cream, pinipig, fresh milk–and of course, the twist, a generous topping of grated cheese. To taste the best ones, sit in one of the stores at Cagsawa Ruins and ask for this dessert. Or, when you buy pinangat at Dad’s in Camalig, also grab this halo-halo version from their store.
Ibos, latik, binasuso, and binŏtong are the ricecakes commonly prepared in the province. Ibos, sticky rice with a faint flavor or salt and steamed in a tube of coconut leaves is quite known in other parts of the country. Latik is sticky rice lighlty flavored with leaves of chili and then cooked in pillow-shaped banana leaves. It is best served with coconut jam. Binasuso is ground glutinous rice with young coconut and sugar cooked in cone-shaped banana leaves. Binotong, a favorite ricecake in the morning, is also made of glutinous rice. Rice and coconut milk, flavored with a small dash of salt, is placed in a pouch made of young banana leaves, tied securely, and then steamed until the coconut milk has become creamy. * Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare. * Photo Credits: https://tradewindsbicol.wordpress.com (fresh pili, pili in jars)