With the Spanish colonization for hundreds of years, Filipinos have adapted their ritual of merienda. It’s a light snack taken in the middle of the afternoon. But because of our great love for food, we tend to take it in-between meals to gear up the day.
We are what we eat. Deep-rooted from our culture and different regions, our version of merienda embodies our identity and practices. Then and now, we continue to cherish and include them in our table. With that, we serve you these simple yet filling delicacies that just grew into our hearts.
Banana Cue, Turon, and Maruya
Being innovative that we are, we have different recipes for one of our major fruit crops, bananas. This fruit is known to be rich in potassium and fiber, a heart-healthy snack to take. But among its wide variations, saba is the one greatly used in Philippine cuisine, especially the dessert section.
Perfect to satisfy our sweet tooth, we got banana cue, maruya, and turon — all deep-fried and dusted with brown sugar. Respectively, these are served skewered, wrapped, and battered. Different in tastes and texture but surely hit the spot.
Here goes another treat with a decadent ingredient to grace our list. Filipinos are also known for their use of coconut milk in recipes. Due to its versatile characteristics, this traditional food ingredient compliments well with savory meals and sweet desserts.
Ginataang bilo-bilo, ginataang halo-halo, and ginataang mais are some of the dessert versions hailed from different regions in the country. Many of us may feel nostalgic as these are what our grandparents used to make in our childhood. How the aroma of these warmly cooked dishes spread the comfort of our homes in the afternoon.
Get ready for your pockets as you might want to go to the nearest bakeshop near you after reading this. Originally from Spain, the delicious news has spread, owning our Pinoy variations, according to a 2016 article written by food author Jenny Orillos.
Smothered with butter, cheese, and sugar, this classic fluffy bread has become a staple merienda for Filipinos. With every bite melts into your mouth, you can sip after with warm drinks or soothing refreshments. Certainly, ensaymada is perfect as a breakfast filling, afternoon treat snack, or breaktime fuel.
Are you familiar with vendors riding bicycles with a couple of plastic buckets in the saddle? Yes, they are binatog vendors or magbibinatog. Because of them, the neighborhood awaits as every ride comes with this sweet and salty craving.
Also known as bualaw, binatog basically contains scoops of boiled white kernel corns. Then, it’s topped with shredded coconut and seasoned with either salt or sugar of your choice. To add more taste, you can also have it drizzled with condensed milk. Indeed, a satisfying merienda worthy of anticipation.
Under the scorching heat of the sun, the best thing to quench our thirst would be sago’t gulaman. Sago refers to the pearl-starch from palm trees while gulaman is a jelly made out of agar. This Pinoy favorite refreshment is not just tasty and affordable but is also easy to make.
In a recipe published by Kawaling Pinoy, all you need to do is to boil the sago pearls and make the caramelized sugar and gulaman, then pour them a pitcher of cold water. Ready to serve and enjoy together with the treats mentioned above! Take note that this is just one among other varieties of samalamig or refreshments that we have.
These appetizing foods are just a few of our wide array of Pinoy delicacies. What are your favorites? We’d love to hear that!
Sheldeen is a writer who loves to watch series and to play with her dogs in her free time — ways to pause and take a break.