Binagol – A Visayan Delicacy
Ringo | On 19, Aug 2012
Philippines is one of the countries with the most distinct, and peculiar culinary cultures and tradition. Weird, odd, special, unique, and many more. Just think of an adjective and it can be associated with food and cooking in the Philippines. Many foreigners admit, they love Filipino foods and the way we serve them.
Each and every place, provinces and region in the Philippines has this unique food product that represents their place. This is called the delicacy. When someone named that product, automatically, people who knows that product will spell where it came.
In Visayan region, one of the product I know that can keep me digging and chewing is the Binagol. During the earlier weeks of August, my oldest brother went to Tacloban to work on a business. When he got home he is carrying some delicacies including the Binagol.
What is Binagol?
Binagol is a delicacy made from the vegetable taro or gabi, the name Binagol came from the word “bagol” which means coconut shell.
This is made from grated taro mixed with different flavors like sugar, milk, and many more. The mixture is then put in a coconut shell, covered with banana leaves, tied and steamed.
It is sold throughout the market of Tacloban city, and according to some blog posts, it can also be seen all over the Visayan region. According to my friend who is from Ilo-Ilo, Binagol is seen in the markets in Visayas where many tourists shop.
A piece of Binagol will cost you P45.00, and based on the main ingredient taro or gabi, which is quite abundant and cheap here in the Philippines, and on the size of the product it’s a little expensive. But, compared to the quality of the product, it’s worthy. For people who don’t know that it’s taro, they’ll find the price ok.
You can compare the taste of this delicacy to Cassava suman, but Binagol has a little purple yam (ube) kicks. Also, compared to suman it’s quite creamier and softer. There is also a jelly-like part at the middle of the treat which will turn your chewing stage into sipping. The jelly substance has syrupy taste.
The Missing Pieces
My brother rode the Cebu Pacific on his way home. He bought 15 pieces of Binagol that is wrapped in a patches of cartons to form a box and tied using a straw rope. He is sure that he got all 15 pieces before he went to the airport. When I opened the box, he got into bad mood as there are only 12 pieces remaining.
We are not accusing, we don’t proof and there are lots of scenarios that we can conclude about what happened. The seller might have deceived my brother, or the corruption in airlines did it, or he might dropped the 3 pieces, and many more. Well, if there are some of you experienced the same thing my brother’s, you can comment it here.
Thinking about the taste, for me, it’s one of the best and when you knew it’s gabi, you know it’s quite nutritious. Another very great way to let kids eat vegetables,without them knowing. The soft and chewy texture of the outer part will make you jaw working and the jelly-like substance in the center that keeps you sipping are awesomeness.
I asked my little nieces and they also found it delicious and when I revealed that it’s gabi, they are really amused that gabi can be that delicious. My sisters found it too sweet, and my brothers, just like me found it delicious.
A very great delicacy and you should try it when you go to Tacloban.