Nilatikang Bibingka from Pangasinan
From November 1 to 2, my mom and my sister went to Pangasinan to remember my late grandmother and grandfather. Of course, before they leave I asked them to buy foods.
Pangasinan has been a home for delicious foods from main course to desserts. This is the home for the most delicious bangus, shrimp paste, tupig among others.
When they arrive, Tuesday in the evening, they are both carrying fruits and vegetables that they pick from my uncle’s yard, bagoong (shrimp paste), 6 peices of inihaw na bangus and a big box of nilatikang bibingka.
Nilatikang Bibingka is a kakanin (rice pastry) made from native rice that is first toasted, added with sugar, milk, coconut milk and cooked using charcoal with banana peel as the mold. The unique about this is that the rice is not in powdered form. So, it looks like “biko.” But locals claim that it’s bibingka.
The latik is a caramelized sauce made by boiling coconut milk with sugar cane juice. Some put cassava flour to thicken this. My mom said that the secret is cooking the mixture in a low fire to prevent the latik from getting burnt.
My mom almost got this kakanin for free as she bought it from one of my relatives. My mom said the one who cooked this is a childhood buddy of her. She said that my aunt (mom’s cousin) only wants her to pay for the ingredients she used for cooking the nilatikang bibingka. But, my mom insisted to pay P500.00 for a large winnowing basket. It’s quite cheap if you will order this one here in Quezon City, probably about P800.00.
What’s great is that it is cooked traditionally using charcoal in the bottom and on top, but all the parts are cooked equally. My aunt, who used to sell this kakanin to tourist has been doing this for more than 20 years now.
This kakanin is quite a resemblance of biko, but it’s creamier and a little fruity. I love the latik on a way that I only trim the upper part, leave the middle and bottom part to my siblings. My nieces also chowed the bibingka down and when asked if “Masarap?!” they said yes.