Puto Calasiao – The Best Bite-Size Delicacy From Pangasinan
One of the happiest moment for most of the baby boomers is taking a vacation to their native lands. Just like we, the 90’s babies, baby boomers are also into going back their childhood. Whenever they are in their birthplaces, most of the things they do is reminisce.
My mother, in celebration of the all souls’ day went home to Pangasinan. She spent five days there. When she got home, she took home different delicacies and exotic foods like bagoong (shrimp paste), binuro (fermented fish) and many more.
But, of my most awaited pasalubong from my mother was the Puto Calasiao.
Puto is a rice cake shaped like a muffin. This version from Pangasinan is bite-sized. Originally from the town of Calasiao, this rice cake is considered as one of the most prized delicacy of the region.
The Traditional Process
According to the girlfriend of my cousin who used to make and sell these sweeties, the meticulous and traditional ways of making the Puto Calasiao is still present. First, the glutinous rice was soaked in a mixture for two days. The mixture has been passed from generation to generation.
After two days it is drained and grind until smooth. The batter is placed in a warm place and let it ferment for four days before adding sugar. The mixture is poured into a greased mold and steamed using a manually built bamboo steamer.
Despite it’s fermented, this doesn’t contain alcohol. So, it’s good for kids.
Availability and Price
I used to see this rice cake in different markets of the Philippines. The taste is almost the same, but the one sold in Pangasinan has distinct flavor. When you are in Pangasinan just go to markets or look for sidewalk vendors and you’ll find the treats. But, for you to have the freshly cooked treats you can ask locals and they will show you sellers along the neighborhood that makes them.
Last all souls’ day my mother bought a bag that contains 100 pieces of Puto Calasiao for P80.00. I thought, it was too cheap, but she noted that it’s slightly more expensive due to the occasion.
The Description and Taste (To Tease Imagination)
The white tummy fillers are chewy, but not a pain to the jaw. You can still chew it easily. To compare, it’s more chewy, moist and sticky than ordinary rice cakes in the Philippines while less sticky than cassava cakes.
The taste is not that sweet. There was this special explosive flavor that differs this from any other rice cakes. Probably, coming from the fermentation process. Based on my tastebuds, the explosive flavor resembles raw honey.
Just imagine guys, a chewy, moist and sticky bite-sized sweetie that has explosive flavor inside your mouth.
Since I was a kid, I can’t resist Puto Calasiao. Now, as an adult man, I still turn into a little kid that will crumble over the delicacy. I think this is for everybody as my five-year-old niece will chow them down whenever available.
This delicacy is something that each and every tourist must try. Take it also home and share with you love ones. This will easily be loved.