Tinubong - The Great Kakanin in Bamboo from Ilocos
Ringo | On 16, Apr 2014
Here in the Philippines, rice cake is a general term used for a sweet delicacy made of rice. If you’ll look for rice cake we can come out with thousands of them. The products only differ from taste, texture, color, sizes, packaging and smell. Generally, they are called rice cakes.
If you wanted a specific one you should describe the taste, packaging and region where you first tasted it.
Each and every region here has it’s own version of “Kakanin” and at the same time, each and every local is proud of it. In Ilocos, one of the endemic kakanin is the Tinubong.
Tinubong is a delicacy found all throughout the Ilocos Region. The name is derived from the container “tubong,” which the inter-node of a bamboo.
This sweetie is generally made of grounded glutinous rice, sugar, coconut milk, coconut strips and other ingredients that are inserted in the tubong. Other people add innovative ingredients like cheese, rum, ground peanuts and many more. Way back the early days, locals cook it using charcoal, but since this resulted into burnt bamboo that sometimes makes mess people shifted into using an oven.
The hole of tinubong is covered by red and pink shiny foil, probably to capture attention.
Price and Availability
You can buy tinubong everywhere. You can see it in local markets near tourist spots, souvenir shops, and even sidewalks. There are also locals who are waiting for tourist vehicles in gasoline stations and will offer it. If you are busy enough, you can ask your tour guide to buy them for you. For sure they know someone who make this product for business.
A package containing four internodes is worth P100.00, a price I think is just enough.
Taste and Verdict
This has a huge resemblance with Pangasinan’s tupig in terms of taste. Tinubong is only a little harder and a little dry. This is whiter, but I found this harder to eat as you still have to break the young bamboo in half and scoop the treats. The strips of coconuts are more obvious in Tinubong than tupig, a thing that I like.
Tinubong is an awesome product. The taste, texture, price and availability makes it a product to be. However, I only found the bamboo packaging as a gimik that I can’t ride on. Maybe, because, it is difficult for me to scoop the flesh inside. What if you want to eat this in bus or while strolling? Or you doesn’t have any knife to split the bamboo in half?
Tinubong is still a recommended product.