Nilatikang Bibingka is a sumptuous treat that can also be found in Pangasinan.
Located at the border of the Philippines, Pangasinan features breath-taking but not-so-popular tourist destinations. Because the province is not that rated, there are also lots of unspoiled beaches. Best for anti-social people like me.
When you are from Metro Manila and looking for a place to unwind, I recommend you go to unexplored beaches of Pangasinan. There, you’ll witness raw nature.
Then, when you are about to go back home, look for something you can take home.
Nilatikang bibingka is a delicious but not-so-popular treat that can also be found in Pangasinan. It is made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and spices. It resembles a biko but cooked using an oven.
It’s only saddening because this specific delicacy continues to die down. Many stopped cooking this because it’s not that profitable and the tendency of it to spoil is high.
My aunt is an expert in making nilatikang bibingka. She inherited the traditional process from my grandparents and way back, it serves as their family business. However, she only makes it on a made-to-order basis due to her age and the demand is low.
The traditional process starts with careful measurement of the ingredients. According to my mother, the margin of error is small. Failure to meet the measurement will end up with the latik only at the bottom.
The mixture will be then transferred to a rounded mold made of clay soil lined with banana leaves. Then, it will put in a customized soil oven with top and bottom compartments for the burning charcoals.
The correct mixture and the heat distribution by the customized oven will cook the latik starting at the bottom. Later, the heat will push the latik on top. Thus, resulting in a better-tasting treat.
It tastes like biko but more compact, softer, creamier, and not that sweet. I like it better because of the latik on top and at the bottom. I can say that the banana leaves also added aroma and I love it.
There’s actually hope because my older cousins appeared interested in making the awesome sweets. Hopefully, the younger generations will continue so that the next ones will have something to look forward to. Nilatikang bibingka is a highly-recommended product.