Streetfood Cebu

October 2006

Apples

Apples
They used to come from Washington State, now they're from China.
Still, they're crispy, sweet and delicious; but they are a little pricey for many Cebuanos.
Just don't tell the Governor of Washington I'm buying these.

Balut

Balut
('bah-loot')
A fertilized duck egg; when just about ready to hatch, they are steamed and served with vinegar.
Crunchy (tiny bones), ticklish (feathers) and a little slimy (amniotic fluid.) OK, is your appetite whetted yet?
Reputedly an aphrodisiac, so better not eat too many, guys.

Bananas

Bananas!
Local name: Saging (sah-geeng')
Did you know that globally, bananas rank fourth after rice, wheat and maize (corn) in human consumption; that they are grown in 130 countries worldwide, more than any other fruit crop?
The elongated fruit is technically a false berry (are you fascinated yet?)

Banana-Cue

Banana-Cue
These bananas have been sliced, flattened, battered, boiled in coconut oil, sprinkled with sugar and served two per stick. Lami! (delicious)

Bar-B-Q

Bar-B-Q
Top row, from left: sausages, hot dogs.
Bottom row, from left: chicken intestines, gizzards and hearts.
They claim that the intestines get washed out before being threaded on to the bamboo sticks. Using mineral water fresh from the glacier-fed streams of the Cebu mountains.
Uh-huh.

Coconuts

Coconuts
These are young coconuts; the vendor first carves a hole so you can drink the rich milk, then he splits the seed open and gives you a spoon to scoop out the tender meat.

Cotton Candy

Cotton candy
Ever wonder what happened to all that pink dye #68 that was banned by the US Department of Agriculture in 1974?

Durian

Durian
Well, you either like it or you hate it.
Some say it smells like sex and tastes like butter.
Others with delicate noses can't stand to be within 50 feet of the odiferous fruit.
I guess we can tell who's a little 'prudish.'

Fried chicken

Fried chicken
Battered and then boiled in coconut oil at a fairly low temperature; don't ask about the saturated fat content.

Ginamoos

Ginamoos
(In the jar on the left.) Brined, fermented baby fish... can be served as a dip for boiled saging (banana);
or as in this photo, spooned over boiled maiz (corn) for the most economical meal you can eat in the Philippines (less than a US dime.)

greenmango

Green mangoes
Are tart, served with bagoong (smelly fremented shrimp paste....guaranteed to wake up your nasal passages.)

Guava

Guava
Wikipedia: "Edible, round to pear-shaped fruit, from 3-10 cm in diameter. It has a thin delicate rind, pale green to yellow at maturity in some species, pink to red in others, a creamy white or orange-salmon flesh with many small hard seeds, and a strong, characteristic aroma. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and C."

Gum

Gum and candy.

Ice cream

Ice cream
Made from fresh cream flown in twice weekly from Switzerland on chartered Swissair flights, then prepared in hygenic industrial kitchens under the direct supervision of World Bank-salaried Italian ice cream makers, and finally packaged according to the strict food storage guidelines of the World Health Organization.
And by the way, are you interested in buying the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge? You won't believe how cheaply I can get you into the bridge ownership business... this week only.

Jackfruit

Jackfruit
AKA 'nangka' in bisayan.
It's the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, reaching 80 pounds in weight, and as Wikipedia says, "The sweet yellow sheaths around the seeds are about 3-5mm thick and have a taste similar to pineapple but milder and less juicy."
Pretty much my favorite fruit in Cebu, jackfruit is closely related to breadfruit (which I've tried... jackfruit wins hands down.) It's my opinion that if the Bounty had been carrying jackfruit trees instead of breadfruit, ol' Cap'n Bligh would never have had a mutiny on his hands.

Juice

'Juice'
Delicious and refreshing... just don't ask what those floating chunks are, or where the water comes from.

Mais

Maís
('mah-ees') AKA corn.
Tough and not very sweet; is it because of the seed they use, or because of the hot climate?

Mambajao

Mambajao
AKA 'lanzones'... peel off the skin and the inside is like a grape.

Mango

Mango
Wikipedia: "No one knows the exact origins of the mango but most believe that it is native to the Southern and Southeast Asian continent including India, Burma, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh after fossil records were found there dating back 25 to 30 million years. Reference to mangos as the 'food of the gods' can be found in the Hindu Vedas." -that seems like a fair characterization!

Mangosteen

Mangosteen (purple)
Reportedly known as the 'Queen of Fruits'. Not my idea of royalty.

Mani

Mani
('mah-nee') - us Americans call 'em peanuts.)

Melon

Melon
(Watermelon)

Mineral & juice

"Mineral" & "Juice"
Bottled water and plastic packs of flavored sugar water.

Painitan

Painitan
(Miscellaneous sweet snacks)

Piaya

Piaya
Soft pancakes made of flour and ube (purple yams.)

Popcorn

Popcorn
First introduced to the Philippines by Magellan, who handed out Pepperidge Farm Popcorn Giftpacks (which included regular popcorn, lightly-salted, caramelcorn, mexi-spice, and cheese-flavored popcorn) as gifts to the natives after he ran short on beads.
Chief Lapu-Lapu reportedly suffered a bout of Montezuma's revenge after ingesting 2 bags of the mexi-spice popcorn, and some have speculated that this may have led to the unfortunate incident on the beach in which the famous chief ran Magellan through with a mahogany sword.

Puso

Pusõ
("Poo-sew")
Wikipedia: "Puso is a dish originating from the province of Cebu. It consists of rice wrapped in coco leaves which is then boiled. Local stories have attributed the creation of this style of rice preparation to the Cebuano seafarers' need to keep cooked rice from spoiling during long sea voyages. The coco leaves used in wrapping the rice are always shaped into a triangular form and stored hanging in bunches in the open air, with the coco leaves allowing the rice to be aerated and at the same time preventing flies and insects from touching it.
'Puso' has continued to be popular due to the large number of open-air eateries serving grilled chicken and pork meals."

Rambutan

Rambutan
Closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the Lychee, Longan and Mamoncillo. The leathery skin is reddish and covered with fleshy pliable spines ("hence the name rambutan, derived from the Malay word rambut which means hairs.")
Ah, but wait 'til you peel off the rough skin: the succulent flesh inside is pale pink, with a sweet flavour mindful of grapes. Delishus!

Snacks

Snacks
Made from peanuts, flour and sugar.

Tempura

Tempura
Fish-flavored flour dumplings, boiled in coconut oil...

Tempura 2

... and served on a stick with sweet & sour sauce for dipping.