Have You Heard Of This Kakanin Called Bot-ong From Bacolod?

It used to be a kakanin that's eaten during All Soul's Day.

There are a lot of types of kakanin you can find all over the Philippines. We have the common suman, sapin-sapin, kutsinta, puto, pichi-pichi, biko, puto bumong, and bibingka which you can find almost everywhere, and we have the more unusual and regional types of kakanin like the bibingkoy from Cavite, dodol from Mindanao, and tupig from Ilocos Norte. A kakanin you might not know about is called bot-ong or but-ong.

This version of the bot-ong uses red rice grains. 
Photo by Bea Faicol

What is bot-ong? 

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Bot-ong is a Negrense kakanin famous in Bacolod. It's simply made with glutinous rice submerged in coconut milk, gata, and ginger, boiled until it's cooked. It has a pointed shape and wrapped in banana leaves. It has a slightly sweet taste and the rice grains are packed so tightly that when you slice through this kakanin, it almost feels as if it's made out of gelatin. 

According to Raymond Alunan, the Tourism Operation Officer of the Province of Negros Occidental, bot-ong used to be eaten during All Soul's Day but is now offered as a breakfast staple. You can commonly find bot-ong in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. It's sold in public markets, like the Silay public market, early in the morning. 

How to eat bot-ong? Couple it with muscovado sugar and hot cocoa!
Photo by Bea Faicol
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According to Alunan, this kakanin is typically not served with sugar because the ginger used in making the kakanin makes it slightly sweet already. We were fortunate enough to try the bot-ong at this year's Negros Trade Fair in Glorietta, where it was sold at the Alter Trade Corporation Inc. It was served breakfast-style: paired with muscovado sugar (for extra sweetness!) and was highly recommended to be paired with a cup of freshly-made hot cocoa. 

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