All The Food Items You Should Bring Home From Isabela

This province is brimming with good eats!

If you find yourself in Isabela, you'll be surprised to know that there are several dishes that should be on your food trip list. Rice, corn (both yellow and white corn), and monggo are Isabela's top crops and it's natural that a lot of the food they consume is made from what's available.

Here are a few pasalubong finds you shouldn't miss out on from Isabela:

Photo by Trixie Zabal-Mendoza

Bibingka from Maria's Native Bibingka

Isabela's bibingka is unlike the versions available in Manila. Closer to biko in texture, their bibingkang kanin is dense and made with pure malagkit. Topped with a delicious layer of latik (reduced coconut milk), this delicacy from Maria's Native Bibingka is based on a family recipe from the 1970s.

Photo by Trixie Zabal-Mendoza

Moriecos from Francing's

If you love suman, you shouldn't miss out on trying moriecos when in Isabela. Moriecos is a rice cake made with glutinous flour. It looks like your typical suman but the texture is smoother, encasing rich and sweet latik. Aling Francisca "Francing" Recto has been making moriecos for thirty-two years and her version is so popular that orders reach up to 500 pieces daily.

015 Arrellano Street, Tol Village Saranay, Cabatuan, Isabela. Tel. No. (0927) 367-3083

Photo by Trixie Zabal-Mendoza

Tinubong from Echague, Isabela

If you're familiar with Pampanga's "tupig"-log-shaped glutinous rice flour cooked over charcoals-Isabela's tinubong is similar to that rice cake. You can find tinubong in Echague, Isabela and this rice cake used to be a familiar delicacy served during Holy Week when one avoids meat and some go on fasting. Unlike the tupig which is wrapped in banana leaves, tinubong is spooned inside bamboo poles and cooked over coals. What you get is a smoky-sweet rice cake bursting with coconut flavors.

Photo by Trixie Zabal-Mendoza

Longganisa from Aling Belen's

If you neither like too-garlicky or too sweet longganisa, Aling Belen's version is the longganisa you should go for. Her longganisa has the right sweet-garlicky combo down pat, plus she has a spicy version that one shouldn't miss out on. 73-year old Belen Holgado has been making longganisa since the '70s and credits fresh ingredients and cleanliness as secret ingredients to her popular longganisa. She buys fresh meat daily, does not use preservatives, and is a stickler for all-natural ingredients (her black pepper is sourced all the way from Batangas!).

Aling Belen's Longganisa, Cauayan Public Market, Cauayan, Isabela.


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