Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ubod, Agik-ik, Latik, Minuron, Ira-id

Curious what those are? Now this is more proof it’s really more fun in this country! I know, I know... you metro folks would be familiar with at least the first word of the title as I was - “Ubod”. This was my next encounter at the Calbayog market – after the Camote!

I don’t really know how this thing is called in English. I just know it tastes good as the main ingredient of a variety of “lumpia”, and more so on “lumpiang hubad” or “lumpiang sariwa”. At first though, I did not know what this manong was doing with the trunk of that tree. I asked what it was for and he simply said “ubod”. My ears seem to have flapped at hearing that! So, that is the “ubod”! I asked further, “isn’t that a coconut tree?” and he educated me that yes, it is indeed – since “ubod” is the core portion of the coconut tree trunk and towards the base area (nearest the roots). Oh I see and oh I saw! He further told me you have to dunk the thing in water (see the red pail) immediately after extraction, otherwise it will discolor into brown or grey and become inedible as it will already taste bitter! Wow!

I said I really thought “ubod” was part of a banana trunk. A lady beside him laughed a bit and said “aw an barani? pagkaon it sa baboy”! Awk, I had to rest my case hehe!

Same stall, just above the manong who was preparing his ubod on the pavement, I saw that he and wife also sell dehusked and/or grated coconut howsoever you want them; bananas and many other things else. But some bundled really green leaves caught my curiosity. I thought that was some kind of tobacco or the likes and was closely examining one roll when the lady said “agik-ik sir”! I literally said “what?” and she said again “agik-ik”. I asked what they were for and she educated me those are used to wrap food especially rice cakes and other delicacies (kakanin).

Oh, alrightie, but my next question had her laughing and giggling. I asked “agik-ik are leaves of what”? She let out a chuckle, whacked my wrist lightly with a roll of those leaves and said “Si ser talaga, joker! Syempre ang agik-ik dahon sa agik-ik, di ba”? Honga naman hano?! I probably wanted to ask some other question trying to know what kind of plant this thing is, whatever! At least I know I perked up the Sunday morning of two souls hehe. Am sure they were still laughing when I left. Probably saying “kabubulok sin tawo hihihi” or something like that haha. Oh well…

And where the agik-ik is in use…

I walked next into this corner of the outside hallway leading towards the inner pasilyos of the market. It was still a bit dark inside. But on this corner, there seemed to be a merry confluence of women squatting on the ground or sitting on small plastic stools. All were selling many things wrapped in leaves. Kakanin! Ah, too dark for my pesky Fuji Finepix EXR that does not like darkness at all. So I approached another merry lady who daringly was positioned at the very center of the walkway (intersection) where people criss-crossed around her. I asked how many different delicacies she was selling since I could see there were bits of differences in the wrapping style. She said 7.

Whoa! Seven different eatables, and she started naming them for me. Hmm, some were familiar and some were ‘out of this world’-sounding. So I asked her to slow down and repeat them for me. Awwrr, I could not get them all so I clicked on the video mode just to capture the names. Still I did not get them quite well! I then thought the better way was to taste each one of them – which I eventually did as we spoke. Yet, I still did not get all their names quite well hahaha. But let me attempt…

Latik: the most common I have seen and tasted as this kind is found in virtually any province of this country. It can have varying names depending on the place, like in Metro Manila it’s ‘suman sa latik’ while in Cebu it is called “puto” (without the syrup)! But yes I know, in Samar, this is plainly called Latik. As you can see they’re wrapped in plastic and I realized each “pack” is composed of the suman – a triangular shaped sticky rice wrapped in agik-ik – and the arnibal (meaning syrup) that also comes wrapped in its own little transparent plastic bag like those used for ice-candy! I liked the “arnibal” here. It tasted like a combination of sugar and coconut milk cooked into a slimy consistency. Unlike in Manila and elsewhere, I think theirs is just sugar melted in water!

Suman sa Ibus. Ah, very usual. Just like what we all see and have in Manila. Bland, unflavored suman and a little bit drier than the rest. This is that thing we all like with hot chocolate in the mornings, that goes well with bacon, even mangoes too! I do still wonder how the thing is wrapped! Like the way puso is cooked? Probably.

Kurukod 1. I was not sure of its name so I just labeled it Kurukod 1. It sounded like “Kurukod Tangbo. Is it? But I still would not know what that means. It tasted good though, a bit sweet. More of like the budbud cabog in the northern towns of Cebu, even Negros Oriental.

Kurukod 2. Ah, I now recall, it is “Kurukod Nga Inasinan” – meaning salted. Same consistency but just a little salty (almost bland) instead of sweet. Probably a nice alternative to Ibus.

Minuron. I got a bit more curious of this one because I have tasted and liked minuron in Eastern Samar and they look very much different in terms of shape and wrapping! Oh, when I tasted this one, its the “chocolate moron” of Leyte, just without the chocolate lacing. This manang told me her minuron is ground rice too, and making those sold in Tacloban is the same – a portion of the same material (batter?) is just flavored with “rikwa” (that’s Ricoa, the choco brand)! So this is really similar to the “moron” or “chocolate moron” of Leyte, not the “minuron” of Eastern Samar. Whew, educational!

Ira-id Bilanghoy. Ah, familiar to my tongue too. I have tasted something like this, even better! This ira-id is made of ground cassava delectably sweetened to just about enough for a tasty snack. I do like its consistency when cooked. Something like almost a gel or jelly! But her's was purely the same thing as a whole. I have tasted a similar fare (was that Surigao or Eastern Samar?) and the ira-id has a filling of sweetened ground coconut and something. Delectable ira-id just the same!

Ira-id Butig. Those are the ones under her left arm just near her knees. And this ira-id looked different from the rest. They’re squarish or rectangularish but thick! And the heaviest to the stomach. I asked what they meant by “butig” and the first sysnonym or description given was “gawai”. Asking further, I learned this thing is made out of also ground rootcrop called “gabi” in Tagalog – the root of that plant everyone knows to be made into laing. Is that taro? Probably! I think I have tasted something similar to this a long time ago, and it was called “sagmani”!

Interesting treats! And at 6:12AM, I already had a 'sumptuous' breakfast haha!

BUT, I was not done eating! That’s the next story.

1 comment :

  1. Hello Traveler!

    This one's another uber good write up. Got helluva laugh reading your stories. Well, you've got an excellent blog :)!

    hahhahha! I did used to munch up fresh ubod. And our pigs, uhmmm, ng memeryenda din sila ng barani. I have read, reread and read this again, can't hid my smile - really quite funny (Oh no not you!). Could just imagine how many odd look you got from my tribe with this encounter.

    THANKS for sharing you travel experiences.