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Sunday, April 22, 2012

What to Eat in Tuguegarao: Pancit Batil-Patong, Patupat and Teaño Alcala Milk Candy

It has been over a month since my last entry about food finds (surprising, I know!) so I'm going through my backlog for The CityLifeStylist Eats

I was flown to Tuguegarao in January to conduct interviews with the local officials of Abulug and Allacapan, two waterless municipalities (municipalities with less than 50 percent water service coverage), about their water conditions and service management. Aside from these, we also talked about what they loved to eat: pancit!

There is practically one "panciteria" in every corner, and each has its own version of Pancit Batil-Patongthe best pancit I've had so far! The locals' favorite pancit places varied, but what I liked best was J-Ren's Panciteria, a recommendation from a colleague.

The Pancit Batil-Patong is freshly made pansit miki of Tuguegarao topped with pork (some may have beef or carabao meat), crushed chicharon, egg and baguio beans. It comes with two side dishes--a small bowl of pork broth as well as a vinegar and soy sauce dip with lots of chopped onions, calamansi and chili peppers. Can you imagine how sinfully flavorful it is? 

Plus, one serving is big enough for a hungry twosome, but the locals insist it's good for one! Even the little boy in the other table had a bowl all to himself. And I thought I had a big appetite.

My sweet tooth was also satisfied during the trip thanks to a bagful of Patupat, bite-sized kakanin made with sticky rice, sugarcane juice and coconut milk, which was ordered for us from Ballesteros, Cagayan. I'm not a big fan of kakanin because I usually find them either bland or too saccharine, but these were actually very tasty with just the right amount of sugar and gata. Mmm.

Another delightful sweet treat I discovered in Tuguegarao is Teaño Alcala Milk Candy. It's a special kind of pastillas made with fresh carabao milk that is incredibly addictive. I didn't get to take photos of the actual product but make a quick Google image search and you'll find several, like this photo from BlauEarth. While I was able to purchase most of what I brought home from Alcala, packs are also sold at the airport and--gasp!--in Metro Manila. Yup, they are actually available at 18 Lions Road, Mandaluyong City.

These are definitely some of the must-try eats when you find yourself in Tuguegarao (and hey, the Mandaluyong area!)

The CityLifeStylist