Eat Your Way Through Nueva Ecija and Cagayan with These 8 Snacks

Friday, May 05, 2017

philippine ice cream brand

Not everything about a place could be easily seen in its landscapes. There are some features that are intangible, requiring a much thorough exploration and an open mind. Culture is one such feature. And part of a culture of a place is its gastronomy. So, here are some distinctive dishes from the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Cagayan to further introduce you to their respective diverse cultures. 

1. Puno's Ice Cream and Sherbet
Aside from being the Rice Bowl of the Philippines, Nueva Ecija is also home to one of the best local ice cream manufacturers: Puno's. Get a dose of the homegrown brand's best-selling Cheesy Cashew Ice Cream. For something light, you can have the Buko Lychee Sherbet. Both are perfect to beat the Filipino summer heat! 
local filipino ice cream brand

2. Tilapia Ice Cream
Nueva Ecija is also known for coming up with innovative agricultural products. One of which is Central Luzon State University's Tilapia Ice Cream. Strange choice of flavor, I know, but the resulting product is not as fishy as you would expect. Go try it for yourself!

3. Flavored Carabao Milk
Along with the Philippine Rice Institute, the Philippine Carabao Institute (PCI) is also based in Nueva Ecija so its no wonder dairy products are abundant here. Head over to Milka Krem for delicious and healthy carabao milk developed by the PCI. You can get them plain or in a variety of flavors such as chocolate and strawberry. 
milka krem

4. Bangus Spaghetti
Love your pasta? Try a different take on a classic pasta dish by visiting Chanos-chanos. Instead of pork or beef, Chanos-chanos uses bangus for their original-recipe spaghetti. So if you're avoiding meat, this is one good way to still enjoy a Pinoy favorite.
where to eat nueva ecija
Photo by Kara Santos

5. Pancit Batil Patung
A visit to Cagayan, particularly in Tuguegarao, would not be complete without sampling the famous pancit batil patung. This noodle dish packs quite a punch, loaded with a runny egg and a complementary soup to douse the noodles in. It is quite addictive!
pancit batil patung

6. Carabao Chicharon
For those who enjoy a good ol' salty chichirya, Lighthouse Cooperative's Carabao Chicharon is sure to be a hit. Made from carabao skin, these crispy goodness come in several flavors like garlic, spicy, and vinegar.
pasalubong from cagayan

7. Pawa
Cagayan's contribution to the Philippines' horde of rice cakes is Pawa. Made from sticky rice with a filling of ground and sweetened peanuts, pawa is an attempt to improve the Chinese pau. Judging from the traditional hearty servings of this delicacy, and its place in the residents' hearts, you can say it is a  success. 
cagayan pawa
Photo by Martin San Diego courtesy of the North Philippines Visitors Bureau

8. Milk Candy
If you're looking for something sweet, try milk candy. The confection originated in the town of Alcala and it has been a local staple. Made from fresh carabao milk, it has more flavors than just sweetness. It's creamy and highly addictive too!
cagayan pasalubong

Have you tried any of these snacks? What's your favorite local delicacy? Read more of my Lakbay Norte 6 adventures over at!

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