Reviving heirloom recipes of Bulacan

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THE popular Filipino sweet pastillas originated in Bulacan. But while the province has more to offer in terms of delicacies and dishes, it also has original recipes on the brink of extinction for the lack of people who would produce and promote them. These are empanadang tinapa, gurgurya, pinaso, lengua de Malolos, hamon Bulakenya, ginataang duman, Sta.Veronica Birang, leche flan del mar and suspiros.

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If you’ve never heard of these Bulacan recipes, it’s not surprising. Many young Bulakenyos themselves are not aware of them since they are rarely if not served in local dining establishments and food stores. Fourth year journalism students from Bulacan State University found this out when they were doing a thesis on the said heirloom recipes of Bulacan.

The thesis group conducted a campus survey about the nine recipes and the result was that a significant number of culinary and hospitality students said they were not aware of them. So the group made it their graduation project to produce promotional materials for the recipes.

Aside from printed promo materials for the nine heirloom recipes of Bulacan, the students, namely, Russel Cyra Borlongan, Princess April Fajardo, Marisol Gaspar and Adam Angelo Tizon produced a cook book and a Facebook page. They also organized a cooking demo and taste test.

For the uninitiated, gurgurya is a dessert that was popular among katipuneros during the revolt against Spaniards. They are snail-shaped and firm pieces of dough that are deep fried and coated with syrup or sugar.

Pinaso is biscuit pudding. It got its name from the process of melting its sugar topping using a heated metal kitchen spatula.

Lengua de Malolos is ox tongue that is fried, boiled, marinated, refrigerated and fried again ginisa style with mushroom in that order.

Hamon Bulakenya is ham dipped in pineapple juice and sweetened on the surface with sugar melted by a heated spatula like in pinaso.

Ginataang duman is ginataang bilo-bilo with ice, chico and pinipig.

Sta. Veronica Birang is a dish invented during the revolt against Spanish colonizers. It consists of fish, longganisa Macau, bell peppers, carrots, raisins, mashed potato, grated cheese, and powdered milk that are all mixed and wrapped in sinsal, steamed, dipped in beaten egg, wrapped again in bread crumbs and flour, and then fried.

Leche flan de mar is leche flan with gulaman while suspiros is another dessert made from egg whites, sugar, nuts and dayap and cooked like a bibingka.

Having a school project to help revive these heirloom recipes of Bulacan not only helped the BSU students complete one of their academic requirements to graduate. More importantly, they helped sustain a local campaign to promote the nine recipes so that they would be enjoyed by the next generation of Filipinos.

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