Discovering the full taste of Bicol in Legazpi




“The City of fun and adventure” is what brands Legazpi City. Legazpi city is found in the province of Albay, Bicol. From ATV rides along the foot of a volcano, having a stroll at Mayon national park, Japanese tunnels during the Second World War, to centuries-old churches, you can say that Legazpi city stays true to its brand. That there is never a dull moment when you are in Legazpi City!

Aside from its scenic views and fun-filled activities, the city boasts an abundance of flavors and dishes that reflects the culture and its people. Here are some of the dishes and delicacies that you should try on your next visit to Legazpi City
 
Sili Ice Cream

As odd as it may seem, hot peppers and Ice cream has been growing in popularity for locals and foreigners alike. This unique flavor is made from combining heavy cream, Siling labuyo (a small chili pepper widely found in the region), and food coloring.

Do not be fooled by its innocent bubble gum pink color because this ice cream can seriously pack a strong punch! Its spiciness ranges from 1 to 10, either go mild or go big! Every bite leaves a sweet yet spicy experience.

You can get a taste of this local cuisine at any Colonial Grill branch found not just in the city but across Bicol! 
 
Pinangat
 
The popular pinangat has two versions, a sour fish soup which uses kamias, tamarind or vinegar, and a Bicolano version. The latter has coconut meat grinds with lemongrass and ginger, and sometimes finely minced crab meat or catfish filling wrapped in taro leaves, and tied together to keep the filling from spilling. It is then simmered in a spicy coconut milk broth until cooked.

Here is a tip: when buying this dish in a public market always tell the vendor what you want, either the spicy or the original because some pinangat fillings can be extra spicy.  
 
Bicol Express
 
One of the most famous dishes not just in Legazpi, but all around the region has got to be the Bicol Express! This cuisine reflects what Bicol is all about, coconut milk and an abundance of chilies. The dish contains pork cooked in coconut milk, with shrimp paste, and you guessed it, a handful of chili!

Get a taste of Bicol Express at any Graceland, Colonial Grill, or even at local cafeterias. Your cravings for something hot and creamy will surely be satisfied.
 
Candied Pili Nut

Similar to candied peanuts, Pili nuts are one of the best souvenirs to give to your friends and family when traveling to any part of Bicol!

The candied pili nut has a very crunchy texture because of the sugar glaze, and almost just melts in your mouth. It can also be cooked in a variety of ways such as crispy pili with sugar, pili with sea salt with chili flakes, and plain-roasted pili. Its shell is also used and sold as keychains around the region.

You can get it at any Bicol Pasalubong Centers.
 
Kinunot
 
If you happen to be staying in Legazpi for a getaway, then why not try and taste this peculiar dish. Kinunot is cooked with coconut milk, malunggay leaves (moringa), and the star of the dish, flaked manta ray meat. In other recipes, shark meat is used as an alternative to manta ray meat.

The dish is truly a star for the locals because aside from easy to cook, it is also very flavorful and delicious.
 
Linubak
 
This kakanin dish is made from mashing cassava, banana, or taro, and mixed with sugar and coconut milk. Creamy in texture, and thick in consistency, Linubak is served with a swipe of margarine and topped off with chopped peanuts or shredded coconut meat to add texture.

If you’re wondering where to get these, then you should get up early in the morning as local vendors only sell them in public markets. If you did not find any, then try your luck in the afternoon.
 
Putong Bocayo
 

This dish is a soft rice cake filled with sweetened coconut meat locally known as bocayo. Cooking it is fairly simple. In a small coconut shell, a mixture of rice flour and sugar is placed followed by a small amount of filling. This is then placed in a modified steamer.
 
A different variety is also growing into fame which can be found outside of Legazpi. Ligao is famous for its rice puto macapuno. Unlike the classic putong bocayo, this variant uses ube in its rice cake and the sweet macapuno or coconut “sport” as a filling. It is found nowhere else but alongside the diversion of Ligao City.

With your first bite, your mouth is welcomed with a soft and squishy texture from the steamed cake, and the sweetness from the coconut filling. Be careful though because some of the rice cakes came fresh from the steamer. Though I would personally recommend getting the hot ones.

You can get this at public markets or near churches.

Reading it here is one thing, but experiencing it first hand will take you to a whole new level. Come and explore Legazpi City, a place of coconut milk and chilies. Discover the exquisite taste of Bicol in the city of fun and adventure and share it with your friends and family. Truly, it is never a dull moment when you are in Legazpi! 

 

Reference:
(2018, May 16). These Are The Dishes You Should Try When in ... - Yummy.ph. Retrieved June 10, 2020, from https://www.yummy.ph/news-trends/these-are-the-dishes-you-should-try-when-in-bicol
(2016, July 26). Food Trip: 5 Dishes You Must Try in Bicol - WindowSeat.ph. Retrieved June 10, 2020, from https://windowseat.ph/bicol-food-trip/

 

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