Binagol: What To Try When In Samar

Your travel in the Philippines is not complete if you are not going to try the delicacies and other specialty food famous in that city or town. And to complete your travel, what better way is to bring home something – a pasalubong – for your family and friends.

Filipinos love pasalubong. Pasalubong is a Tagalog word which means something you bring home from your travel for your family and friends. It can be a souvenir item or food, especially, items that are popular or signature of the place you visited. For example, when in Baguio, you should try fresh strawberries and bring home some strawberry jam. Guimaras is famous for rich and sweet mangoes. Lanzones is Camiguin Island's signature.

When in Samar, a popular food to try and buy pasalubong to bring home is binagol. Binagol is a local specialty - a taro pudding with coco jam filling. It is made of talyan, a type of root crop similar to gabi or taro. The grated talyan is mixed with glutinous rice flour, margarine, and vanilla. It is placed in a coconut shell, with latik and crushed peanuts added as filling, then wrapped in banana leaves. Binagol is boiled in water for 7 to 8 hours. Latik is the Tagalog word for coco jam. Coco jam is coconut milk cooked with brown sugar.

Bagol is the Visayan word for coconut shell, or bao in Tagalog. Binagol means cooked in coco shell.

To give you an idea how binagol is prepared and cooked, watch this video by Pinas Sarap. The video is in Tagalog but if you have read the text on this blog, you would have understood what the video is all about.

Talyan can grow up to 10 feet in 3 years. The root is larger than gabi or taro. Talyan remains fresh for 5 to 7 days. Samar is rich in root crops. Calbiga in Samar is a major grower of talyan.