Cebu snacks

7 Cebuano snacks you will find in an afternoon

A casual trip to the town for an afternoon snacks or merienda somewhere in Cebu? Or pass by an enterprising vendor along the street in Cebu City? These seven local food items, good for an afternoon snacks, are the staple. And while growing up in Talisay, these were part of my childhood.

Except for one, these food are easily prepared. Three are saba banana based, a local variety, two are flour + coconut milk based and one is a root crop that are then fried in oil and dredged in white sugar. The last one, binignit takes time but usually just includes stewing a bunch of root crops and saba bananas with a few other ingredients and sweetening it.

Turon. Ripe saba bananas filled with strips of ripe jackfruit and wrapped in lumpia wrappers. Fried and dredged in sugar.

Turon. Ripe saba bananas filled with strips of ripe jackfruit and wrapped in lumpia wrappers. Fried and dredged in sugar.

1 Turon

The turon, a Spanish influenced snack is actually a pastry, tube-like, filled treat that is also sold in many pasalubong shops in Cebu. But in the afternoon snack context, is just wrapped ripe saba bananas, . Other versions have the sugar added at the same time these are fried, rendering a sticky but wonderful melted sugar layer all around.

Banday-banday. Sliced ripe saba bananas formed into a fan, immersed in a batter and fried. Dredged in sugar.

Banday-banday. Sliced ripe saba bananas formed into a fan, immersed in a batter and fried. Dredged in sugar.

2 Pinaypay

Frying is the easiest to do and, quite popular with Filipinos. Pinaypay (from the word paypay, meaning fan) is another fried snack that I loved when I was a child. If we have stocks of ripe saba bananas, this would be the snack or just buy it from roving vendors.

Camotecue. Sweet potatoes fried in oil and 'central' (sugar)

Camotecue. Sweet potatoes fried in oil and ‘central’ (sugar)

3 Kamotecue

Sweet potatoes or kamote is almost always present, next to the bananacue. Usually covered with melted sugar. There are two kinds usually used, the white kamote and the purple or tapol variety. We often joke that eating this, and camote in general, gives you a good fart!

Bananacue. Ripe saba bananas cooked in oil with 'central' (sugar)

Bananacue. Ripe saba bananas cooked in oil with ‘central’ (sugar)

4 Bananacue

Ripe saba bananas fried with sugar. The more melted sugar sticks, the better! It’s a staple everywhere, from the streets to school canteens and outside schools, from roving vendors to markets, the skewered bananacue is always there. I can usually consume two!

Cebu snacks

Sinudlan, flour mixed with coconut milk and formed into balls. Filled with bukhayo, strips of young coconut meat in heavy syrup, fried then dredged in sugar.

Cebu snacks

The bukhayo filling of the sinudlan or bicho-bicho

5 Bicho-bicho or sinudlan

I love this one! Most call it sinudlan while others call it bicho-bicho, the latter, comes in other forms as well. Chewy bread like texture with sweet bukhayo (or bukayo), especially if the coconut meat used are young ones. Some fill it with older, but grated coconut meat that is firmer in texture.

Siyakoy, rice flour mixed with coconut milk, formed  and deep fried. Dredged in sugar

Siyakoy, rice flour mixed with coconut milk, braided and deep fried. Dredged in sugar

6 Siyakoy

What a name! But it has also been a childhood staple. When we were children, we would call on the roving vendor as she shouts, Siakooooyyyy! Siakoy mo dayyyyy!. It’s a simple but delicious snack that we usually pair with a cold coca-cola.

Binignit. Sliced root crops like camote (sweet potatoes), gabi (taro), saba bananas, gulaman (agar agar balls) and landang (palm trunk extract) cooked with coconut milk.

Binignit. Sliced root crops like camote (sweet potatoes), gabi (taro), saba bananas, gulaman (agar agar balls) and landang (palm trunk extract) cooked with coconut milk.

7 Binignit

This one is traditional Good Friday fare, especially as an afternoon snacks. We always look forward to having this one and, for most Cebuanos, it is a must to prepare this sweet snack. At the snack stall that I visited, they were serving a watered down version mostly of root crops and saba bananas. Less landang and no gulaman balls.

There you have it! Seven of the most popular afternoon snacks in Cebu. Although there are others, these are what you mostly see. Have you tasted some or all of these are saw these while in Cebu?

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

3 Comments

  1. @riccoandrew
    August 26, 2014 @ 12:15

  2. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    August 26, 2014 @ 14:22

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  3. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    August 26, 2014 @ 15:21

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