Binamban

Binamban, a beautifully wrapped rice cake

While traditional rice cakes are wrapped in blanched banana leaves, the binamban uses a dicot plant,

While traditional rice cakes are wrapped in blanched banana leaves, the binamban uses a dicot plant,

I love rice cakes very much and whenever I see a new one in places that I travel to, I always make it a point to taste it. During an Enduro event in Camarines Sur, I got curious at one of the food brought by a lady and laid out on the table. It was beautifully wrapped and when opened, was a rice cake in a deep shade of purple, owing to the tapol, Cebuano for the purple sticky rice used.

Binamban, the lady told me, taking its name from the large leaf used. It was the first time that I have seen one not using blanched banana leaves as wrapper and unwrapping it was a delight. While other delicacies just have simple folds or rolls, this one has several folds.

Inside the beautiful wrapping is this purple rice cake

Inside the beautiful wrapping is this purple rice cake

I like the semi sweetness of this rice cake, which I think will go well with a hot thick chocolate drink. The aroma is earthy and the leaf doesn’t impart a particular odor or taste. As for its availability, the lady told me that its a native delicacy of Lagonoy, a municipality in the Partido area, northeast of Naga City and is only available ordered, not something you see being sold openly.

Thanx to Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (ACTO) of Naga City for the invitation making this trip possible. Check their website Naga X or Like their Facebook page.

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.

One Comment

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    March 1, 2015 @ 0:34

    Binamban, a beautifully wrapped rice cake: While traditional rice cakes are wrapped in blanched banana leaves,… http://t.co/UkfgeoY5Xo

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