Bibingka among world's most traditional holiday foods

Posted at 01/02/13 4:30 PM

These bibingka are topped with cheese and niyog

MANILA, Philippines – The humble bibingka, a Filipino rice cake, is one of the “most traditional” holiday treats in the world, according to a travel magazine.

Travel + Leisure included bibingka in its “World’s Most Traditional Holiday Foods” list, putting it alongside dishes from Japan, China, Russia and Sweden, among others.

In an article on Travel + Leisure’s website, writer Howie Kahn recommended buying bibingka at the stalls near Lourdes Church in Quezon City.

Bibingka is a yellow rice cake traditionally made from rice flour, eggs, milk and sugar. It is brushed with butter, topped with either salted egg or cheese, and served with niyog (grated coconut).

The sweet and salty bibingka has a soft and fluffy texture similar to puto, another Filipino rice cake, and is eaten warm.

Most Filipinos prefer buying bibingka because making one can be time-consuming. The traditional way of cooking this rice cake requires a terra cotta pot lined with banana leaves, heated coals, and lots of patience and energy.

Aside from bibingka, other holiday treats included in Travel + Leisure’s list are mushroom soup with zaprashka from Russia; tourtiere (ground, minced or cubed meat packed into a pie crust and served with ketchup or savory fruit relish) from Canada; curry devil (chicken, cocktail sausages, cabbage and cucumbers stewed in a spicy rempah gravy) from Singapore; toshikoshi soba from Japan; sarmale (cabbage rolls packed with pork, beef and rice and boiled in tomato sauce) from Romania; Jansson’s temptation (a casserole of potatoes, herring, onions, cream and bread crumbs) from Sweden; romeritos with mole from Mexico; yebeg wot (a thick, buttery berbere-spiced stew) from Ethiopia; eel from Italy and tangyuan (stuffed rice flour dumplings) from China.

Click here to know more about traditional Filipino Christmas food items.