Quezon will not be complete without a take home of the various delicacies available all over the province. Without the most sought-after delicacies, Quezon will not be Quezon .
There are new emerging food favorites that tourists look for. One of these is the famous puto bao of Agdangan, Quezon. It has a glutinous taste, with a fragrant smell emanating from the violet sticky rice, matching the sweetness of the young coconut inside it as the delicacy sits on a small banana leaf. It is just like ordinary puto; however, it has a sweet surprise inside, sweetened coconut strips that give the puto bao just the right taste. People of Agdangan love to serve puto bao for snacks and desserts to their visitors. Those who have a sweet tooth revel in the taste of this Agdangan delicacy.
Among the alluring products of Mulanay, Quezon are the world-class melt-in-the-mouth uraro cookies. They resemble white rose flowers that are packaged in plastic and cartoon boxes or in a plastic canisters with tin detachable covers. The uraro is so delicately prepared that it is a delight to the palate. A rose-shaped uraro will make the one drool in its mouth-watering taste. On the first bite, you will the savor the fascinating light sweetness that will elicit your smile. Best eaten while drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, many Quezonians love to buy this product as a pasalubong.
Sariaya’s leche puto is another dessert to die for. It looks like your usual puto but with a twist: golden, creamy leche flan sitting on top of the puto. When you sink your teeth into it for a bite, you will savor its delicately sweet and fine texture.
Next in line is the remarkable coco sugar of Alabat, Quezon. While it is just typical sugar, its uniqueness lies in its many health benefits. People who have health issues – diabetes, hypertension, etc. – can safely use coco sugar for sweetener without any side effects, the product claims. The liquid sap is extracted from the coconut palm and processed into healthy coco sugar. Indeed, it is a very famous product that people of Alabat are truly proud of.
San Narciso, Quezon’s appetizing nilupak won’t take your “no” for an answer. It has the delectable taste of unripe bananas (saba) that are pounded and mixed with layers of vanilla flavored custard and shredded cheese that melts in the mouth, a sweet milky coated taste that feels like there’s no place like home.
Quezon, Quezon’s delicious sinantolan is something that you should not also miss. It is a to-die-for concoction of scraped santol meat and binalawan or shrimp paste with red bell pepper and cooked in coconut milk (unang gata). It is usually packed in a glass jar or canned for overseas pasalubong. It is best eaten with plenty of rice and ginangang isda (fish boiled in vinegar).
Pinais is Sampaloc, Quezon’s contribution to the provincial delicacies. Made of the freshest river shrimps, grated young coconuts and wrapped in mint leaf (kamamba), the mixture of ingredients is enfolded in young banana leaves and boiled to cook in coconut water. The taste is so heavenly that people swear by its power to make you forget your own mother-in-law.
Lucban, Quezon, the home of most culinary delights in the province boasts of its version of the garlic-oregano flavored longganisa and pancit habhab. The longganisa is made of pork spiced by garlic and oregano that emits a heavenly smell while being fried. Pancit habhab, on the other hand, is made of locally produced bam-i sauteed in meat, shrimps, pechay and sayote and eaten hot on a bed of young banana leaf without using a fork or a spoon, habhab style. To get the best taste, sprinkle the pancit habhab with vinegar. Another local delicacy is hardenera made of pork and laced with sliced eggs, red bell pepper and spices cooked by steaming. No town fiesta or celebration of the San Isidro Festival is complete in Lucban without the famous hardenera, truly a culinary delight.
The array of local delicacies one finds in Quezon make us truly proud of our heritage mirrored in every sweet, delectable dessert and recipe that are delectable and mouth-watering. Truly, Quezon food has a distinct taste that people will find hard to resist. In partaking of these delights we are sharing with you our heritage and culture – our way of life.