November 13, 2011


Eating something out of a coconut shell, but instead of the coconut meat, it is something else. It's a Filipino or would I say authentic Leyte-style (Leyte, one of the islands in the Phils.) pudding made out of taro root, yam and coconut milk among others. A friend of mine lives in Dagami, a municipality in Leyte. Dagami is best known for their export quality Binagol. Even though I never got the chance to go there, I asked him some of the "what to know" about it. Although Dagami is almost an hour from the city, rest assured almost all towns in Leyte have it, because Binagol is a local favorite. To be more specific, the root crop used in the recipe is Talyan which is exported from the neighbor island of Samar. Other ingredients are sugar, condensed milk, nuts and egg yolks. All of the above ingredients are processed and combined accordingly.
But what is it that makes it Binagol? For your information, "bagol" is the Waray-waray (Leyte & Samar) dialect for coconut shell. Now that you know it, the sweetened taro pudding mixture, to what most bloggers say, is placed on one half of the shell. Then it is covered with wilted banana leaf and tied with string to make sure none of the pudding gets exposed from other elements upon steam cooking in the deep casserole. 
Binagol has two distinct layers. The chewy one and the sweet and nutty. The first layer as you open up a Binagol is moderately sweet but definitely chewy. This playfully elastic texture will give you an almost hard time finishing the whole layer if you eat alone. The core made of softer taro though, is to die for. It is very sweet and with pounded nuts, it gives you a sugary and nutty roller coaster inside your mouth. 

The Philippines, with its 7,107 islands boasts different food and adventures each island you come over. 

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