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(Article courtesy of K-Spy)
Pudding is a delightful mixture of cassava, sugar and coconut milk steamed on a circular pan and topped with arnibal, a sugary thick syrup made from the purest of coconut milk. What pudding addicts don't know is that pudding making involves a process that is both elaborate and labor intensive. To begin with, the cassava must not be too small nor too big. And it must be fresh or else the pudding would leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Peeled and washed, the cassava is then grated down to a thin pulp in an improvised grater of punctured galvanized sheet held at both sides by sticks. Usually the grater scrapes his hands, mixing blood with cassava and improving the pudding's taste. (Note: Pudding makers now go to commercial electric graters.)
To drain the grated cassava of its sap, it is rolled onto a piece of katsa cloth and wrung dry like a piece of laundry. It is then transferred into a large bowl where it is combed for pulps and crumbs. Because the pudding's texture depends much on this, the process is repeated at least thrice. Stories are even told that the late Iya Inggin, the Original Pudding Icon, had a contraption made whose fulcrum would press hard the grated cassava as she and her "soulmate," Yo Goding, mounted the plank that ran across it like a see-saw.
Mixed with other ingredients, the grated cassava is then transferred into circular moulds and steamed. During this time, the arnibal is cooked on the side where it is constantly stirred for the right consistency, which is critical, because if it's too thin, it drips and seeps around the moulds; and if it's too thick, it hard to spread. Arnibal making is indeed an art form that requires both skill and luck.
Once cooled, the pudding and the arnibal are inserted separately into a cellophane, ready for sale. The pudding's shelf life is one day but it can last as long as one week if refrigerated. In fact many chill their pudding first before eating it.
Available mostly in the morning, the pudding now sells at P25.00 per layer.
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Gakita na agaw kamo ni Jaybe? Aton na sa minbalik sa Manila kay ga e-mail sa sa ako.
Hala komusta dakan.