Thousands of these small bibingkas with coconut shreds were being baked and sold at the Valladolid fiesta. They are an incredible testament to Pinoy ingenuity, from the cooking vessels, stoves, etc. At just a few pesos each, they were best straight out of the oven. Many locals adore the coconut shreds in the bibingka, but while I did like it, perhpas the coconut takes a little getting used to. What intrigued me more was the manner in which they were prepared…
First the coconuts were split open and the meats shredded by hand… the guys were smiling because they thought it was so odd that I would be photographing them.
Next, the mixture of flour/rice flour, coconut milk, coconut shreds and that wonderful light brown sugar of Negros was stirred by hand in balde (pail) sized batches.
Steel ovens which require heat sources from below and above were “fired” up with coconut husks and wood.
Other folks used charcoal to temper or better control the heat. And notice the nicely golden tops of the bibingkas in the oven drawer.
Other vendors used large oil tins as makeshift ovens.
And the cooking pans themselves were formed by cutting out the lower inch of canned goods and lining them with banana leaves. On the one hand, I love trolling through Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma and Dehillerin for cooking gadgets, but this other end of the spectrum with recycled cans, makeshift ovens, etc. is equally fascinating and amazing!