16 Feb2008


Don’t ask me why they are called this unusual name, literally translated as “lewdly” rather than “artistically” NAKED. All I know is, they were unusual and unique to me… My assistant, whose legal issues which we were in Palawan to resolve, knew that I had a huge fondness for sampaloc/tamarind candy and I had eaten tons of the stuff since childhood. So word must have been sent ahead to Palawan and I was presented with a HUGE plastic container filled with perhaps 1.5-2.0 kilos of this sampaloc candy shortly before I was to go back home. Formed into huge balls, double or triple the normal sized tamarind candy, they were incredibly round and smooth and coated with sugar. Even before I reached into the container to try one, I was trying to figure out what was striking about the “bomba” balls… I think my first clue was their unusually dense and smooth consistency…


Biting into one, they were definitely different from the other sampaloc candies I had tasted. The pulp was smoother and creamier, the sampaloc flavor modulated and not as sharp and acidic. I was struggling to discern the difference when someone finally told me they were sampaloc and kamote candies. The tamarind pulp was first prepared, with large fibers from the fruit removed, then it was somehow blended with cooked sweet potato (kamote) and mixed with sugar, etc. I noticed that the pulp was actually a bit orangey but if they hadn’t told me it was kamote, I would have been guessing for hours longer. There was simply no way that I was going to finish 1.5 kilos of this wonderful stuff, so back in Manila, I split the sampaloc bounty into several bags and sent them friends and staff brought them home as well. If you are a big sampaloc fan, remember to try this version when you get a chance… it is unusual and surprisingly different.



  1. Jacob's Mom says:

    I LOVE sampaloc! My little boy has also acquired the taste for it and always asks for sampaloc candy when we stop at the Asian stores. The kind we usually find are from Thailand, ok din but I like the ones from the Phils better. :)

    Feb 16, 2008 | 1:41 am


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    Innovative idea! Kamote is known to mankind instrumental in passing intestinal gas and tamarind by nature has a laxative effect – combined the two together not only fixed your sugary tartness craving will also ensure you are way ahead of schedule!

    Feb 16, 2008 | 2:14 am

  4. lee ann says:

    i loooove sampaloc. hahaha! i like the sourness with the sweet then sudden bursts of salt. :D

    maybe it should be translated as bomb?

    Feb 16, 2008 | 4:48 am

  5. HungryDude says:

    Yeah I definitely remember these little morsels.. did they come with the seed in it?

    Feb 16, 2008 | 5:56 am

  6. sam says:

    OMG!! i love sampaloc! i wish they have it here in Upstate NY!! all i can find here are those made in thailand..

    Feb 16, 2008 | 7:44 am

  7. betty q. says:

    OK Silly Lolo: …where are you? I ALWAYS look forward to reading your comments. Just as Maria Clara said about the laxative properties of tamarind, your comments has sort of a similar effect on me…makes me feel better with your sense of humour!!!!

    Feb 16, 2008 | 9:13 am

  8. Babette says:

    Wow, sweet potato in sampaloc? I wonder if all sampalok candy makers use sweet potato. Do you plan on making it from scratch? My kids love the sampaloc candy with the seeds in it. They get a lot of pasalubong everytime my parents visit Manila.

    Feb 16, 2008 | 10:54 am

  9. skyemermaid says:

    hi! would it be possible to get a recipe for that? we have two sampaloc trees and i have been trying recipes for the longest time. nothing works. but i am still hopeful…

    Feb 16, 2008 | 11:25 am

  10. Silly Lolo says:

    Here I am Mz. BettyQ…always at your service.
    I thought Mz. Maria Clara very cleverly told us Sampaloc makes people make utot! And yes, utot always makes one feel better.
    I apologize for being crude but maybe you won’t judge me too harshly if you think of utot as simply a burp that lost its way and came out the wrong end!

    Feb 16, 2008 | 1:55 pm

  11. Katrina says:

    “Bomba” also means “bomb,” so maybe their round, smooth shape gave them their name. :-) I’m not a big fan of candied sampaloc, but I’d really like to try these, since I love camote!

    Feb 16, 2008 | 2:17 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Katrina, they kept sniggering in that OMG cover your mouth/smile way that made me believe they meant naked and not bombastic as in bomb… heehee.

    Feb 16, 2008 | 3:48 pm

  13. kasseopeia says:

    I agree with Lee Ann and Katrina… maybe they meant bombs. You know in Looney Tunes cartoons where bombs were big black balls with a fuse and the word “BOMB” painted on them with red or white letter? Haha…

    I like the samppaloc candy of my childhood: more like a whole fruit sprinkled with rock salt and a bit of sugar then rolled into a huge ball before being wrapped in clear cellophane.

    I also love the spicy sampaloc from Thailand. I can eat a whole kilo of it easily. Of course, since it is spicy in the mouth, it was still spicy coming out on the other end. Hahahaha.

    Feb 16, 2008 | 3:53 pm

  14. bugsybee says:

    I have only lately acquired a taste for tamarind candy so I’d really appreciate knowing where I can get really good tamarind candies. Or maybe you’d like to hold a tamarind candy contest (like the mangosteen jam contest)? Aabangan ko.

    Feb 17, 2008 | 12:27 am

  15. Dodi says:

    More like “bomba” when you let go on te “other end”!!

    Feb 17, 2008 | 2:25 am

  16. betty q. says:

    SILLY LOLO: Do you also have a blog?…I think you should have one….the things you come up with is PRICELESSS!!!…hahaha

    Feb 17, 2008 | 3:54 am

  17. Roberto Vicencio says:

    Seeing those candies started making my salivary glands work in high gear. Wow!

    Feb 17, 2008 | 8:51 am

  18. Dennis Santiago says:

    Kamote in tamarind candy is nothing new. I believe that some kamote is added, not to enhance the taste but to increase the size or volume. Back in the day, my folks could tell the “mixed” from the genuine all-tamarind ones. Mom would only get the tamarind-only candies. The Blue Kitchen at Shangrila is where I get mine. They’re very good.

    Feb 17, 2008 | 12:05 pm

  19. Mila says:

    I like sweet and spicy sampaloc candies, doubt I’ve tried the ones with the camote extender though. MM are they available in the Puerto Princessa wet market?

    Feb 18, 2008 | 9:56 am

  20. Marketman says:

    Mila, the Aji Ichiban spicy sampaloc candies are my current favorite, and they are intensely samalocky… these ones were blander, with a different texture altogether. I realize they are common to the area, but I found the kamote extension unusual…and I am almost certain I have never tasted them before, as the difference was noticeable. Not sure if they sell this in the markets, I know this batch was custom made in a neighbors home for me to take home…

    Feb 18, 2008 | 10:09 am

  21. SimplePleasure says:

    wow sampaloc are my favorite! samplaoc and kamote seems different. would love to give them a try.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 11:54 am

  22. shane says:

    this entry reminds me of my 5 peso/day allowance back in elementary school. before I could reach the school grounds I would have already spent 2 pesos for a little bag of sampaloc-the kind that is sweet but also dotted with sea salt. Here in Dallas I get my sampaloc fix from a client who is a distributor of Mexican Snacks. the tamarindo they sell though is rolled in some kind of chile mixture. it is still sweet but surprisingly, it is not as spicy as the sampaloc candy from thailand.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 1:45 pm

  23. CecileJ says:

    Yup, Silly Lolo, like Betty Q I would visit your blog for my daily dose of belly gas…which would also induce the bombs referred to in this thread….and I miss it when you make singit that Martha Matute is hot!!!

    Feb 18, 2008 | 3:39 pm

  24. sunflower says:

    Can anyone PLEASE provide a good recipe for candied sampaloc? My dad likes the stuff but is doubtful about how sanitary the makers are when they process them and sell them commercially.


    Feb 18, 2008 | 10:06 pm

  25. skyemermaid says:

    my mother used to say that they mashed tamarind pulp into candies with their feet. gulp.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 12:51 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    skymermaid, that would make them as desirable as fine wine… :) sunflower, sorry, I have never made sampaloc candy from scratch.

    Feb 19, 2008 | 2:32 pm

  27. leona says:

    I love sampaloc and have tried this in various forms from fresh to processed. The latest I’ve tried is Moniegold chewy tamarind candy in small plastic crystal canisters. The tamarind flavor is so fresh . It is pure tamarind without the nuissance of skin, seeds and fiber.

    Mar 4, 2008 | 12:37 pm

  28. arnold says:

    pssssttt. you guyz have not yet even try the sampalok candy that is made in zamboanga\????//// i hope you could taste it…4real its the best…;-)

    May 31, 2008 | 7:58 pm

  29. Katnip says:

    I love Moniegold candies! Once you pop you can’t stop talaga ang drama nya!

    Jun 27, 2008 | 4:04 pm

  30. HARMONY says:

    hi where can i buy your sampaloc

    Sep 8, 2008 | 2:56 pm


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