I thought I was making good progress on a lower carbohydrate, better protein and a higher fruit/ vegetable intake regimen that I started last week to help get rid of 10 pounds of fat I put on since January 1 of this year. This is no super food denial diet, just trying to eat better. Though I have to admit that the skim milk, whey, oatmeal and strawberry shakes that I have for â€œsnacksâ€ sounded a bit bizarre and preachy, they actually taste good. I have also exercised every day for the last week, from working out to walking â€œbrisklyâ€ and even taking a half hour spin on my ancient racer bike last night. Then the doorbell rings after dinner and in waltzes a couple of enormous boxes and a mini-bayong bearing generous food gifts from friends who really know how to eatâ€¦
The boxes contained the most amazing cuchinta, some puto binan, and a bounty of puffed rice/pinipig. First up are the cuchinta. As a kid, they were among my top 3 kakaninsâ€¦along with sapin-sapin and puto. I used to eat cuchinta by the dozen (of the smaller sizes). So I was truly amazed by these massive versions that really had tremendous depth of flavor and a nice consistency. I think it must be rice harvest season or something and the malagkit used was extremely fresh AND the brown sugar must have been something really special which together with the coconut milk yielded a deeper or more complex cuchinta than you usually get these days. Delicious and wickedly bad for anyone watching their caloric intakeâ€¦
Next up was a box of puto Binan, which frankly, I have NEVER tasted before. Deprived, I know. It is like a flat puto (think large pizza dough but made of rice flour) with a lot of salty grated cheese and possibly egg? on top. This was a somewhat new taste sensation for me, the salty right on top of the sweetâ€¦but on second thought, not reallyâ€¦thatâ€™s what a good cassava cake is like or bibingka for that matter. I think the saltiness in turn accentuates the sweetnessâ€¦it was good but the cuchinta was still tops on my list for the eveningâ€¦ The cuchinta and puto Binan are from Dâ€™Original Julingâ€™s of Binan. I am told that the food cognoscenti from those parts frequent this incredible maker of cuchinta and other goodies. My source tells me even the Mayor of Binan is a frequent customerâ€¦
Also in the goody bags last night were several bags of puffed rice and smashed rice or pinipig, already fried up. What a terrific treat to get this delivered to you right in the heart of the cityâ€¦these are things I associate with the probinsyaâ€¦ The next challenge is how to use up all of this bountyâ€¦ there is enough for 200 cups of chocolate eh or 100 halo-haloâ€™s and so I must find a recipe or two that uses these terrific ingredientsâ€¦To the folks that sent this over, many thanks!!!