01 Jul2006

Pili Nut Delicacies

by Marketman


Here’s a quick run-down on pili nut delicacies from Legazpi. I brought home several packages of each type of confection. In the back left corner of the photo are some coconut macaroons with pili nuts on top. They were a bit like less sweet flattened bucaio with pili…chewy, sweet and tasty. In the back center are some pastry boats with pili praline or paste in the hollows. They were tasteless and not something I would buy again. The back right corner are chopped pili nuts in a caramel coating and sliced and individually wrapped in paper. Murder on your teeth as they are as sticky as taffy and the paper is a pain to remove. However, they tasted great and I could easily finish 10 in one go.

The candied pili nuts on the first row came directly from our farm or its nearby surroundings. Front left is pili nut brittle in DARK caramelized sugar. These were wrapped individually prior to this photo. Excellent but again, wicked on the teeth. The center bowl on the front row has sugared pili nuts with bits of finely chopped pili mixed with sugar. These were really good. Finally, the front right bowl had individually caramelized pili in a lighter color of caramel. If you do buy pili nuts, eat them almost immediately as they tend to go rancid pretty fast. I wish someone would spend the money to research how to stabilize these nuts and take them global…I think they could stand up to the macadamia nut in many different guises or preparations!



  1. honey says:

    the really good pili products coem from sorsogon. next time, try the mazapan de pili. it’s really good. my suki in legaspi is no longer there as her stall was removed when the central market was built. her stall was removed to make way for the parking lot. i never found her again. too bad as her pili as more often, freshly cooked. and her products are not expensive.

    Jul 1, 2006 | 8:40 pm


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  3. millet says:

    hi MM, just got back from catarman, northern samar yesterday, and the biggest surprise aside from the excellent seafood was the cheap and very good quality of its pili products. my hosts recommended a very good mazapan de pili and pili brittle. the mazapan is very lightly sweetened and is packed with fresh pili flavor. the warays told me it is because it is made of pure pili, unlike the bicol version which is passed off as made with pure pili, too, but is actually mixed with langka seeds. the pili brittle was called “glazed pili”, and that’s because it was exactly that, individual whole or halve pili very thinly glazed with a dark caramel that made the whole thing crispy, not sticky at all. i hope i did not make the oragons’ blood boil, because i, too, used to think that bicolanos had the monopoly of pili product knowhow. i have been pining for another pili sweet that i tasted once when i was small – it is also something like a brittle, except that the sugar base was more like panocha in taste and consistency. but what stands out in my memory is that aside from pili,the disks of brittle were also studded with small pieces of what tasted like candied suha rind? i remember this “rind” was colored red and looked like pieces of siling labuyo, but i remember the distinctive citrus tang. it took us two days of eating those things before we agreed that it tasted like suha. does anybody know what it is, or am i just imagining it? is it still available today, and where? help, please!

    Jul 1, 2006 | 10:05 pm

  4. MasPinaSarap says:

    My nang and I got some Glazed Pili Nuts by Growers today along with some other filipino necessities {Sukang Iloco} :D here at the local pinoy grocery, and we really enjoyed them, this being a first for both of us, since they’re not as available in Ilocos. They have a very delicate texture that almost shatters in your mouth and is buttery with the right amount of sweetness. I like it!

    Jul 2, 2006 | 10:10 am

  5. Marketman says:

    The pili is such a hardy tree and typhoon resistant so it isn’t a surprise that it is available from Albay to Sorsogon and Northern Samar! I like the pili nut so I tend to overbuy and overeat… honey and millet, will look out for the marzapan de pili the next time around. MasPinaSarap, I hope the pili you got was fresh, it has a tendency to spoil relatively quickly!

    Jul 2, 2006 | 2:06 pm

  6. honey says:

    millet, that’s the reason why the pili in albay is cheaper than the ones from sorsogon. the latter uses ony pure pili in its pili products while the ones from albay sometimes use extenders. i heard that danding ojuangco has a pili farm in davao

    Jul 2, 2006 | 8:16 pm

  7. millet says:

    don’t know about the pili farm in davao, honey, but if true, that’s good news for me. pili is my second favorite nut after cashews, right up there with macadamias. MM, i brought home 2 kilos of fresh pili, and today i blanched all of them for a few minutes, and the skins slipped right off. after wiping them dry, i oven-baked them for a few minutes – couldn’t resist adding a few dashes of salt. super-yummy! the trick is not to brown them, and to not wait till they’re crisp, because they get crisp after they have cooled a bit.

    Jul 2, 2006 | 9:04 pm

  8. MasPinaSarap says:

    MM, they were sealed in those aluminum type pouches, and as far as I know, delicious, but after that post on fresh pili, I’m anxious to try that when I go to the P.I.
    Do you think they would grow in La Union? It would be nice to grow on the family farms.

    Jul 3, 2006 | 2:36 am

  9. mojitodrinker says:

    hi when i was in naga last march, my friends also bought yema de pili. so good!!

    Jul 3, 2006 | 1:26 pm

  10. Candsmd says:

    Hi MM, can mazapan be substituted for marzipan or almond paste. Or CAn I make marzipan out of ground pili? I have a few recipes for both (marzipan’s more toxic to make) and I was wondering if Pili nut can be a good substitute. I would like to use it as a sub for cakes that call for almond paste in the recipe – like a Pili cake. What do you think?

    Jul 3, 2006 | 2:45 pm

  11. sister says:

    Mom used to make a good pili cake which was basically a butter cake paved with nuts instead of icing. The nuts were blanched, peeled and arranged in a concentric circle on the uncooked batter and dusted heavily with sugar which caramelized as the cake baked. Haven’t seen anything like that in a long time.Quite similar to a Dundee cake.

    Jul 21, 2006 | 6:50 am

  12. chick says:

    i like the pili tarts too..

    my dad would always bring home pianono w/ pili filling (its like a roll with ground pili and butter filling) and those small breads w/ pili filling (i think they call it pandecilyos?) also whenever he goes to bicol :P

    Aug 16, 2007 | 3:23 pm

  13. agnes diaz says:

    i guess my comment will be really too late since i just came accross this site. but i can’t help but comment on your pili article since my grandfather is the pioneer of pili candy making in Bicol. i am sorry if you had a bad encounter with the “copy cats”. next time you go to Legazpi try to visit the New albay Central Pilinut candy store.(cel:0917-558-0493) i assure you that you won’t regret your visit. you can mention to them this commment they might even give you a good deal. Take care

    Feb 14, 2008 | 10:55 am

  14. Merrie Cris says:

    How to order? whats the shelf life? i am here in cebu,who will shoulder for the freight?thanks

    Sep 8, 2008 | 3:08 pm

  15. may h. garlan says:

    Hi! I’m May from bicol I am a entrepreneur student from Sorsogon State Colledge,I,m producing also a pili processing- the Choco Pili Nut and I want to know about the other processing that you make in Pili.

    Nov 12, 2008 | 9:58 am

  16. beth says:

    could you pls send me, on how to cook pili nuts candies.because we have pili in my sister farm in tinambacan calbayog city. and I want to know how to cook pili nuts candies.Thanks

    Mar 8, 2009 | 4:20 pm

  17. Jileen Nodalo says:

    could you pls send me the recipe and procedure in making glazed pili and mazapan de pili because i need it in my study.thanks

    Apr 17, 2009 | 11:27 am


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