Mrs. Marketman was in Carcar, a town an hour South of Cebu, for a quick visit the other day. Carcar is well-known for their snacks and sweets and brought me a selection of the stuff that Carcar is famous forâ€¦ First up, some incredibly nuclear colored â€œbocarillos.â€ Bocarillos are large pieces of coconut meat that are sugared and dried. They tasted like dessicated coconut and were crusty and slightly crispy exterior and a slightly softer moister coconut meat. They must have been air driedâ€¦ The flavor of coconut is clear and the sweetness of sugar is almost overpowering. The color was a bit over-the-top. These sweet morsels are individually wrapped and make a colorful pasalubongâ€¦
In the goodies bag from Carcar were several bags of Special Crispy Chicharon that were utterly sinful. Fried a bit more golden than the pale versions from Manila, these had laman and serious crunch. They appeared to be more flavorful as well and I didnâ€™t even look for vinegar. However, if there was ready access to a chilli vinegar, I would have been in heaven squared. Finally, there were several packages of ampao or puffed rice with a sugar based syrup as a binder. This crispy rice treat is a bit bland but if you grew up eating it, you would understand the attraction. Besides the goodies from Carcar, my wife brought a torta from Argao and let me tell youâ€¦the tortas made with lard and tuba are something elseâ€¦grainy, rich and more dry than my version with butter.