01 Sep2006


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 for… carcar2First up, some incredibly nuclear colored “bocarillos.” 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 dried… 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 pasalubong…

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. carcar3They appeared to be more flavorful as well and I didn’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 you…the tortas made with lard and tuba are something else…grainy, rich and more dry than my version with butter.



  1. izang says:

    uh oh, MM…. you are on a diet remember? hehehe…

    Sep 1, 2006 | 4:55 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    izang, you are so right… I actually limited myself to just one piece of bocarillos, one bite of chicharon and one corner of ampao only. I have only one small bowl of the avocado salad for dessert at lunch…

    Sep 1, 2006 | 5:17 pm

  4. renelmac says:

    wow! talk about sacrifice! my boss brings back to the office chicharon whenever he goes to cebu, those things are downright heart attacks waiting to happen. The fat literally melts in your mouth when it touches your tongue. Ish Amazing! but its sooo good. happy to hear you’re sticking to your diet but not giving up on the finer things in life.

    Sep 1, 2006 | 7:18 pm

  5. millet says:

    i knew it was a matter of time before you did a post on cebu chicharon, ampaw and bocarillos. let them have otap and hojaldres, i want my chicharon. the longanizas of carcar (or, i think, minglanilla?) are also something else. whenever i come home from a trip to cebu, my family starts tearing into the pack of carcar chicharon even before my bags have been stowed in the trunk of the car. beats lapid’s, original and otherwise, hands-down, anytime!

    Sep 1, 2006 | 9:51 pm

  6. millet says:

    and no, cebu chicharon is not a snack for me – it’s ulam! great paired with paksiw na bangus with ampalaya, with a small bowl of chopped tomatoes, cilantro and patis. aarrgggh! (no, i won’t mention rice ’cause you’re on a diet, shhh!)

    Sep 1, 2006 | 9:55 pm

  7. Maria Clara says:

    A friend handed me a bag of bocarillos. I chopped them well and sprinkled my ganache glazed chocolate cake with them. Not only had my cake looked good they added another layer of flavor and texture. They make great cake décor for Easter. From Jolo to Aparri every region incorporates chicharon into their dish – just to name a few pinakbet, pancit palabok, pancit malabon, La Paz batchoy . . . .. Chicharon gives great flavor to a dish. It brings a dish to another dimension. It is a magic wand. If chicharon is a play it could be comedy or tragedy whichever side of the spectrum you look!

    Sep 2, 2006 | 12:51 am

  8. Rampau says:

    I’ve never had bocarillos. I dont think going ona diet is a good idea. It’s a losing proposition. Think like Julia Child, she of the famous, “what is life without butter”! She lived to be past 90 and she ate what she wanted. Go for it MM.

    Sep 2, 2006 | 5:22 am

  9. Jean says:

    MM, dude, diet is NOT a 60 day regiment chore, it’s supposed to be a lifetime change.

    Sep 2, 2006 | 10:58 am

  10. Katrina says:

    The color of those bocarillos remind me of kiping from Lucban, Quezon (where my dad’s mom’s family is from). They’re made from ground rice, very thin and flat, usually leaf-shaped, and used to decorate houses during the San Isidro Pahiyas fiesta in May. Afterwards, they’re broken up and deep-fried till crisp. They’re like a blander and more colorful version of kropek. We used to enjoy this a lot when we were kids. And shocking as it might sound, I’d choose this over kropek or even chicharon any time!

    Sep 2, 2006 | 3:54 pm

  11. Apicio says:

    This may come as a big surprise to some of you out there but I perceived the rich taste of chicharon sans the thick mouth feel the very first time I tasted black truffles and in one magic moment the reason for all those Filipino dishes we top with crushed chicharron fell into place for me.

    Sep 3, 2006 | 7:32 am

  12. anonymous paul says:

    you always think you’re strong and determined enough to stick to a lifestyle change…… till you’re faced with some glorious chicharon. why does it have to be so good, goddamit!!!

    Sep 3, 2006 | 12:26 pm

  13. mardie says:

    whenever my family would visit my mother’s hometown down south of cebu we have to pass by carcar whether you’re coming from badian or argao. and the constant activity in carcar circle never fails to brighten my day after travelling on a car or bus for hours on end. the shouts of the vendors trying to sell their varied products are like music to my ears. in cebu, chicharon is synonymous to carcar.

    Sep 3, 2006 | 8:11 pm

  14. Wilson Cariaga says:

    colors of the coconut reminds me of some era . . . hmmmm hehe

    Sep 5, 2006 | 12:06 am


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