Although we all love and dream of chicken inasal, kansi, and piaya when we think of the food that comes from Negros, there is more to these when it comes to Negrense food.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s May 2023 Issue.
The Negrenses are a cultural group from the Philippine provinces of Negros Occidental (or West Negros with Bacolod as the capital), Negros Oriental (East Negros with Dumaguete as the capital), and the island of Siquijor.
Lifestyle Asia went to the newly opened Manami Resort in Sipalay, Negros Occidental, to savor Negrense cuisine–one with a long and rich culinary heritage that is undoubtedly one of the best the Philippines has to offer. Manami means nice, beautiful, delightful, or delicious.
Upon arrival in Dumaguete, snacks consisting of budbud and the Visayan staple empanada were served. Empanada is a popular snack in this region and is stuffed with pork, beef, chicken or vegetables. A delicious variation of this in the Ilonggo delicacy called panara made with bean sprouts, pork, and shrimp which is popular in Bacolod as well. Visayan empanada usually has a thin crust or a thick but flaky one called kaliskis or fish scales.
Budbud is sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. It is similar to suman but the Dumaguete version has streaks of chocolate in it. Budbud is as Negrense as it is Cebuano, probably because of Dumaguete’s close proximity to the island of Cebu.
Manami chefs prepare excellent Negrense food–both traditional and the Manami way. Kansi (sometimes spelled cansi) is slow cooked beef shank boiled with batwan or binukaw (a fruit endemic to the Philippines) as a souring agent (but bilimbi or kamias is also used) that is a perfect example of a savory and sour dish.
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia May 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photos courtesy of Pepper Teehankee.