Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ginalpong: The Star of Every Dotoc Feast

Every Dotoc in Baao is not complete without the food favors, the star of which is the Ginalpong. Ginalpong is one-hundred-percent a Baaoeño rice delicacy that is most famous for its shape and its intricate wrapping made of young coconut fronds.

Because making ginalpong is such a tedious work, you can be sure that if there’s ginalpong on the table there is definitely a big occasion, like Dotoc, as you only make this pentagon-shaped treat when there are many available hands who’ll help you cook.

How to make Ginalpong

Start by getting young coconut leaves and then spreading them as if airing or drying the fronds out. Take the hard vein (tingting) from each leaf so you can easily bend and fold the fronds.

ground rice

young coconut meat

brown sugar

Mix! Mix!

Mix one part ground rice, one part young coconut meat, and two parts brown sugar. Add vanilla for extra aroma and flavor.

Making the casing for the ginalpong is a bit tricky, start by folding the end of the frond like a ribbon. Fill the “ribbon” with the ginalpong mixture, then wrap by overlapping the remaining frond around the mixture while forming a pentagon shape.

Once all done, boil the ginalpong for an hour or so until the color of the leaves changes from bright yellow-green to dark yellow-brown. Some say that it’s best to eat ginalpong while it’s hot but for me, I like my ginalpong cold and a day or two old.

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