I am giving all of you a fair warning that if you know Spanish, or the Latin culture, this dish will sound weird to you. After the holiday, and a bit of relaxation, I am finally getting back into the groove of cooking and writing. This week, I cooked a dish that I know Filipinos out there will recognize and my post may give you a laugh. Yes, I cooked the infamous “puto.” Now, if you know Spanish, you’re probably perplexed by what I just said. Yes,we do have dish called puto. Let me explain, even though the Filipino language is heavily influenced by Spanish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all words are translated the same. If you don’t know what I am talking about, well I suggest you use Google Translate and it will all make sense.
Now back to the food, my earliest memory of this dish goes way back to when I was little. At any family gathering of ours, this dish would always be on the table. I remember the puto always came in three different colors: green, pink, and yellow, but they all had the same flavors.To me, it’s a dish you can’t label as a main entree nor a desert. It’s a hybrid, meaning it has this savory factor, but then hits you with a slight sweetness. It is basically a dish that you can have before your meal and not get scolded.
To put it simply, puto is a steamed rice cake. I’m so use to seeing a trifecta of colors so I thought why not try it myself. In the recipe, Lola noted that traditionally, these were made in small containers that are lined with banana leaves, while I’m over here using cupcake liners. That’s what I call evolution of cooking.
Even though this recipe leads to delicious steamed cakes, making these are equal to making little baby souffles. You can’t over steam them to the point they start to rip apart, but you also cannot under steam them to the point where they look like uncooked cupcakes. Ultimately, you want an evenly cooked dome like mini muffin.
Eating these gave me a nostalgic feeling similar to the food critic from Ratatouille. A complete flashback to being a little kid and piling these on to a plate and being selective over eating just one color. They are like pistachios, you can’t just have one. It’s funny how the power of food can be so magical that it triggers your mind of playful memories.
Until the next post….
Kain Tayo! (Let’s eat!)