Neil Hubert, a friend’s friend is on his way to Pangasinan for a short vacation. With a thick face that I usually possess, I requested my friend to tell Neil Hubert to bring me “Patupat” when he goes back to Manila.
I grew up eating patupat because my father is a native of Mapandan, Pangasinan. This Manila-rare-find delicacy, which has yet to be as popular as that of Piaya of Iloilo and Otap of Cebu, is made from sticky rice and wrapped by an intricate weaving of coconut leaves. I know that the authentic patupat is cooked in boiling and sticky sugarcane juice placed in talyasi (big iron cooking pot) and not just from boiling water with brown sugar. I know this because I personally witnessed cigarette-puffing Aunt Nena cooking this native delicacy in her backyard during one of my childhood summer vacations in Mapandan.
I remember during my childhood when my relatives from Pangasinan would bring tons of this brown sticky treat in our house in Pasay. It’s so plenty that we could not finish it in one seating. Nengkoy would usually put the rest inside the ref. However, when it is chilled the quality and endowment of the patupat is not as good.
But out of Nengkoy’s culinary ingenuity, she would fry those chilled left-over patupat and would actually improve it in all its full gourmet glory! Like an apocalyptic conception the cold, days-old and left-over patupat when fried is delightfully crispy on the outside yet heavenly soft and chewy on the inside.
Anak ng patupat! Tulo laway na ko!