Makan a la Pinoy: Calamay


Calamay or Kalamáy is a sticky sweet delicacy popular in many regions of the Philippines and it comes in many variants. Kalamay in Hiligaynon means sugar. In Waray language, kalamay refers to hardened molasses used as sweeteners. It is made by extracting the milk from the grated coconut mixed with ground glutinous rice called tapong (Ilocano) and galapong (Tagalog). The mixture is cooked in low heat with continuous stirring until it becomes sticky.

Kalamay sundot kulangot. Photo ni Brenda S. Dacpano

Variants of kalamay

Baguio kalamay – popularly known as Sundot Kulangot (duggong in Ilocano) or literally picked “booger”. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar and glutinous rice. It is packed into halved pitogo (Sago palm, scientific name: Cycas rumphii) shells and sealed with red crepe paper. It is the smallest packaging of kalamay, arranged in between bamboo split and tied with thin strips of bamboo called bámban in Ilocano.

Bohol kalamay or Kalamay-hati from the island of Bohol. It varies from extremely sweet to mildly sweet. It is packaged in halved coconut shells known as bagol, sealed with red crepe paper

Candon kalamay – from Candon City in Ilocos Sur. It is made up of ground glutinous rice, coconut milk and sugar. It is flattened thinly, round in shape and wrapped in a clear cellophane sheet. There are two variants: brown kalamay is produced when brown sugar is used as sweetener, and white kalamay when refined white sugar is used. There is a technique in eating this kind of kalamay, roll or fold in one quarter using wrapper to prevent the calamay from sticking to your fingers.

Iloilo kalamay – from Iloilo province and the island of Negros. It is thicker in consistency, not overly as sticky as the other types of kalamay. It is made up of ground glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk. It is packaged in halved coconut shells that are sealed with paper tape.

Kalamay Buna – calamay made in Barangay Buna in Indang, Cavite. There are two kinds of Kalamay Buna: round and rectangular in shape. The round kalamay Buna is soft and flat that range from color light brown to dark brown. It is made of coconut milk, ground glutinous rice and brown sugar. It is sweet and chewy. Roll or form the kalamay into a bite size ball before eating it. The rectangular kalamay is also flat and usually brown to dark brown. It is made of coconut milk, ground glutinous rice and panutsa (hardened molasses). It has a caramel flavor and is much sweeter than the round kalamay. It is formed into a ball and eaten by sucking it like candy.

Mindoro kalamay – in Mindoro it is made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and vanilla. #


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