ANTIQUE, Philippines – Aside from hospitable people, abundant natural resources, and rich biodiversity, Antique is also home to a dynamic local food scene.
The Palarong Pambansa 2017 host province is surrounded by lush, mountainous vegetation to the west and an expansive stretch of coastal areas to the east, making agriculture, forestry, and fisheries major industries in the area.
With a steady supply of fresh ingredients, there is no doubt that Antiqueños have developed a rich Karay-a cuisine.
In between games for Palarong Pambansa, we rounded up some of the best eats from this humble province.
Lilet’s Mushroom farm in Apgahan, Patnongon grows mushrooms year-round. The 3500 square-meter property has over 20,000 beds of oyster mushrooms.
The mushrooms are cultivated, harvested, refrigerated, and preserved using scientifically-based processes, as they will usually only remain fresh for a day. This also encouraged the owners to explore more ways of preserving and processing the harvested mushrooms.
Lilet’s now offers a wide array of processed mushroom products, from dried mushrooms, lumpia mushrooms, and pickled mushrooms, to mushroom siomai and sweetened mushrooms. The products are sold all over Region 6.
MUSHROOM GOODIES. Mushroom products from Lilet's Mushroom Farm are commercially sold all over Region 6.
Located just beside the Antique Provincial Capitol, Lilet’s has a pop-up kiosk where they sell their products. You can try their mushroom burger and mushroom chicharon for a healthy snack while enjoying the al fresco set-up.
Their double-patty mushroom burger costs P85 while the single patty goes for P65. You can also buy their crunchy chicharon (P50), which is best partnered with their spicy sinamak.
The Palaro heat is on, and with local temperatures soaring high, no food is as comforting as a cone of homemade ice cream.
CHOCO NA OREO. Leo's Homemade Ice Cream offers a fresh take on your usual ice cream flavors.
Leo’s Homemade Ice Cream has been one of Antique’s favorite ice cream parlors for over 4 years now.
Each ice cream flavor is crafted with locally sourced fruits and ingredients like pandan, banana, langka, buko, and avocado. They also have flavors like peanut butter, oreo mint, and buko salad.
I SCREAM. Try all the flavors your want for as low as 10 pesos for two scoops.
You can get 2 scoops for P10, while a gallon for sharing costs P450. Local delicacies such as butterscotch, barquillos, and otap can also be added as toppings.
Coconut is one of the main products that Antique exports, and it’s no wonder that it’s also integrated into most of their local recipes.
JB’s Chicken Inato offers all things with, and served in, buko (coconut).
BINAKOL SA BUKO. Savory chicken soup with coconut meat and juice. Photo by Rey Anthony Villaverde/Palaro Mover Region 9
Batchoy is a staple in Panay, but buko batchoy is Antique’s version with a twist.
On top of the handmade round noodles, pork organs, beef loin, and chicken broth, JB’s buko batchoy is cooked with buko juice and meat. This gives a sweet flavor to the usual tangy taste of batchoy, the buko meat compliments the noodles, and it's all served inside a fresh buko shell.
Chicken Binakol is another homegrown recipe. Made with broiled chicken, lemongrass, ginger, sili leaves, buko juice and meat, binakol is a savory chicken dish that works well as a viand or soup.
A buko batchoy costs P88 while a serving of Chicken Binakol costs P160.
Of course, JB's also has their version of the Philippines’ most loved dessert, halo-halo. While each region has theirs, this one from Antique is made with shaved frozen coconut juice instead of regular ice, and is topped with fruits and made sweeter with muscovado sugar.
Antique,with all its old-world charm, is a melting pot of gastronomic delights. With 18 municipalities, each with its own unique offerings, you’ll never want for variety – all you need is an appetite ready for a treat. – Rappler.com
Russel Patina is the lead Rappler Mover in Iloilo
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