When I was in the university I travel almost fortnightly from my school (U.P. Baguio) to home (Quezon City), in that 250 km drive or bus ride there will be several stops in major provincial towns and at every busy intersection you will be swarmed with street hawkers selling their local specialty. This is not just common in that route but in almost every main roads in the Philippines, a common scene that I miss as every journey will never be complete without trying out those specialties offered. Some of the popular ones are Buko Pie in Laguna / Tagaytay, Roasted Cashews in Antipolo, Chicharon in Bulacan and this post the Tupig from Pangasinan.
Intemtem or Tupig is a popular native delicacy from Pangasinan which is made out of ground glutinous rice and coconuts strips wrapped in banana leaves then cooked over charcoal. During the old days this rice cake was served only during Christmas and New Year, it was also believed that it was given commonly to carollers during Christmas (Like sweet treats given on trick or treats in the West). Then in the 1960’s it started to become commercially popular and the rest was history. Now you see them everywhere from the streets to the fresh markets and specialty shops, new types of flavours have been created like jackfruit, pandan, strawberry, purple yam (ube) and guava to name some.
I guess this would not excite a lot of people but for Filipinos this will be something special, especially for those overseas and haven’t tried this for a long time. I remember I posted a photo of this on Facebook the first time I made them and in an hour it got 100+ likes. It may look not that appealing to you but if you haven’t tried tupig yet I suggest you do so, this sweet rice cake concoction is so addictive. The chewy sweet centre with bits of fresh young coconut strips and the crunchy charred bits will definitely make you ask for more.