My latest discovery during my last trip to Manaoag is Patupat, a native Ilocano delicacy made of glutinous rice and coconut milk cooked in sugarcane juice then hung out to drip. This rice cake is quite popular during summer or whenever it's harvest season for sugar cane. I also saw a few patupat vendors at the Mangaldan Public Market.
The most challenging part of eating this kakanin is removing the sticky center from the Bottega Veneta like wrap made from either banana, coconut or palm leaves.
The intricate wrapper reveals a light brown, slightly yellowish rice cake. At first bite, the texture of patupat is reminds me of suman sa lihiya only a bit drier and harder, which I think is the result of the dripping process. It's also like bibingkang malagkit though not as sweet, more along the lines of caramel-ly muscovado type sweetness. Am I making sense here?
Though, I don't count patupat as a favorite, I'm sure glad of this "discovery". It's something that I'll definitely keep on the lookout for every time I journey up north.