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'Upholding a cultural heritage'

by PGIN-CMO

Dec. 23, 2015 ...

The event started in 2009 through the Provincial Tourism Office to strengthen the market for tupig and preserve Ilocano heritage.

At its fifth year, the cook-off aimed to establish Ilocos Norte as a food destination in the country, in line with the trend of using culture as a livelihood in the province.

Tupig is a native rice cake cooked over a coal fire and traditionally seasoned with coconut gratins, molasses, and butter. It is served in rectangular pieces, each wrapped in banana leaf.

Cook-off participants explored using coconut meat, roasted peanuts, cheese, jackfruit, and even gamet (Ilocos black seaweed), innovating this classic holiday dish.

Governor Imee Marcos described tupig as a Christmas staple for Ilocanos and a tradition that must be upheld, saying, "'pag may tupig na, alam natin na Pasko na."

Though originally a holiday dessert, tupig has become a year-round snack and pasalubong for visitors to the province. In addition, it serves as a source of livelihood among Ilocano women.


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