The Jelly List: Merienda classics for your holiday snacking

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a certain sense of nostalgia for days gone by.

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve snacking on classic Pinoy delicacies for merienda during my holiday break.

Merienda, or sometimes called minindal, may refer to either the mid-morning or mid-afternoon light snack eaten to fill in the gap in-between meals.

Luckily, we Pinoys grew up with a myriad of food items that we enjoy for during this snack time. Some of the classic merienda fare may have been overshadowed by Western snacks over the years, but I’m glad to see that many are regaining popularity, spurred by the efforts of foodies and these food entrepreneurs.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka started in pre-war Tondo, Manila when Mang Ferino Francisco started selling kakanin outside his family’s home. While most of his stores closed with his passing, the Ferino’s Bibingka brand was revived by his grandson, Sonny Francisco, who began to operate bibingka dine-in and takeout stores in 2016.

Ferino’s version of bibingka, the Bibingka Extra Super, is made of pure galapong mixed with two fresh eggs, topped with salted eggs and kesong-puti.

Ferino’s Bibingka
Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka accepts orders via:

More deets on Ferino’s Bibingka here.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp.

This Cainta-based food business got its start when the Alcantara family matriarch Amelia – also known as Ka Mely – decided to expand her Bibingka-selling business to include the production of native delicacies. Today, it is a well-established food manufacturer with three physical stores as well as regular resellers.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka is more of a rice cake made with sticky glutinous rice topped with caramelized sugar and coconut cream.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka
Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp accepts orders via:

More deets on Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp here.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Foodpreneur Thirdee Duran turned her mom’s recipe for suman sa latik into a thriving food business during the quarantine.

A box of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik contains six pieces of banana leaf-wrapped suman and a generous helping of latik, more than enough to satisfy your suman craving.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik
Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik accepts orders via:

More deets on Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik here.

Bantay Bread

This Ilocos-based family business started out in 2010 as a local panaderia supplying morning pan de sal to its patrons. During quarantine, the family behind Bantay Bread set about pivoting their business to operate in their new business environment by expanding its product offers and its coverage areas to now include Metro Manila.

Its Pianono – named after Pope Pius IX also known as Pio Nono – is basically a sponge cake roll with a sweet buttercream filling

Bantay Bread
Bantay Bread

For more details on its product offerings and availability in your area, follow Bantay Bread on Facebook and Instagram.

More deets on Bantay Bread here.

Pampanga’s Cheesebread

The Metro Manila reseller of Pampanga landmark LBS Bakeshop, it has brought its famous Cheesebread to the metro.

These golden, cheesy and sweet balls of bread defies description. You simply have to taste it for yourself.

LBS Bakeshop
LBS Bakeshop

Pampanga’s Cheesebread accepts orders through its Metro Manila reseller – Pam via:

More deets on Pampanga’s Cheesebread here.

Tita She’s Bakery

Pan de Sal, the most common bread roll in the Philippines, is made with flour, yeast, sugar, eggs and water and is a staple many breakfast tables.

Its softer, longer and more buttery and sugary version, on the other hand, is called Spanish Bread.

Antipolo-based foodpreneur Tita She’s Bakery adds delicious and colorful twists to these classic breads by integrating cake flavors into them such as ube, cheese, ube cheese, ube choco, choco cheese, choco hazelnut, banana cake, banana hazelnut and carrot cake.

Tita She’s Bakery
Tita She’s Bakery

Tita She’s Bakery accepts orders via:

As you can see, there’s quite a lot of options for merienda treats in the metro that will bring back pleasant childhood memories. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Classic kakanin from Ka Mely’s Bibingka

So much of my childhood merienda memories involve kakanin – native delicacies usually made with glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk.

You would think that we would have run out of ideas on what to make with kakanin at some point, but, no. We Pinoys have a extensive plethora of snacks or desserts that fall under this category.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

After doing a bit of grocery shopping with Hubby, I happened upon a stand selling products from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp.

This Cainta-based food business got its start when the Alcantara family matriarch Amelia – also known as Ka Mely – decided to expand her Bibingka-selling business to include the production of native delicacies. Today, it is a well-established food manufacturer with three physical stores as well as regular resellers.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

I had the idea of introducing kakanin the kiddos for our afternoon snack, so I brought home:

Bibingka (Php180 for small). The rice cake made with sticky glutinous rice topped with caramelized sugar and coconut cream.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Ibos (Php10/pc). The most prevalent suman variant which is usually unsweetened and wrapped in palm leaves. I have two ways to enjoy this suman: one is at room temperature and dipped in sugar, another is lightly fried in vegetable oil until the outside is slightly crispy but the inside is still chewy, then slathered with butter and sprinkled with sugar.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Lihiya (Php25/pc). A suman variant which is made with lye-treated glutinous rice which is usually served doused with latik, or caramelized coconut milk.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Sure these snacks are practically all carbs but they made for a good intro for my kids for the wonders of Filipino delicacies!

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

While I got my kakanin from a kiosk, you can have your kakanin delivered to your home by ordering from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp on Facebook or Instagram or calling +63 2 85155467, +63 917 8533766 or +63 908 8876992. Payments via BDO bank transfer, GCash or COD (via pabili service) are accepted. Ka Mely’s Bibingka Atbp products are delivered from Cainta, Rizal to anywhere in the metro.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Ferino’s Bibingka Merienda Blowout

With all the time spent at home with the fam, I’m glad I was able to find the opportunity to reacquaint the kiddos to our rich culinary heritage.

This initiative was greatly helped by my mother-in-law when she treated her kids and their respective families to a Pinoy-style merienda during her recent birthday by having local delicacies from Ferino’s Bibingka delivered to our respective homes.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Bibingka is kind of kakanin or rice cake made with galapong (glutinous rice flour) and cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves. While it can be enjoyed year-round, bibingka is especially popular during the holiday season; it is the go-to food to be enjoyed after Misa de Gallo.

Ferino’s Bibingka started in pre-war Tondo, Manila when Ceferino Francisco, Sr. (also known as Mang Ferino) starter selling bibingka and puto bumbong on the sidewalk outside their rented apartment. The business grew after the war, such as when they opened Ferino’s Cafe in the Manila Hotel in the 1950s, another branch at the Fiesta Carnival in Cubao in the 1970s and more afterwards.

Most of these stores closed down with Mang Ferino’s passing but the Ferino’s Bibingka brand was revived by his grandson, Sonny Francisco, who began to operate bibingka dine-in and takeout stores in 2016.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka’s storied dishes made their way to our table by way of the Family Set 1 (Php880) sent by MIL as her birthday blowout. This set consisted of:

Bibingka Extra Super. Pure galapong mixed with two fresh eggs, topped with salted eggs and kesong-puti.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka

Pancit Palabok (Small Bilao). A traditional Filipino noodle dish which is made with round rice noodles doused in a gold-colored savory sauce topped with shrimp, crushed chicharon (pork rind), slices of hard-boiled egg and chopped green onions.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka

Pork Barbecue (6pieces). This popular Pinoy street food of pork barbecue consists of slices of pork skewered on bamboo sticks, marinated in sweet and savory barbecue sauce then grilled to smokey and tender doneness.

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka

Palitaw sa Linga. Another kakanin which is made of flattened ground glutinous rice which are dropped in boiling water. The rice cakes rise up to the surface (“litaw“) when cooked which is how the dish got its name. It is served dipped in grated coconut, with a side of sugar and sesame seeds (“linga“).

Ferino’s Bibingka

Ferino’s Bibingka

Thanks to MIL, the fam was able to explore the richness of our local cuisine!

To order from Ferino’s Bibingka, you can:

  • Call +63 2 76227104 or text +63 917 6502331
  • Click/Tap the SHOP NOW button on Facebook Messenger
  • Order via GrabFood

Ferino's Bibingka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Flashback to my childhood with Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

We Pinoys do love our kakanin, don’t we?

These are the sticky rice cakes that many of us used to wolf down for merienda after a bout of running around the neighborhood with our pals.

The term kakanin is the portmanteau of the Filipino words kain (“to eat”) and kanin (“rice”). Made with glutinous rice and coconut milk, and sweetened with sugar or accompanied by sweet fruits, these rice treats can go a long way in re-energizing youngsters after playing all afternoon and tide them over until dinnertime.

One of my favorites is the suman, a kakanin in which the glutinous rice is cooked in coconut milk and streamed and is usually served wrapped in banana leaves. There are many ways to enjoy this rice dessert: the ones my lola in Bataan used to make is composed of short cylinders of that I would dip in sugar before eating, while my mom likes to lightly fry some in oil until they get a little crispy.

I was already an adult by the time I came across a new variant called suman sa latik. In this suman iteration, the rice cake is doused with latik, or caramelized coconut milk. This makes for a decadent dessert or filling merienda.

Thanks to a fellow foodie sharing his snack stash, I was able to get a taste of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik one afternoon.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

These suman are handmade with love, just like how our lolas used to make.

These are best enjoyed right away, but as I had a couple of telecons that Saturday afternoon, I delayed eating them for a while. No worries, though; I just reheated a piece in the microwave for half a minute before pouring some of the caramelized coconut cream sauce over it, and placed the rest in the fridge.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

And since I couldn’t keep such a yummy treat to myself, I sent a few pieces over to my mom, who also loved it!

You can get your own box of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik for just Php200. It contains six pieces of banana leaf-wrapped suman and a generous helping of latik, more than enough to satisfy your suman craving.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

To order, send your name, contact number, delivery address and number of orders to Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik on Facebook or Instagram for delivery anywhere in Metro Manila or Cavite on Saturday. Cashless payments via BDO, BPI and GCash are accepted.

If you are not consuming your suman sa latik right away, they may be kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Aside from microwaving, they may be reheated using a steamer for thirty minutes.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Go ahead and order a box of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik to share with the fam and reminisce about the good ole’ days.

Thanks to Harvard of AlwaysHungry.PH for sharing his snack stash!

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Lamonfest at Vikings, SM Megamall

Vikings seems to be the default buffet resto for celebrations and family gatherings.  Known for its lavish decor that display sumptuous spreads of mouth-watering dishes from various cuisines throughout the world, Vikings can generate long waiting lines of avid diners.

The fam, together with the in-laws, recently dined at Vikings at SM Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall for bro-in-law’s birthday celebration.

With an all-you-can-eat arrangement at the rates below, the family is definitely in for a #lamonfest:

  • Adults: Php738 (weekday lunch); Php938 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)
  • Kids:
    • for kids below 3 feet: FREE!
    • for kids 3 feet to 4 feet: Php208  (weekday lunch); Php938 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)
    • for kids 4 feet to 6 feet: Php418 (weekday lunch); Php618 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)

Note: Rates not yet inclusive of the 5% service charge.

For this #lamonfest, I focused on some dishes that I don’t usually have the opportunity to taste that often: the Seafood Paella (I guess I’m going through a paella phase now), the Lengua Estofado (went so well with the paella for a great taste of Spain) and the Leg of Lamb.  The Ebi Tempura is always a good bet (and always nearly depleted by the time I get there, hehehe!), but some of the meats in the carving station fell short of my expectations: the Stuffed Turkey was a bit dry and the Angus Beef was tough and chewy.

For dessert, no one can tear my away from my favorite Puto Bumbong (since it always reminds me of Christmas; I even went to the Cheese Station and sprinkled some grated premium cheddar on it) and Avocado Ice Cream (as it’s hard to find ice cream of this flavor in the supermarkets).  I also tried the Caramel Dip for the Churros and the moist Carrot Bar.

Overall, it was a great dining experience for the family.

To make the most of your #lamonfest at Vikings, you might want to make sure you do the following:

  • Make your reservation. This way, you avoid waiting outside and can just walk right in as soon as you arrive. To make your reservation, you can call +63 2 8454647 (this hotline covers all Vikings branches), book via the Booky app (you may get some discounts at selected branches), or book online via the Vikings website.
  • Check out Vikings’ current promos.  You just might get big savings.  For example, birthday celebrants get to eat for free on the day of their birthday so long as they’re with one full-paying adult, or any day of their birth month if they’re accompanied four full paying adults.  Until June 30, members of the graduating class of 2018 can eat for free as long as they’re with three full paying adults (which is why my daughter snapped a photo of her diploma before we left the house).  Just make sure that you bring all the necessary documents.  For more details on these promos, click here.
  • Pace yourself.  Scope out the spreads first and pick the ones you want for your gastronomic explorations, be they your tried-and-tested favorites or some new cuisines you want to sink your teeth into (literally and figuratively!). Sample a bit of of the food and just come back for seconds to avoid leftovers.  There are an awful lot of food here and you don’t want to already be in a food coma just when you get to the stuff you want.

For tips on how to survive a buffet, check out my blog post: Buffet Survival Guide: All-You-Need-to-Know to Eat-All-You-Can.

Check out my blog reviews of other buffet restos:

Vikings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato