ANTIQUE, Philippines – What do Butong-butong Kape (Melted Muscovado Twist with Coffee) and Kape Bandi (Peanuts in Caramelized Sugar with Coffee) taste like?
These are just some of the creations of 134 graduating hospitality management students of Advance Central College who showcased 27 heritage dishes – the output of their research – during a culminating activity in April. The event was held in picturesque Mary’s Cove in Barangay Bayo Pequeño in Anini-y town.
The students were on hand to explain their creations to guests and media who attended the event.
Aside from Kape Bandi, other coffee-based confectioneries also got good feedback such as Ibos Kape Yema (Glutinous rice with Coffee and Sweet Custard), Bukayo Kape (Sweetened Coconut Strips with Coffee), and Pinasugbo Kape (Banana Brittle with Coffee).
A coffee-producing province
Students Ella Grace Cabaya, Christian Acostoy, Ma. Virginia Mondejar, Shella Mae Cazeñas, and Rona Mae Sepulan said they created Butong-butong Kape to introduce the world to Antique coffee. Sibalom town, in particular, produces good quality coffee.
“Sibalom gained some recognition for their coffee and we would like to let the world know that by creating sweets using their coffee,” said one of the students.
Sibalom’s robusta coffee has earned the “fine” grade classification in the 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC). Jairus Serui, the coffee coordinator of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit, explained that the “fine grade” classification means the coffee beans are really of good quality and have zero defects because these are organic and tediously sorted out.
ACC president Mary Rose Rodriguez was particularly happy with the students’ coffee-based confectioneries because they are in tune with the Philippines’ growing café culture and the increasing global consumption of coffee.
“If you will notice, most of the products have been incorporated with the coffee because according to research, Filipinos will be the biggest consumer of coffee in Southeast Asia by 2025. Coffee products are increasing in sales, and to boost the coffee production in Antique, we incorporated coffee into our dishes,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez added that making coffee confectioneries is ACC’s contribution to the tourism promotion efforts of Antique considering that food-related experiences are now part of tourism.
Dishes uniquely Antiqueño
ACC chairman Rani Rodriguez lauded their students for developing food products that are uniquely Antiqueño.
Since Antique is also known for its Bandi (Peanuts in Caramelized Sugar), the students naturally came up with some fusion confectioneries such as Tsokolate Bandi, Jackfruit Bandi, and Talisay Bandi.
Of the 27 dishes presented at the activity, five were based on root crops such as ube (purple yam), camote (sweet potato), and cassava: Cheesy Ube Balulu, Ube Jam Sweet Potato Donuts, Cassava Ube Pandan Mochi, Camote Bibingkinita, Sweet Potato Macaroons with Mango Jam, Bitso-bitso with Camote Jam in Muscovado, Tableya Camote Churros, and Cheesy Black Rice Purple Camote Turon.
Squash was also experimented with to create Squash Empanada with Monggo and Cheese Filling, Squash Tart, and Puto Tapol Kalabasa with Latik.
The other creatives dishes include Ibos Bukayo, Lupe with Bukayo in Coconut Jam Buchi, Lupe with Bukayo in Hagikhik Leaves, Sinakol Sushi, Piking Tableya Mani, Breadfruit Moringa Cupcake, Mongo Tableya Cookies, Balisungsung Tuba with Langka Jam, Coconut Jam Buchi, and Nipa Palm Fruit Jam.
Assisting the students with product development and packaging via Zoom meetings was former Malacañang executive chef Babes Austria. – Rappler.com