Foodtrip: Suman in Quezon

Suman, for most Filipinos, is a common food served for meriendas or snacks. It is usually made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, then wrapped in buri palm leaves before being steamed then consumed afterwards. However, some prefer to dip the suman to sugar before eating it to give it a sweet taste.
It's as long as your middle finger so don't point it to people
Cooked rice ready for wrapping

The main ingredient of the suman -the glutinous rice 
Suman is cooked this way...

Since it is a common food throughout the Philippines, it got for itself different variants and in some places different ingredients and even names. From my travels in the province of Quezon, I managed to try for myself two variants of suman. These are variants are the Infanta Suman and the Tayabas Suman.




Infanta Suman

Yummy!
Like most sumans, it is also made from glutinous rice and is wrapped in the usual buri palm leaves. However, what makes it a unique variety is its size and packaging. Infanta Suman usually measures about 2-3 inches and is usually packed in a group of  twenty other sumans. What I like about the Infanta suman is its lightly sweet taste. You can consume it without the additional sugar dip.

Tayabas Suman

I saw and tasted this particular suman when I attended the Mayohan sa Tayabas (San Isidro Festival). The Tayabas Suman tastes like the usual suman. What makes it unique is its leaf wrapping. The Tayabas Suman has this particular long tail that makes it look like a lit candle when thrown up in the air. This design is connected to the tradition of throwing suman to the procession of San Isidro during the Mayohan sa Tayabas. 

Perfect for throwing to crowds of people
bundles of Tayabas suman ready to be thrown and consumed

Suman sa Lahiya/ Tamales ng San Antonio

I saw and tasted this Tamales ng San Antonio/ Suman sa Lihiya when I attended the Niyugyogan Festival 2016. The generous folks from the booth of the town of San Antonio gave me a free sample so that I can taste its difference from the other sumans of Quezon. 

This suman is unique from the other featured variants due to the fact that it uses lye water locally called lihiya. It's sweet taste is enhanced when the special syrup is added. Some variants of  San Antonio's suman includes malunggay leaves as an extra ingredient to add nutrition to its already delicious taste. 
Best eaten with the syrup
These are but three of the suman variants of the province of Quezon. If I get to try out more of them in the future and I'll make sure to update this article after.

Overall, a food trips to the province of Quezon would really open your eyes on the different traditions and probably culture of the people even if they are living in the same province.

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