As we continue Filipino Food Month, the National Museum of Bohol brings to you the Boholano version of this sweet dessert.
In other Visayan islands, the main ingredients of alupe are cassava and coconut. But in the rice-producing municipalities of central Bohol, particularly Bilar, this treat is made of “ginaling nga bugas” (ground uncooked rice), grated “ambayon” (young coconut), and sugar. Mixed with “tuno” (coconut milk) to incorporate the ingredients, spoonfuls of the mixture are wrapped in banana leaves then boiled. Grinding rice traditionally would have involved the heavy-duty stone grinders called “ligsanan“.
Bundles of alupe are always available at the public market of Bilar, a town along Bohol’s tourism highway going to the world-famous Chocolate Hills. To tourists, this version of the alupe may just be another sweet, sticky delicacy but to locals, it brings memories of home and of lush fields and hills that dot this part of the province.