Puto and Sikwate

Cebu has a special place in my heart and in my stomache. I have lived in Cebu for what seemed like 7 odd years. Not only does Cebu offer varied beach and resort options to chill and get your vitamin sea with; it offers cheap food and experiences as well. Food options are on both sides of the spectrum: from the fancy shmancy to the usual ghetto flair. For my Ghetto Grub post, we will be talking about the humble: Puto and Sikwate.
It's always a must that I visit a puto and sikwate stall when I visit Opon, Lapu-Lapu City. The routine was, visit them and then ride a ferry back to mainland Cebu. I enjoy the ferry boat rides. This quick merienda and breakfast to some is readily made available at the Opon Market. 

Puto or otherwise known as Puto Maya is made from glutinous rice cooked with ginger and sweetened milk or at times coconut milk; served piping hot and topped with your choice of sugar. I prefer mine with white sugar. This simple Pinoy dish brings back childhood times when our neighbor back in my hometown would sell these in the afternoon. 
Now the sikwate or the local's version of hot chocolate the is made from tableya de cacao. These are dried, roasted, milled and then formed into small cacao coins or tablets. My aunt who has a farm usually makes these and we would watch in awe rows and rows of cocoa coins placed in a banana leaf. These are then dried out before selling or to giving them away to friends and relatives. These tableya coins are then boiled with water in a special jar and using a wooden instrument called a batirol which is rolled between the hands to release the amazing cocoa butter and creates a bit of a chocolate froth on top. You have the option to add sugar and milk to your liking.

Don't expect too much with the ambiance, located at a local market you can expect tons of foot traffic and people dropping by to dine or take home some of the goodies. It's not a place where you can sit and chat as well, tons of folks will be piling up behind your back and wait until a seat is vacated. Eat, enjoy and then move along. 

On a good day, I can have a second serving of puto and just one cup of sikwate. A fulfilling meal for less than Php30.

Comment your favorite puto and sikwate places.

Sikwate ni Naida
Address: Lapu-Lapu Public MarketG.Y. Dela Serna St, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu
Hours: Open daily

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