A Rare Sugar from the Philippines is Disappearing (The Pakaskas of Isla Verde, Batangas)

Sometimes all you need is 1 ingredient and hours of love. The result? Buri Palm Sugar. We released a video about the Pakaskas of Isla Verde Batangas that I think everyone should watch/share. 

Our culinary heritage is so rich, but very often not well documented or Preserved. I hope that our efforts of capturing on video will help where it can (our own version of culinary mapping). Pakaskas used to be quite common in the 80s apparently in Batangas, nowadays its extremely difficult to get (you need a contact on the island). 

Buri Palm Sugar is not Panutsa (sugar cane), it is also called Pakasyat (Pangasinan), Parak/Pinarak/Kalamay sa Buri (Iloilo), etc. 

The flavor is smoky, intense, and its texture is grainy. Way better for cooking than cane sugar if you ask me. With the recent white sugar scandals we had locally, I wish we could see a revival of these kinds of sugars. If you look to our Thai or Malay neighbors, their palm sugars are integral parts of their recipes. It could be because were once colonized by Western nations that we tend to use cane sugar more. We can change that, if we start today, maybe we create new traditions 10 years from now. 

If you want to help, seek these ingredients out, they’re not easy to get, but maybe the more people try and order them, the more the producers will be encouraged to produce them and convinced to make their processes more efficient. If you’re from Batangas, this could be a great opportunity to set something up!

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp-XbwbCA6I

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