Traditional Filipino Food Art and Delicacies

The artistry that goes with how you package and present food affects how others will receive it. What is pleasant to the eye tends to see the palate. In one small town in the Philippines, where people are known for their sweets and fruit jam, care is taken in wrapping their sweet delicacies.

Raymond Castelo and Luz Ocampo, in Bulacan shared their traditional art. Luz has been known as the “Master in Fruit Carving and Candy Wrapper Making.”

According to Raymond and Luz, “Deliciously sweet!” adequately describes the town’s jam specialties made of pomelo, lime, wax gourd, breadfruit, pineapple, jackfruit, native oranges, and soursop, among others. They are preserved in light transparent syrup, and then stored in glass jars.

The artistry that goes with preparing and packaging them is breathtaking. First, the fruits are made or carved with flowers, leaves, rosettes and varied patterns. They are bottled with the design facing outwards. Imagine a store-shelf, full of jam delicacies. They look to be inviting you in a most fetching manner to crave for such delicacies.

Below, their instruction on how to prepare your own jam and candy.

1. Lime or pineapple jam

Prepare the materials and ingredients. (Lime, pomelo, sugar, fruit caver, jar, kettle, and a medium basin)
Embroider or carve the fruit with your desired design.
Wash the fruit with warm water.
Peel the fruit carefully, and slowly remove the seeds.
Soak in water for one day and one night.
Pour in syrup made from sugar to preserve the fruit.
Store in sterilized jars.

2. Milk candies made from milk and sugar. The candies are not only famous for their taste, but for their colourful, cherry wrappers, as well.

They are wrapped with Japanese paper, which are cut into stars, leaves, flowers or holiday greetings pattern producing a veritable showcase of design and color. The milk candies, which are usually just a little more than an inch long, can be shaped as desired (but commonly the familiar rectangle shape will do). Then they are wrapped in the plain portion of the paper. The long, specially designed, cut patterns are used as the outer covering. The candies can be later displayed on “fiesta” or party tables.

Candy Wrapping Tips from Ramon and Luz:

Prepare the materials needed: Japanese paper, scissors, cutter, pencil
Cut 1/4 and 1/8 sizes of Japanese paper (the 1/4 size the outer wrapper and the 1/8 size the inside wrapper).
Fold the 1/4 size wrapper into four parts, putting aside the 1/8 size.
Draw sketch of your unique design.
Cut the created design carefully.

Arrange and store the stripped designed pieces, that are now ready for use in wrapping the candies/sweets.

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