Binatog, back in those days of childhood, The Philippines

Binatog, back in those days of childhood, The Philippines

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Ingenious minds think that the rain might have taken a rest day today. The sun shines so brightly and so did the street vendors. And yes, too, for this one favorite street food which is a real hit, rain or shine. An old man on a bike with a big pail or container side by side is now parading on a clear hot day. He is shouting “ Binatooooog!” or hear the sound of his bell as his feet roll continuously on his pedals. Then, the excited buyer would call this man on same shout as “Binatooog!”, and that signals the trade.

Binatog is a white corn kernels soaked in water and salt. It is then boiled until puffed. The old way of way of preparing this food is simply by eating it with a grated coconut and salt. Nowadays, there are various ways of serving this favorite snack. It can be served with milk ( evaporated or fresh milk ) and sugar. Both versions are good and can really satisfy the cravings.

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What is so special about this corn menu is that it is always associated with childhood memories. When an adult sees or tastes it once again , it would definitely bring them back to old time recollections.

In the old days, the Binatog seller just carries a “bilao”or a winnowing basket on their heads as they go from one house to another and scream the same script “ Binatooog!”. Then , what one usually does when he hears the seller is to rush out from the house and call out loud “ Binatooog! “, just the same. The only difference from then and now is that, instead of requiring the seller to bring out their own bowl for the binatog, the vendor already provides disposable cups and a plastic spoon so one can munch on right away.

Binatog is an all time favorite snack for the Filipinos. So wherever they are, they can’t help but crave for this food. Overseas, they do their best in order to make at least a resemblance of binatog. Instead of using white corn kernels , Hominy or a Mexican style corn is used. They apply the same procedure as they do with the white corn kernels. At least, by munching on ( even though not using the original white corn ), they could feel the same taste of their much loved “binatog.”

/// Written by Rosemarie Ramos, The Philippines