Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Landang Story

Do you know what landang is? Landang is a very important ingredient for binignit, a local dish and snack staple in the Philippines.

Do you know how landang is made? No, it is not grown like most of the ingredients for binignit. Well, the raw material is grown, however, the final product is manufactured through a process that is as old as our grandparents.

The raw material for landang is derived from a tree called buli, which looks almost like a coconut tree except that it doesn't have fruits. According to our local guide Rolly, the buli blooms and releases thousands of pellet-sized seeds. Trees are allowed to bloom before they are chopped down, they said. A buli tree grows to maturity after 30 years, our other tour guide Archie added.

Another interesting fact is that the different parts of the buli tree when harvested are useful in the entire process of creating landang. Here's how it goes.

First, the bark is scraped off the trunk of the tree. This bark then serves as firewood to fuel the fire that is used to boil the raw material for landang, which is the final step of the process. After the bark is scraped off, the inner skin of the tree is then harnessed and this serves as the raw material for landang.

This is the raw material for landang. At first, it takes a wood-like appearance but this is refined later on to the powdery form you see above. The refinement process involves the raw material being pounded with mortars until it reaches the desired consistency. Check photos below.

After the material is pounded to pure dust-like appearance, it is then mixed with water. There even is a "landang pool" where children swim just to stir the material and make sure the powder is dispersed evenly in the water. Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures of this pool but we did take pictures of the small-sized pools where the material is stirred by hand.

All in all, the entire process take eight hours to complete until the binignit-ready landang is produced. We were not able to see how the landang is coagulated to its final form, but we were explained that it is heated. Besides, we already know what landang looks like.

~ Immortalundead


Liza said...

Liza Really? karon pa ko ai hehe

Anonymous said...

Very informative and interesting.