Commonly Served Filipino Foods on All Saints’ Day
October is ending, which means it’s the start of a season that everybody is itching to celebrate. Halloween may not be the most joyous time of the year, but it is certainly one that should not be missed. It is, after all, that time where people let their creative side loose and dress up as their favorite pop culture character.
But for some, the 31st of October through the 2nd of November (the latter days known as the All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day, collectively undas) is more than just a costume party. There are those who think that it should be spent remembering those that passed.
In the Philippines, however, we know how to balance the two sides of the season. Some spend the Halloween trick-or-treating and just having some fun, but we also see these days as the best time to commemorate and celebrate the years lived by our deceased loved ones.
Pinoys have various ways of doing the latter, and just like other occasions, an important part of it is food.
While the food served during undas is far from being the blissful feast prepared during Christmas or New Year’s Day, it is still very much reflective of a local tradition we’ve held on to for centuries.
Filipino Foods on All Saints’ Day
Here are some of the most common Filipino foods on All Saints’ Day we all love to see during this spooky season.
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People say binignit is better served during the Holy Week, but truth is, this savory soup is also one of the best Filipino foods on All Saints’ Day. Maybe it’s the dish’s sweet taste or the easy preparation that makes it everybody’s go-to, but a bowl of hot binignit on the table has just become a sight to behold no matter the day.
With gata (coconut milk), sago, camote (sweet potato), and rice flour, you can already make your own binignit. While it is a good food to bring with you when you visit the cemetery, some prefer to eat binignit at home before leaving. It is also best consumed with a mug of hot cocoa.
Biko is everywhere, and by everywhere, that means during undas too. To prepare biko, all you need is glutinous rice, gata, and sugar. Just steam the glutinous rice and then cook it in coconut milk.
The food is believed to symbolize stickiness, although this is more acknowledged during the New Year. What Filipinos love about biko is its sweetness, stickiness, and creaminess.
Suman balanghoy or suman malagkit—this Filipino food is the star of Halloween. Just like biko, suman is also a sticky food. It also uses basically the same ingredients: coconut milk, sugar, and glutinous rice. You can also make your own sauce to add to the taste. Filipinos usually go for the coconut caramel sauce, for which you will need the gata, brown sugar, and salt.
It doesn’t matter what’s inside the lumpia, this food will always be everybody’s favorite. Bean sprouts is one popular choice to stuff your lumpia with, but pork lumpia is probably what your kids will prefer. Either way, lumpia paired with some hot sauce makes for a good Halloween food.
Another local treat we see everywhere during undas is bibingka. Just like suman, bibingka uses banana leaves. Aside from this, you will need rice flour, sugar, baking powder, gata, butter, salt, and eggs.
While bibingka is more a Christmas food rather than an undas thing, it has become part of the undas tradition. For some reason, without this hot treat, Halloween just isn’t the same.
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