Street foods are popular nowadays not only because these are tasty but mainly because these are cheap and can easily take care of hunger. From sweet, sour, spicy, salty, to hot or cold, name it and you can find it in the streets of Davao and other cities and towns.
By Grace Uddin
DAVAO CITY -- It was one fine late afternoon when I was window shopping when two friends, Chim and Mai-mai, spotted me. They were off to catch a last full-show that night; they asked me to join them. But before watching the movie, we decided to have some kwek-kwek.
Outside the mall, out in the street, several people were crowding around a small table with two men busy frying kwek-kwek or what others call tokneneng. It’s actually flour-coated hard-boiled egg, fried, then dipped in salt and vinegar. It costs only 6 pesos but quite filling, which is probably why it is a favorite in these hard times.
Kwek-kwek is just one of the many street foods people can find in Davao
City. Street foods are popular nowadays not only because these are tasty but mainly because these are cheap and can easily take care of hunger. From sweet, sour, spicy, salty, to hot or cold, name it and you can find it in the streets of Davao and other cities and towns.
Street foods are already part of Philippine culture. Like in other Asian countries, it has become a way of life. Urbanization and poor socio-economic conditions in countries such as ours have paved the way for the proliferation of these businesses.
Selling street foods does not entail large capital. The income vendors derive from their business is just average, just enough for their daily needs. It’s part of the so-called underground economy that has provided jobs, especially for women. It is particularly helpful in times like these when the economy is not doing so good and when unemployment is at 12 percent, the highest in Southeast Asia.
|Street vendor at Rizal Park, Davao City. Photo By Barry Ohaylan
Friends like Chim and Mai are avid eaters of street food. According to them, they eat whenever and wherever those edibles are available. “It’s still food. Besides, the price is affordable and it’s fun eating it,” Chim said.
Aside from kwek-kwek, here’s a sample of those delicious and yummy delicacies that you can find in the streets of Davao:
Fish balls. Those tiny balls made of flour and fish bits, dipped in sweet, sour and hot sauces, are mouth-watering. Some people say that fish balls are not exactly sanitary, but what a cruel thing to say about something that tastes so good and feels so right? Yum!
Hot cakes. These are so hot you gotta be careful before devouring a piece. It costs 3 pesos each but you buy two for 5 pesos.
Turon na ube, maruya, turon na saging, pinaypay, ginanggang.
However you want your ananas (and your yam), you get the same perfect merienda.
Buko, orange, gulaman. Perfect quenchers after a feast on the street.
Fruits on stick (papaya, pineapple, mango, hebe). Who says you can’t get that glowing skin for a cheaper price? Take fresh, rich in vitamin C fruits for only 5 pesos per pack.
Waffle. Comes with different fillings -- cheese, hotdog.
Sinugbang mais and boiled peanuts. All-time favorites!
Dirty ice cream and ice milk. Melts in your mouth! Can be enjoyed in different flavors: durian, mango, strawberry and chocolate.
Durian. The infamous “smells like hell, tastes like heaven” delicacy that makes it one of Davao’s finest.
Balut. That chick! (Actually, it’s chicken embryo.) Yuck! Eeww! I don’t understand any of those 16 days or 18 days that the vendors often say when you buy balut but, according to the oldies, balut is excellent, pampatibay ng tuhod.
Taho. This reminds me of Chyla, Chim’s little sister. This mix of bean curd, arnibal (that blackish sweet sauce), and sago has enabled the two of us to put up with Chim’s long hours of soccer practice. I love taho more than any street food.
Cotton candy. Soft, colorful, sweet cotton-like candy that makes one feel like a child again.
Barbecue (chicken gizzard, intestines, etc.). You can find lots of this in Malativas or in any roadside stall, along with other finger foods like chicken skin, barbecue chicken, pork barbecue, etc. Best for pulutan or with steaming rice. (Grace Uddin/davaotoday.com)