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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Samalamig

If there is one drink that I would always remember drinking as a young kid, that would be "samalamig."  I guess every kid in the province would remember this one better than the juice from the grocery stores.  The word samalamig or palamig comes from the word lamig (cold).  It is usually very saleable during summer time in the Philippines.

The usual palamig would have sweetened or caramelised sago (tapioca) and gulaman (gelatin, jelly) with vanilla flavour.  I used to sell this type of samalamig  in front of our house.  Sometimes, my brother and I would go to the church patio or wherever they're having senakulo (The Passion of Christ Play which is done thru singing) in our barrio to sell them.  We would usually do this (going to the venue of the senakulo) without my father knowing it.  Protective as he was, he would always warn usabout the dangers of being in the middle of the crowd.  Well anyway, going back, I would buy the pre-packed vanilla in a small ice candy plastic tube, the cooked gelatin in an ice cream cup (you can choose whatever color you like) and the plastic bag of sago in a small store at the town center in the lumang palengke (old market).  I think they also had the straws and plastic bags.
I would caramelise the sago with sugar at home.  My brother and my father would help me mix everything --- water, sugar, milk, vanilla, gelatin and sago.  My father would put this big piece of ice (half a block) to make the samalamig cold.  For the taste test? Of course, that would be all of us!  Funny, sometimes I will end up selling half of the container though because of the non - paying buyers.  Del Monte pineapple juice was also a good drink to sell back then...as well as buco juice (young coconut juice with its shredded meat), and melon (rock melon variety).
Samalamig used to be  b, c and d crown favorite but since it has evolved, even the a crowd now is buying it.  They are not just sold on the street or at the small pondahan (small table with some goodies sold) but now they are served even at big restaurants!!!  Now the used to be "poor" samalamig is famous!   Oh when I go back to the Philippines, I will make samalamig again...maybe sell again? I've heard it's being sold now in our place for Php2 - 5?  Hmmm not bad...

A comment or two will be appreciated...

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