BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES WITH SUMAN/BIKO | QUAN DELICACIES
Have you visited Quan Delicacies in Bacolod City. Well, this store is known best for their native delicacies like puto, sapin-sapin, cuchinta and much more.
One of the exciting delicacies they offer is the Biko which is called in Bacolod/Negros as Suman.
Quan’s version of biko is quite exciting. They have the suman tagalog which has no color, the regular biko (suman) in brown because of the brown sugar used in it, suman-ube (with ube flavorings) and Suman-Pandan which has the pandan of course as an added flavoring.
Why am I talking about the biko (suman) ? This delicacy simply brings me back a beautiful memory of my grandmother.
MY SUMAN MEMORIES OF MY GRANDMOTHER
Whenever my grandmother would take a vacation from her hometown to our place in the city, well, she’d be a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. She was accustomed to a small town, where everyone knew everyone so whenever she stepped in the city, she’d be a little lost and yearn for the comforts of home.
As she is of the old-school, such creature comforts in the city didn’t amuse her. The telephone, she’d be quietly afraid to use, not even letting the handset touch her ears. The radio she’d be asking me to turn to the AM stations where they’d broadcast her favorite daily operas. She’d be quietly making our home as much as her own home whenever she was there. And to tell you the truth, I really didn’t mind. I was and have always been close to my grandmother so being with her for extended periods of time was a gift.
What made it more special was whenever I would arrive home from school – I believe I was still in Grade 4 then – she’d always have an afternoon snack ready for me. I would cuddle up to her on the sofa as we would watch my Bible Stories Book in the afternoon as she fed me some of her favorite rice cakes – Suman (biko) – topped with latik (handmade, mind you) instead of granulated sugar. I would be contently sitting beside her and everything would be good in the world.
One time, a TV production crew came to our place and set up shop a few hundred meters or so away from our house. Well, as curious as I was, I dragged her to the location, with as much strength as my little legs could coerce her. And we did have a good time, seeing the big props and lights being made up. It must have exhausted her, with me running around (oh well not really running as she cannot run fast anymore at that time), trying not stop me from touching and damaging anything that might cost an arm and a leg. I was a whirling dervish, an excitable ball of energy back in the day, so I can’t imagine how a sixty-year old (or so) grandmother could keep up with me.
Well, as soon as they packed up, we both felt hunger pangs, seeing as in the excitement we weren’t able to eat our usual late afternoon snack. And it was nearing dusk so my tummy really was complaining. And so we went home, and rummaged inside our small dining area and lo and behold, as only grandmothers can, she whipped up a feast (to my eyes) of our favorites – cold biko which she made special with latik and a sugary syrup she drizzled over everything and a glass of hot cocoa drink. And that stayed with me because I saw how no matter tiring it was to look after me, she’d always make time to make me smile.
It may have been a throwback to her roots in the province, but her simplicity and her passion for food she brought everywhere with her. And I appreciated it because it helped to mold me into who I am right now. And because she was there for me, I would always have a special way of looking at the elderly because I see her in them.
ENJOYING THE SUMAN (BIKO ) TODAY
My beloved Grandmother is no longer with us today. But the beautiful memories are always remembered every time I see a slice of suman (biko).
This is also one of the reasons why once in while I would do a “take-out” of Suman from Quan as it provides a comfort that reminds me of her and the time we spent together.
GRAB QUAN’S SUMAN NOW AT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING QUAN OUTLETS:
MC Metroplex – Northdrive – (34) 433-9987
La Salle Avenue (034) 707-1982
Gaisano City (034) 707-8440
Phoenix Gas Station, San Sebastian
Robinsons Supermarket (034) 476-1518
SM Food Court – 213-9149
San Juan – (034) 704-1253
Super Metro, The District North Point (034) 702-3466
1797 Dian St, Palanan. Makati (02) 833-5843
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