Pinoy Merienda
Elena Peña (The Freeman) - March 24, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The summer break from school means more people staying put at home. There are more chances of days for family members to gather together. And with the kitchen just one door away, tummies frequently crave for a fill-up.

Merienda is a Filipino home reality. In fact, this mid-afternoon snack is always looked forward to by everyone. There are even businesses now that thrive mainly on merienda.

Some say that merienda is a practice brought in by the Spaniards. Others believe that even during the pre-Spanish time, the local people already practice it – and the Spaniards only gave it a new name. But the origin of the term does not matter much; what is certain is that merienda is a significant feature of Filipino life – in the past as now.

The Filipino merienda at home consists of items that are easy and quick to prepare, from ingredients that are commonly available: rice, root crops, fruits, coconuts etc., which the country is lucky to have in abundance. A big favorite is “turon,” deep-fried banana rolls. The sweet snack can also be seen on the street sides being peddled by ambulant vendors.

To fully understand why the popularity of the “turon,” here’s a recipe of the snack from the website



? 5 Saba (Cardaba banana) cut in half lengthwise

? 10 pieces lumpia wrapper

? ½ cup ripe Jackfruit (langka),

    cut into strips (optional)

? Brown sugar for coating

? Cooking oil enough for deep frying


1. Roll each sliced saba banana in brown sugar.

2. Place the sugar-coated banana slices in lumpia wrapper.

3. Add two pieces of jackfruits strips.

4. Wrap and roll into shape of an egg roll.

5. Heat the cooking oil in a pan.

6. Fry in deep oil. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the “turon.”

7. Fry until the color turns golden brown.

8. Remove from pan and put in a strainer to drain the oil. (FREEMAN)

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