Local food featured in Cuisine Night


Cultural Heritage Month activities continued with the Carolinian Affairs Office promoting traditional dishes during Cuisine Night last Saturday at the Carolinian Utt.

First lady Diann Torres shared how great the night was especially with all the tasty family recipes.

“It’s awesome. I see a lot of really good family recipes and I’m sure everybody put out their best menus from their families. They were delicious,” said Torres.

Torres also mentioned the aesthetics of one of the food items presented, papaya turnovers. “This arroz caldo is really good and the papaya turnovers are very cute.”

Torres, however, was quick to follow that no one is above her mother when it came to papaya turnovers.

“My mom makes the best turnovers—she’s really good at it,” shared Torres enthusiastically. “She taught me several times and I learned only to forget it because I don’t have the time to make it.”

Bobby Iginoef presented breadfruit soup, a thick soup cooked in coconut milk that could be varying in flavor, depending on the ripeness of the breadfruit. Usually sweet, the breadfruit soup is made by first boiling the breadfruit and once soft enough, mashed together.

The coconut milk is then added onto the mashed breadfruit and then condensed, by means of lowering to medium heat to prevent burning the coconut milk and constantly stirring until the soup gradually thickens.

Mariana Ebilanie, from Yap, showcased her own take on a popular coconut candy.

Substituting fermented coconut juice with sugar, Ebilanie first caramelized the sugar until it becomes syrup. By adding equal amounts of water to equal amounts of sugar. Ebilanie darkens the sugar before adding water. As the syrup simmers, Ebilanie adds more sugar, to make the candy harder. Ebilanies states that for a softer candy, no sugar needs to be added. She then proceeded to add the dried coconut. After a few minutes of mixing, the candy is ready for shaping using a banana leaf.

Also showcased but not demonstrated in Cuisine Night were tamales, apigigi, papaya turnovers, titiyas, bweimai, lolesl kalamasa, spinach soup, and chirakilis soup.

Cultural Heritage Month is a month-long celebration of the many cultures in the CNMI. The next event would be the 13 Fishermen’s 30th memorial celebration at the 13 Fishermen Monument along Beach Road.

Gus Kaipat and Gus Litulumar provided the entertainment for the evening.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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