Unwrapping an 'alupe' is like unwrapping memories of childhood. And biting a slice of an 'alupe' is like reliving it!
(My childhood memories and alupe!)
Alupe is a popular delicacy in the Negros Island in the Philippines. Cassava is grated and pressed to extract the water in it. The grated cassava is then mixed with coconut milk, condensed milk, and sugar. Chunks of cheese and strips of coconut meat are added to make the flavor more interesting. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaf in a rectangular shape, tied with threads, and then steamed until cooked!
On ordinary days if you crave for alupe, you can just roam the town's market and get your alupe from the delicacy corner. But the flavor and quality may just taste ordinary and very commercial.
But on special occasions, alupe is prepared without worrying about the cost of the ingredients. Since all of these are readily available and abundant in the islands, they won't be as expensive as they are in Manila.
But my stash of alupe was especially made for me! Thanks to the helpful neighbors who know how to make these!
(I am about to relive my childhood!)
Although that day, cassava was sold out at the local market, a friend, who had a neighbor with cassava plants in her backyard, asked to buy all of it! For only two hundred pesos, or about US$4! And it's the main ingredient!
That's why we had a few kilos of raw cassava to turn into yummy alupe! My own stash of alupe made especially for me!
So, if you know how to make your own alupe, you can enjoy your own stash as well! But if you don't, I hope you're as lucky as I am to have neighbors willing to make you some so you can enjoy alupe and relive the memories of your childhood...one bite at a time!