I've written before about Becoming Filipino and as I have reflected on my cultural journey I have found the tipping point, SUMAN. If you know me well, you know it makes perfect sense that food would be the hook line and sinker for me. Food is my love language.
Think back to your childhood, what food reminds you of your lola? What foods are related to your memories of sporting events (cue: Super Bowl, soccer games, etc.), festivals or tv show? Suman was the final straw that unraveled my heart in The Philippines. Suman has become my comfort food and my constant craving. I try my best to make #SumanSaturdays happen weekly. My affinity for suman has allowed me to make new friends, have deep conversations about life and have acts of love shown toward me through gifts of suman. I wasn't kidding about food being my love language. Even as I read these words I realize how silly I sound talking about a food but suman is not just a food to me, it is an emblem of my affection for the Philippines and this time in my family's lives.
If you don't know what suman is, a simple explanation would be sticky rice or malagkit (glutinous) rice, cooked in coconut milk, then wrapped in a banana leaf or another similar type of large leaf. Since I have never made suman (gasp!) I am trusting my good friend Wikipedia to teach me. Also, if anyone has any titas that would allow me to sit down next to them and learn the art of suman, that is a dream of mine.
Suman hails from all over the Philippines but lucky for us city folks we have a variety right here. (Here is a great list for suman all over The Philippines.) We have pinipig, chocolate, langka, sweet, savory, black, sweet potato etc. Suman is the ultimate breakfast on the go or perfect merienda paired with tablea tsokolate. Suman has me pulling over at road side stands, buying in bulk for my freezer and keeps me at my suman suki every Saturday. I love suman with all my heart. Whenever the sad day comes that we have to depart this Filipino journey, suman will surely be one of the things I miss the most. Suman, I love you! Thank you for always being there for me. You are the truest friend who always offers a bit of sweetness and a warm hug around my tummy.
If you are wondering if I am the only one who loves suman, think again.
And that my friends, is how suman sealed the deal.