May 11, 2014


buti-buti (bu-ti bu-tî; Cuyunon [Palaweño] snack) [n.] native poprice.

The ampao (poprice) of Cuyo, Palawan.

It is made with dehulled but unpolished native rice, usually with red or brown colored bran. 

The grains are pan-roasted till they popped and become like pop-corn.

Caramelized muscovado sugar is then added and mixed in the poprice as sweetener and binder and the caramel-coated poprice is molded by hands into small balls, about the size of a golf ball

I found these packs of buti-buti in the stall of Pastor Abad in the public market of Roxas, Palawan. I thought the balls were crumbled popcorn. But when I took a closer look, I noticed the popping big kernels of rice. I couldn't believe that there is such kind of rice in the country with kernels that big.
Unlike the popcorn, this native poprice is quite dense and the outer layer of popped kernel are leathery that it needs a lot of chewing to fully masticate it into a pulp and only then that you can savor the true taste of buti-buti.

These balls of buti-buti are delicate to handle. It sticks to your finger and easily crumbles when pressed between fingers or even when poked, as shown in the next photos.  
I got this authentic product of Cuyo, Palawan just a hour after its arrival from Cuyo island.  It would take almost two days to transport this buti-buti to Roxas, Palawan from the small island of Cuyo off the eastern sea of mainland Palawan where it can only be found. 
The native rice variety used in making this buti-buti is an heirloom rice of Cuyo, Palawan.  It is seasonal and available depending on when there is a harvest or available stock. This explains why the small pack of buti-buti I bought cost much. I kept on wondering how the rice subsists in the small island. 

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