Food is an integral part of the Filipino culture. It is the common thing that bonds families together. As a tropical country, it is abundant with fruits and its food resource is endless. Filipinos enjoy their food so much. In fact, they eat not 3 but 6 to 7 times a day. Three of which are the standard meals namely breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating snacks is essential to these hard working people. Snacks come in different varieties which are often served in small but very satisfying portions. These snacks can be savoury or sweet; hot or cold; traditional or modern; and above all, readily available and convenient.
A huge percentage of the Filipino population are active and always on the move, going about their daily lives. Either they go to school or go to work. The streets are always teeming with people; it’s a network of roads that brings people to their different destinations. Many food stalls and snack kiosks dot these streets. They provide commuters with a good selection of snacks that can satisfy anybody who wants to grab a bite of anything at any given time. The aroma that comes from the food makes anyone crave for something.
One of the most popular street snacks that is considered an all time favourite for the Filipinos is the banana cue. These are deep fried bananas (saba type) coated with melted molasses or brown sugar then served in skewers. The golden brown with dark sweet sauce smeared all over it makes it such a wonderful site to look at that will definitely make you want to grab one and eat it. It is nutritious, sweet, convenient to eat and very affordable. A skewer, with 2 to 3 pieces of these fried bananas will only cost you about 10 to 20 pesos, or about 40 cents! Now that’s what I call affordable.
The type of bananas used for this snack is the saba type. The fruit has the traditional yellow exterior and peel, but it is blocky and square in terms of shape, and is also smaller than most bananas. It is similar to plantains but its angular shape makes the difference. This fruit is primarily composed of starchy carbohydrates and provide no fat or cholesterol. Eating this fruit, cooked or raw has health benefits. Some of the most impressive health benefits of this fruit is the ability to improve digestion, regulate circulation, lower blood pressure, improve metabolic processes and strengthen the immune system.
Simple as it may seem, this snack is packed with nutritional values and it is inexpensive and available at almost every corner and nook in the street. Filipinos rely on street snacks for a lot of valid reasons. Low cost is the main reason. Any food that is worth 20 pesos or less and is satisfying and clean is a sure hit to Filipinos. Convenience is also one of the obvious reasons why streets snacks are the go-to food for many Filipinos living a busy life. School and work can be very tiring that’s why many turn to what is readily available.
The banana cue is a comfort food to Filipinos. Street snacks such as this provide people a sense of satisfaction. It gives them relief from life’s everyday bustle. If you try to observe when people eat banana cue, their facial expression says it all. The eagerness to take a bite while it is still hot, the excitement when blowing this snack to make it more enduring to eat, the words of victory once they succeeded to take a huge bite. The banana cue will always remain a classic for many from all walks of life and for many more generations to come.