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Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are common in Asia. These are sweet treats that come in all shapes, colors and sizes. They are served during festivals and as a dessert or snacks. It can be filling, so make sure not to eat too much if you are planning to eat other meals.

I grew up eating rice cakes on a regular basis. My personal favorite though is palitaw. It is fried sticky rice dough which is served rolled in sugar and topped with grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds. There are many rice cake varieties in the Philippines alone. This is because each province has its own version of these delicacies. It goes the same for any other country in Asia. Although, I must say that Thailand has the widest and most colorful array of desserts.  I have yet to conquer these in the future. Now this is a good excuse to go to Thailand.

I tried to research on how rice cakes originated and how they were eaten in the olden days.  It is unfortunate that there is little documentation about these delicious treasures. With the scarce information that I gathered, I can assume that these were meant to be eaten on the go. Since most of the settlers in Asia were farmers, they needed filling snacks to keep them fueled while working in the farms. So, these cakes served as “energy bars”. It gave them the carbohydrates and the sugar to burn and use up throughout the day. It also served as food during difficult times after the war. People decided to make do with what they had, which was their rice crops and coconuts.

Preparing rice cakes can be laborious but it has improved through time due to the advancements in technology. I hope that despite this, we retain the traditional way of preparing these sweets. It is an important part of our culture which we should preserve in many years to come.

Photo Courtesy of: meowbykate & avlxyz

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