balikutsa, an ilokano candy

Balikutsa from Ilocos Sur.
Balikutsa (balicutsa) is uniquely Ilokano, an ultra sweet candy-like invention made from cooked, molten and sticky sugarcane mollasses stretched white and "curled." It's different from the more usual tagapulot which is brown (hardened muscovado molded in coconut shells) or the sticky palatipot (pulutipot). Sugar products all, which also shows and tells the sweet side of the Ilokanos which are known to be but lovers of pait (bitterness) what with their fondness of pinapaitan, paria, papait, etc.

Balikutsa is my childhood candy. My mother almost always buy balikutsa as a pasarabo (pasalubong) to us kids whenever she goes to the tiendaan. I love melting it on my mouth. Or eat it with left over rice.

I bought this balikutsa in a roadside royal bibingkahan in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. The label says it's from Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, anyway. But it's still the same soft and wickedly sweet balikutsa of my childhood.

I want to savor once more balikutsa as a child, as it's been years that I didn't got a taste of this Ilokano sweets. So, I  have some rice balled, as this is what I'm doing then...

... And again I was a kid with my favorite saramsam (snack)!

Oh, sweet! Melt it in your tongue and dilute it with your kilabban...!



  1. I had this too this afternoon during our visit to Baguio. It was offered as a coffee sweetener by the Baguio Deli Shop when we ordered brewed coffee. It brought back childhood memories. :)

  2. Went to Ilocos last month and we bought lots of this as pasalubong to friends. Loved it but it's so sweet. Tastes very much like muscovado though

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