Sinabalu is a local specialty famous in Cagayan Valley especially in Piat and neighboring towns of Tuao and Rizal. Sinabalu is a part of native cuisine, a glutinous rice wrapped with layers of treated banana leaves flavored with salt and coconut milk roasted in a bamboo tube over a low heat .The light taste is delicious that goes well with brewed coffee, hot chocolate and tea as well. With no artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives I’m sure you’ll like it. It smells really good and tastes its best when cooked over natural wood charcoal too.
Over the years, people of Cagayan developed their own unique cuisines and local specialties. Christmas, wakes, fiestas, weddings and special holidays would not be complete without the presence of Sinabalu and other local specialties like Pawa, Puto and Patupat ( all dekats fairly starts with letter P) to name a few.. It is a breakfast favorite, a mid-day snacks, and my favorite since childhood. When my brother and his wife pays a monthly visit here in Manila, they bring some local specialties from Piat, I live in the city and I don’t get to eat the same favorites all the time, this could be your favorite too. Be with friends with a cup of hot brewed coffee and slices of Sinabalu is a mellow accompaniment to any conversation.
The good quality you can buy it fresh in Piat Public Market first hour in the morning and food stall vendors near “Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora de Piat Church” You can find the best Sinabalu in a reputable source from Barangay Accusilian, according to my relatives from Tuao, a 2nd class Municipality in the Province of Cagayan.
The two versions; White Sinabalu which is the original one cooked with white glutinous rice and the newest version, Brown Sinabalu cooked with brown glutinous rice which is a good health benefits especially for the diabetics. It must be eaten fresh, it has a very short life and can only be freeze for 2 days and after that it deteriorates easily.
Visit my birthplace Piat Cagayan to taste all local specialties. I’m sure you’ll love it!