Friday, 7 October 2005


The streetside snack food of bananas sprinkled with sugar enveloped in springroll wrappers is commonly known in the Tagalog region as 'turon'. However, in our corner of Cavite this is always called as 'valencia' or 'balensia'.

Biiii-li na kayong balensia !! shouts the girl in a sing-song manner with a bilao full of these wonderful snacks on top of her head. Like anything else, I've got no idea why it's called that. But it may have something to do with the way the contents are rolled and wrapped in something because I know of a sewing stitch or seam wherein the frayed/raw edge is enclosed by inverting the sewed edge itself then sewing over it again. My mother always called that a 'valenciana'. So I think the term pertains to a manner of enclosing something resulting in a 'rolled' appearance.

Anyway, this is very easy peasy to do and as usual I nearly burned it. :( You know how they say cooking is all about timing. It seems whenever I cook this I always forget that this is not a very forgiving frying piece. Since it's got sugar it burns easily. So please remember (more for my kids this one) when you cook this do not put the heat too high or neglect it. Turn it often (if pan frying) or keep a close eye on it.

There are lots of variations you can do, some even put in chocolates! I used muscovado sugar on this since it is the closest to our panucha. I love the caramelly glaze it imparts to the valencia. Also I added slivers of langka (jackfruit) because it gives that fruity aroma and adds sweetness to the package. As for the banana, I still haven't found any other cooking variety of banana closest to the saba other then plantain. In my opinion, saba is still the best in terms of flavour and texture but for now plantain will do.

Valencia aka TuronThe way I wrap it is like in a parcel, similar to the way springrolls are done. But you may just roll it like a log and leave the ends open. This way the wrapper becomes extra crispy with more drips of sugar glaze.


cooking banana (saba or plantain)
langka (jackfruit) - sliced into slivers
muscovado or brown sugar
springroll wrappers
oil for frying
  1. Peel and cut bananas into about 3-4 inch lengths then into quarters lengthwise.
  2. Roll bananas in the sugar.
  3. Arrange bananas and langka in springroll wrappers and wrap as in a parcel (or wrap like a log with both ends open).
  4. Deep fry or pan fry in oil keeping close watch as this burns easily.
  5. Drain on a wire mesh strainer (not on paper towels because they will stick to the valencia).

No comments: