The Making of Sweetened Kaong

It was my first time cooking a sweetened kaong. I looked over the web for an established procedure with no success. It seems the information about it is rare. I asked mom and dad and they told me the traditional practice.

two kilograms kaong meatEach kilogram of kaong should be added with one kilogram sugar. The sugar should be dissolved and cooked first in water before adding the kaong meat. That is to prevent too long cooking time which causes unnecessary toughening.

Cooking time and amount of water were not declared so I need to do the guessing myself.

I washed the kaong meat several times to remove the sour smell. Kaong meat are kept in tumblers with water. The water is changed once a day every day to avoid souring.

I cut each meat into three to four parts depending on original size, using scissors. The meat was slippery and hard to held. I got used to it after a while. The job would have been faster if I have a tool similar to egg slicer.

chopped kaong meatTo approximate the amount of water needed, I transferred the kaong meat to cooking vessel. Added water just enough to make the kaong float. Scooped out all the meat. Set the stove flame to low and slowly added two kilograms sugar while stirring. I let the solution boil until it was down to previous original volume (the amount just before addition of sugar). I dropped all the kaong meat and continued boiling for another 15 minutes.

the sweetened kaong meatProblems encountered:

The product was perhaps harvested by a novice kaong meat harvester. Some were too hard that I could not cut it with scissors. Some were too soft, not even worth slicing. Some had the right chewy texture. How I wish all had the right chewy texture.

three kaong meat with different softness


The above image shows three kaong meats with different hardness. From left to right – toughest, chewy and softest.

After adding the kaong meat, the water became too much and less viscous and the kaong became less. Perhaps the too soft meats disintegrated. I scooped the excess syrup and added more sugar to compensate for the loss sweetness.

The vessel I used was also the one I used to roast the dried chili. Sister said she washed it thoroughly several times but a residual chili flavor seemed left behind and mixed with the sweetened kaong. The result was a sweet kaong with mild chili after taste. It was unexpected nice result.

what not to take when having dry cough | Doctor's advice

Let as admit it, we often resort to home remedies when having dry cough. The common remedy methods often originated from relatives, home, tradition, books, experiences and internet. It may or may not be effective depending on type and severity of symptoms.  It even worsen the illness sometimes.

According to doctor’s advice, the following should not be taken when suffering from dry cough.

1) Anything sweet. Pure sugar, honey, candies, menthol candies and sore throat lozenges such as Strepsils.

2) Hot and lukewarm water. This includes hot coffee, tea and hot soups.

3) Anything salty. The pure salt, mixture of water and salt, salty junk foods and salty dishes.

4) Any fruits. The real reason is not clear but I think it is related to sweetness. The sweet orange and astringent calamansi are included in listing.

5) Anything cold. It simply worsen cough. Like entering a air conditioned room and cold places.

The reasons to refrain taking items one to four – They tend to dry the throat more resulting to more irritation, pain and coughing. Many websites are recommending items one to three. They were also include in my previous articles, “What am I taking to cure sore throat and cough“, “Roasted Calamansi, Heavy Sugar Syrup and cough” and “Pointers and Myths While Experiencing Common Colds and Cough“.

The doctor’s advice is to take a sip of plain drinking water frequently. Water moisten the throat relieving irritation, pain and coughing.  If symptoms persist see him in her office for proper prescription.

Spices such as onion, ginger, cayenne pepper and turmeric can be taken as first aid only. Their effect wear out immediately when the hot spicy sensation ceases. Spices only mask irritation. It never take it away.

Panutsang Bao Sweetened Cassava Slices

I was thinking what to do with panutsang bao. I never knew that she had her own idea. She got some cassava and cooked some sweet stuffs.

Here is the simple sweet recipe.

Panutsang bao, chopped
Cassava, sliced

1) Slice cassava and set aside. Make it thin. Thin slices absorb sugar more efficient.

cassava strips

2) Chop panutsang bao and drop in boiling water until dissolved.

chopped panutsang bao

3) Add cassava slices. Continue boiling until the syrup become sticky. Lower the flame to avoid scorching.

panutsang bao sweetened cassava slices

Look like a golden brown banana chips. It is yummy sweet but not crispy.

The recipe was contributed by Irmalyn Vicedo, my better half. Again, she failed to list measurements. How many times should I tell her to do so.

How To Make Sweetened Santol Peels

Its another addition to my peel experiments, the sweetened santol peels.

Let us admit the fact that more than 90 percent part of santol is wasted. Eating is done by breaking the fruit apart. Getting the pulpy seeds, sucking it, spitting and throwing the thick rind. Some curve out the fleshy part of the rind and eat. Others peel the fruit until only the soft rind is left, then eat the soft rind and suck the seeds.  Still, considerable amount of rind is thrown away.

One way to save those peels is by processing it to sweetened santol peels. Unprocessed peels have a sharp sour and slightly astringent taste (mapakla) that last for few seconds. A simple cooking process is a good remedy.

Seeds are extremely bitter. There is nothing I can do with it. Throw it away or grow it.


1) Wash santol fruits and rinse well. Remove the thin outermost rind. Please remember that we need the thick rind. You can also skip removing the outer skin. Please tell me how it taste!

2) Break to halves. Remove the seeds (suck and threw it away). Scrape off the soft part of rind with spoon. Eat it right away or set aside if you want a santol jam – discover it for yourself.

3) Cut the rind to desired sizes. I prefer cubes.

santol peel cubes

4) For every cup of cubes, add 1 1/2 cup water and seven tablespoon sugar.

5) Bring to slow boil for 30 minutes. Prevent drying by adding water occasionally.

6) Remove from fire and transfer to a clean glass container. Cool. Let stand for at least five hours before eating.

sweetened santol peels

The resulting product is a sweet and sour santol peels with slight kick or astringency. Add more sugar for a sweeter product.

Make a dried santol peel candy by drying it under the sun.


Bad Effect of Wine ? The Sugar of Lead


Lead can make wine sweet. But beware, lead  is poisonous. It is a white crystalline compound with a sweet taste. Lead is also known as lead acetate, plumbous acetate, sugar of lead, salt of saturn and Goulard’s powder – named after Thomas Goulard.


Lead as wine sweetener became popular during the Roman empire. It is attributed to the Roman delicacy sapa. It is prepared by boiling soured wine in lead kettles. The soured wine contains acetic acid which react to lead kettles forming lead acetate. Sapa has pleasant taste and aroma and was widely used in Roman cooking. Due to its lead content, it attributed to lead poisoning during the ancient Roman aristocracy.