One favourite is a sweet and sour candy called Champoy. Not far from the resort there is a lady, Rowena, who makes Champoy for sale, and this morning I went to visit her to see how it is made.
Making Champoy is hard work, but it is worth the time and effort in making it as it is not only popular with locals, but can also be sold to our resort guests who come to visit our island.
Also during the fruit season we might be able to offer guests a walk to see how this candy is made.
There are different recipes for types of Champoy. Here at Isla Verde, the local Champoy is made from the fruit of the Sampalok tree. You may know this tree and its fruit by the name Tamarind. The tamarind fruit is often used to give a sour taste in cooking asian dishes.
To make Champoy, they patiently take the skin off the fruit and remove the seeds from the fruit, then they place them on a platform and let them dry under the sun.
When they are nearly dried, its the time for them to make them sweet. To do this, the tamarind is placed in a big wok, with sugar in the proportion of one kilo tamarind to 3 kilos of sugar. This is stirred continually for three hours. It must be stirred constantly to keep it from burning the sugar and spoiling the fruit.
Once it is like a paste they will take it from the
wok, and place in plates for cooling.
When they feel is ready to make a ball, they will start to get a pinch from the paste and roll on their palm to form it into a ball. Then they place it in a container of sugar to cover the ball.
When the balls are coated with sugar they will be placed into a container, then the ready champoy will be packed in plastic bags, to sell.
Once made the finished Champoy usually keeps in bottled jar or placed in a plastic bag 15 pcs for 12 pesos.