[Culture] Banana Cue and Turon as They Used to be Called in Batangas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore [Culture] Banana Cue and Turon as They Used to be Called in Batangas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

[Culture] Banana Cue and Turon as They Used to be Called in Batangas

Banana-cue is one of the Filipinos’ most understated culinary inventions and, to the present day, a ubiquitous street food. It is easy to make and is relatively inexpensive. It can be eaten as a snack or dessert, perhaps even as a meal for some.

This delicacy is just fried saba, a cooking banana variety which originated in the Philippines1, coated with caramelized brown sugar and served on a bamboo stick. It is frequently sold at stalls in public markets or even along the streets

That it is called “banana-cue” is obviously a portmanteau or a combination of the words banana and barbecue2. In the Filipino context, the barbecue frequently refers to skewered small slices of meat cooked over charcoal embers.

Turon and Bananacue

It is the skewering of the saba that probably drew the comparison with the barbecue and the subsequent adoption of the term banana-cue, although the latter is cooked in a different way.

The reader will please note, however, that there are, indeed, those who cook saba as they would meat as a barbecue over an open grill. As to who coined the term “banana-cue” and where it was first used, these are just among of those things that has been obscured in History.

Meanwhile, in parts of Batangas, as “recently” as the seventies and probably later, the banana-cue was universally called the “sundot-saging.” The term is descriptive of the act of skewering — “sundot” being to poke something and obviously refers to skewering — the banana, called “saging” in Tagalog and probably other Philippine languages.

While the term banana-cue has inevitably invaded the province either due to migration and mass media, there are those, usually older, who continue to use the old term “sundot-saging.” It is usually the young who will smirk at the term, but will nonetheless recognize it to mean banana-cue.

Meanwhile, the banana-cue has a cousin called the “turon.” Like the banana-cue, the turon is also a ubiquitous snack or dessert. It refers to sliced saba wrapped in “lumpia” or spring roll wrapper and then coated with caramelized brown sugar.

This is why there are those who use call the turon the “lumpiang saging3”, albeit “lumpia” of whatever form is usually served as a viand for a meal.

Just like with the banana-cue, BatangueƱos of old used to have their own term for it — “sagimis.” Like the banana-cue, the word is probably also a portmanteau of the words “saging” (banana) and “matamis” (sweet).

As with the term “sundot-saging,” the term “sagimis” is also disappearing as younger people in Batangas have learned to use the invasive word “turon.” Whatever people now prefer to call both the “sundot-saging” and the “sagimis” in Batangas, however, both remain among the favorite, if understated, snacks of people whatever the age.

Notes and references:
1 “Saba Banana,” Wikipedia.
2 “Banana Cue,” Wikipedia
3 “Turon (food),” Wikipedia.
Next Post Previous Post