One of the most endearing qualities my grandmother has is she always sends us things and food stuff. In fact, that quality becomes exaggerated at times because she sometimes sends huge amounts of food that we cannot consume. One of the food stuff is often sends us are bananas. In Lazi, the town where I come from, we celebrate the Saging Festival every May. We don’t celebrate it for nothing. We have lots of bananas, although bananas are also really common in the Philippines (I know a town in Negros Oriental also holds a festival in honor of their bananas). Anyway, our grandmother sent us bananas and tired of eating them boiled and fried, I made “turon” as I also still had a container of home-made langka (jackfruit) jam that my aunt-in-law sent me last Christmas.
The langka jam reminds of a culinary experience in childhood. We had a neighbor, Wawa Ding (God bless her soul) and when we children would play in their yard (they had a big backyard planted with trees), she would prepare snacks for us. Often it would be porridge made of corn grits, sweetened with muscovado sugar. Looking back, it was a simple snack but it was more than just a snack. For me, it was more a gesture of love and kindness and the feeling of having neighbors treat you as family. Wawa Ding also made a mean langka jam that she sold spread in cut hotdog buns. I’d eat those little sandwiches for snacks when I had often.
The turon is a popular snack in the Philippines. You can find them anywhere. It is so popular, it has been reinvented many times. I ate the turon drizzled with local caramel honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. (Topping it with vanilla ice cream, I think, wouldn’t hurt either).