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Filipino Rice Dessert - Bibingkang Kanin.

Filipino Rice Dessert – Bibingkang Kanin.

Rice pudding is one of those desserts that has a place in almost every culture around the world–with variations to suit each one. In fact, for thousands of years rice pudding was considered a good way to treat stomach ailments. If you’re like me, you may have even fed your babies rice pablum, since rice is easier for many to digest as it doesn’t contain gluten.

However, while I love boiled rice, fried rice, wild rice, brown rice, well, rice in pretty much every form, I don’t like rice pudding. Or didn’t, until I tasted some traditional rice dessert squares, or Bibingkang Kanin, on my trip to the Philippines.

There are many ways to make Bibingkang Kanin, with a popular modern version using coconut milk along with rice. However, a traditional version of Bibingkang Kanin contains a different liquid. Do you know what it is? (If you don’t know, or want to know if you’ve guessed right, click on the tab, Bibingkang Kanin, above).

Water buffalo in the Philippines. Photo from Pixabay with a CC license.

Water buffalo in the Philippines. Photo from Pixabay with a CC license.

Traditional Bibingkang Kanin is made using domesticated Water Buffalo, or carabao, milk. The carabao has been important in the Philippines for generations, much as the oxen were here in North America. From plowing the rice fields to providing milk for families, the water buffaloes of Southeast Asia are viewed as