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Lechon, Otap, Salvaro, and More; Which among These 5 Famous Delicacies in Cebu Is Your Favorite?

Here are 5 famous delicacies in Cebu you should try!

By: Peter Parcon | March 24, 2023
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Which among these delicacies is your fave? We bet you can’t decide!

Images: (left to right) Rico’s Lechon; Titay’s; Cindy Dianasas

Aside from shirts and guitars, Cebu has a wide selection of pasalubong items you can buy to remember your trip down south. These famous delicacies in Cebu will remind you of your days on the white sandy beaches of Cebu. And has no shortage of native delicacies in Cebu.

They will also allow you to experience the culture of Cebu. To paraphrase an old adage, the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The following are some native delicacies for your Cebu pasalubongs that are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.

1. Lechon

Famous Delicacies in Cebu – Native Delicacies in Cebu – Yoorekka, famous delicacies in Cebu

The lechon of Cebu is considered the best roast pig in the country by TV host Anthony Bourdain.

Image: Rico’s Lechon Facebook page

When one mentions Cebu, one of the first native delicacies in Cebu that comes to mind of every food-loving traveler is the Cebu lechon. The name lechon is based on the Spanish term “roasted suckling pig.” It is the centerpiece of many celebrations in the Philippines.

While lechon is offered in many parts of the country, lechon from Cebu is considered the best. No less than renowned TV host and chef Anthony Bourdain proclaimed that the Cebu lechon is the “best pig ever”. Cebuanos always say if you need sauce for your lechon, it is not Cebu lechon.

2. Otap

Where to Buy: Titay’s, Shamrock, Cebu groceries and supermarkets

Famous Delicacies in Cebu – Native Delicacies in Cebu – Yoorekka, native delicacies in Cebu

Delicate and sweet are the words that best describe the otap of Cebu.

Image: Titay’s

This crisp, oval-shaped treat is perfect for a morning or afternoon snack. It is among the famous delicacies in Cebu. The original recipe of this sweet, crunchy wafer biscuit dates back to pre-WWII Cebu.

The otap is made of flour, sugar, and shortening. This native delicacy in Cebu is made using traditional baking techniques and is the Filipino equivalent of the palmier cookies of France. Typically wrapped in wax paper, each delicate layer of this famous delicacy in Cebu crackles with every bite.

3. Salvaro

Where to Buy: Pinky’s Salvaro, Gene’s Salvaro de Cebu

Famous Delicacies in Cebu – Native Delicacies in Cebu – Yoorekka, Cebu pasalubong

The coconut flavor of the salvaro makes it distinct from other Cebu native delicacies.

Image: Verra Maycel

Looking for a coconut-flavored biscuit to snack on? Well, the salvaro is the answer. These wafer-thin biscuits have an oval shape and are unique compared to the other Cebu pasalubong. The uniqueness of this famous delicacy in Cebu comes from its coconut flavor.

The salvaro is made of enriched wheat flour, shredded coconut, and sugar. It is considered to be a healthy and nutritious snack. You can eat this native delicacy in Cebu as it is or garnish it with caramelized coconut cream. These treats are also called coconut crunchies.

4. Rosquillos

Where to Buy: Titay’s, Shamrock, Cebu groceries and supermarkets

Famous Delicacies in Cebu – Native Delicacies in Cebu – Yoorekka, famous delicacies in Cebu

The ringlet-shaped rosquillos is best enjoyed as a morning or afternoon snack.

Images: Titay’s Facebook page

The second to the last on our list of famous delicacies in Cebu is the rosquillos. It is a thin, round cookie with a hole in the middle, making it look like a ring. It was first made by Margarita “Titay” Frasco, who used ingredients she found in her kitchen. She initially gave it as a freebie to people who bought soda. Now, it is among the most popular native delicacies in Cebu.

The only Cebuano president in history, Sergio Osmeña, gave this delicacy its name. The name of this famous delicacy in Cebu is based on the Spanish word rosca, which means ring. It is best paired with coffee for an early morning snack.

5. Masareal

Famous Delicacies in Cebu – Native Delicacies in Cebu – Yoorekka, native delicacies in Cebu

Rectangular-shaped goodness offered by the masareal of Cebu

Image: Dorothy Reyes

Despite its simple ingredients, the masareal is a famous delicacy in Cebu. Made up of ground peanuts, sugar, and water, this popular delicacy from Mandaue City is a favorite among kids and adults alike as one of the native delicacies in Cebu.

The name of this famous delicacy in Cebu combines two Castilian words: masa (dough), and real (fine). It is a peanut bar with different sweetness levels, depending on the brand. While this Cebu pasalubong typically comes in a rectangular shape, seeing this treat shaped like a heart for Valentine’s Day is surprising.

These are some famous delicacies in Cebu you can find. Which one have you tried?

Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more local finds and spots in Cebu.

This article was initially published in Yoorekka on May 23, 2018.

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About Peter Parcon
After leaving spending 16 years of his professional life in the academe, Peter decided to try his luck in the world of online freelancing. For the past eight years, he has been creating content for clients all around the world. He can work on just about any topic - from tattoos to technology and food to finance. He dreams of visiting every island in the archipelago some day.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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