“Suka” is a tagalong term for vinegar and “Paombong” is a term used to call a place in Bulacan where earlier Spaniards named their town because of its huge area planted with bamboo. Actually the Paumbong word was derived from bumbong (a container made of bamboo). The old way of fermenting the vinegar (suka) was through this container.
Sukang Paombong is a well-known locally made vinegar in the Philippines where its liquid is naturally came from coconut water. Philippines is a known country of huge Coconut plantation in Asia that’s why making “Suka” made from coconut is one of major jobs of local people in Bulacan. Province of Bulacan is situated in northern Luzon, a place where Sukang Paombong was born. Bulacan is just an hour away from the main capital Manila, they are also considered as a vinegar capital of the Philippines.
If you happen to go to Nueva Ecija provinces, surely you will pass by Bulacan before you reach your destination. I remember one time when we went to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, I saw many stores at the side of the main highway selling “Sukang Paumbong”. You can notice them side by side of the road catering different sourness of their “Suka”.
The good thing with this Sukang Paumbong is that it is natural, cheap, and has good taste when used in foods such as “Paksiw na Isda”. As long as it is stored untouched, it will continue on its fermentation process that makes “Suka” (its sour) stronger. Some of them use Fast methods of fermentation by adding mother of vinegar in newly harvested coconut water before it is stored for fermentation.
What are the uses of Sukang Paombong?
1) Well, we pinoys usually enjoy “Suka” as a “Sawsawan”, (dip/sauce) especially for fried fish, chicharon, daing, tuyo. You can add a pinch of salt, chopped onions and garlic, and chili on a “Sawsawan”.
2) Sukang Paombong is used in cooking paksiw such as “Paksiw na Isda”, “Lechon Paksiw”, or even salads such as “Pepino” (cucumber)
3) We use this Sukang Paombong in making “Achara” (pickle) made from grated young papaya fruit and mixed with small amount of salt, sugar, and black pepper.
What are other uses of Suka do you know, please leave your comments here.