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Must-Try Cordilleran Specialties

Posted by on July 8, 2023

Baguio City is essentially a foodie’s paradise. Every street corner in the city is packed with restaurants serving cuisines from around the world. Whatever your craving is, you’ll find it in there. If you are planning to visit the city, don’t miss out on these Cordilleran dishes:


Pinikpikan is the highland version of tinola. It is prepared by beating the chicken with a stick before cleaning and cooking it to make the blood clot along the skin’s surface, making it tastier. It is then smoked and fried with ginger and a hint of sayote. Its hearty flavorful soup and succulent chicken make it the ideal supper on any cold day in Baguio.

When it comes to Cordilleran cuisine, this is without a doubt the recipe that is most well-known. If you are an advocate of animal rights, you might find the preparation shocking. The butchering process is basically beating a chicken to death with a stick. Why? To preserve the blood in the chicken’s body. To allow the blood to coagulate within the parts of the chicken that are beaten with a stick – mostly the neck and wings.

2. Pinuneg

Pinuneg, or blood sausage, is a Benguet Kankanaey delicacy that is traditionally eaten after a rite or celebration. The sausage is created with pig’s blood, intestine, and spices, which give it a chewy texture. You may serve this with a pinch of chili or vinegar.

Photo by The Lifestyle Avenue

3. Kiniing and Etag

Kiniing and Etag are both dried pork products made from Cordilleras meat preservation techniques that date back decades. The difference between the two is that Etag is cured in salt, but Kiniing is soaked in water cooked with guava leaves and salt and does not go through fermentation like Etag. Following such preparations, both are hung up to be smoked. This imparts a deep, smokey flavor while also hardening the meat and allowing it to be kept for extended periods of time.

Photo by Jilson Tiu

4. Kiniwar

In Kankanaey, the word kiniwar means mixed. This delicacy is a sweet sticky rice pudding prepared with diket and tagapulot, which is sugar syrup, that is comparable to biko.  It’s one of the Cordilleran delicacies that goes well with a cup of hot coffee when chilling with friends in Baguio.

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5. Binungor 

Binungor is a spicy Kalinga dish eaten as an appetizer. It is a vegetable stew made with highland vegetables, wild mushrooms like tainga ng daga, and an Ot-an snail. Baguio residents appreciate it for its chewy texture and spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness.

Photo by Benson Bautista

6.  Tapey (or tapuy, tapuey)

Tapey is the Igorot people’s version of Japanese sake called tapey or rice wine. The wonderful and best thing about tapey is that the flavor changes depending on how long it was fermented within the jar. The bitterness of wine increases with age. The older the wine, the bitterer it tastes. The fresh and sweet flavor of tapey that is a few weeks or months old is linked to rice wine. The taste considerably changes if the age process lasts longer than a year wherein the liquid starts tasting like whiskey or brandy.

Photo by Benguet-

7. Bungsos

prepared by carefully extracting the intestinal contents and cleansing it with clean water. After washing, it is mashed with salt and kept in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for 3-5 days.

Photo by Igorotage

Baguio City is known for its eye-catching tourist attractions and beautiful weather. However, visiting the city of pines will not only please your eyes but also captivate your tastebuds and fill your stomach with its distinctive and tasteful cuisine. So what are you waiting for? Come and taste Baguio!

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