TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 19, (PIA)—Abroad, the sweet tingly drink is popularly known as ginger ale, but for the women of Candabong in Loboc, when it is served cold and in tall tea glasses, it is called gingerade.
Served cold and yet sweet, gingerade which has the unmistakable aroma of the luy-a, would be a delightful welcome to Loboc, admits local tourism receptionists who see that the town could even encourage local resorts to use the gingeraid as the official welcome drinks.
Already catching the discriminating taste of the Boholanos, ginger, when served hot has always been an early morning treat for the farmers who go out early to miss the scorching heat of the midmorning to midafternoon sun.
Also known all over the country as salabat, ginger tea is a popular remedy for the ridding the body’s air and is a popular balm to soothe aching muscles.
Put in the taste, the drink becomes an adopted Boholano, considering the islanders penchant for the delectably sensorial bud appetizing aroma of the ginger.
But for those who have survived the searing sun and the baked fields, a new drink from ginger powder, lemons and honey, in iced water is a heavenly refreshing drink for the sun-scorched traveler, sun burnt farmer and the site overloaded tourist feasting on the beauty of Bohol, summarizes Candabong Women’s Rural Improvement Club manager Anne Cogoco.
The cool gingerade is now a trademark welcome drink for tourists visiting the Candabong women’s RIC ginger processing facility.
A product recently developed for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Eco-tourism Bohol SEPP Project, is now an offer cooler for the weary tourist eager to learn about the laborious ginger processing.
Candabong Women’s RIC started processing ginger manually in the early 1990s, but could not really go full blast for some supply, pricing and processing issues.
Not really giving up on their fight to help the family with additional income, the ladies here struggled on, manually sourcing out ginger which the buy at steeper prices and eke out to have the least of wastage to recover as much powder from the pulp.
When the raw ginger arrives at the processing plant, we clean and wash them, making sure the dirt is gone, before we press them to extract the juice.
Of a 20 kilos ginger batch pressed, women could only salvage a minimum of 12 kilos equivalent in liquid. These are then poured in huge vats, mixed with caramelized sugar and stirred constantly until the mixture attains a sticky consistency.
The mixture is then cooled by allowing it to be air cooled before the hardened mixture is scraped off the vat. The scraped off powder, in now ready for the salabat, or the famed gingerade.
The power is also sold as salabat, or the bigger granules, which the old ladies consider as more concentrated, can be sold in bulk.
Years ago, men of barangay Candabong also identified ginger candies potential but with their crude systems, questions of sanitary food prevailed.
To solve this, the Department of Trade and Industry handed over a shared service facility to the organization to manage.
That also marked the age of mass producing ginger products with the help of silicone technologies and the RIC now has bubble wrapped candies, and enhanced salabat packaging to engage more tourists into buying the products. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)