STA. RITA -- This town's much awaited 15th Duman Festival will once again bring together Kapampangan food lovers in a night of cultural entertainment and wanton food tripping on December 2.
The event will be featuring food stalls that will be selling Kapampangan food and delicacies. The famed Duman will also be available for sale.
Locals and Kapampangans from abroad usually troop to this town for Duman which is made in the Barangays of Santa Monica and San Agustin.
The festival is capped by a Kapampangan theater performance.
The event will be held at town's famed EcoPark area with performances from homegrown Kapampangan artist group ArtiStaRita. Andy Alviz and his group ArtiStaRita started the festival in 2002, which originated from the long-standing tradition of pounding and winnowing unripe glutinous rice (lacatan) and turning it into a light pale gold or green delicacy called "duman."
The festival features alfresco dining were rows and rows of delicacy stalls would sell various pastries and native dishes of the town, with duman being the major highlight. The food sold during the festival would include native pastry attractions of the town like sansrival, masa podridu, mamon and mamon tostado. Sta. Rita is known as a pastry town with a strong culinary tradition.
The festival has attracted a steady following of local and international tourists. The Duman Festival is, arguably, the only festival of its kind that is held in the evening and features festive dining until the wee hours of the evening. The program for the event is expected to start at 5:00 p.m.
The event is open to food enthusiasts and tourists who would like to sample native Kapampangan cooking and delicacies. Different grades of duman, the star of the festival celebration, will also be sold in the event. Traditionally regarded as a Christmas delicacy, duman is eaten with hot chocolate or milk as additive or accompanying drink.
Duman is relatively expensive: unlike the regular rice variety, which can be planted and harvested three times a year, duman can only be harvested in the cool air of November and December, otherwise it will not be a bountiful one.
For every hectare, a farmer can produce only a maximum of 4.5 cavans of duman, while a maximum of 300 cavans can be harvested from the regular rice variety.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on November 22, 2017.
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