MALAY, Aklan -- Only a handful of residents in the province especially in this town known for Boracay Island, a famous beach destination, are still making "inumoe," an endangered food delicacy.
The inumoe is made of cooked rice (sinaing), yeast and powdered rice. After mixing thoroughly, it is then wrapped in a payaw plant (a family of caladium) and stored for 24 hours. It is best served chilled and tastes like fermented rice.
Milagros Gumboc, 60, said she decided to cook the inumoe at the prodding of her neighbors.
Gumboc said they usually serve inumoe during Christmas and New year.
In December 2020, however, Gumboc decided not to serve the delicacy as children and neighbor visits were discouraged because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"However, restrictions were recently eased. Some of my neighbors requested it. We decided to cook it and sell it through social media. To our surprise, it sold like hotcakes," she said.
Gumboc noted that among the reasons why the inumoe is endangered is because a lot of people are discouraged to eat it due to its appearance, often likening it to the vomit of a dog. It also tastes and smells like fermented rice.
"Despite its characteristics, it's a favorite of old folks in many towns of Aklan. It is a clean food since you could not cook such kind of delicacy if all the ingredients and the processes involved were not clean," she said.
Aside from Malay, other towns like Ibajay, Lezo, Malinao, Madalag and Libacao have also fewer folks that know how to cook Inumoe.
Gumboc admitted that even her children were not interested in cooking the said delicacy.
"It's just unfortunate that serving inumoe was not introduced to tourists in Boracay in recent years. I considered it as economically viable because I could earn P500 with just P100 capital," she said.
For his part, Jimmy Maming, soon to be dean of Malay College, said they are planning to conduct a study on inumoe if it could be marketed to tourists of Boracay.
The Malay local government has decided to build a Malay College to boost tourism in this town. It is currently awaiting accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education. (SunStar Philippines)