GUAGUA -- While many people build up on commercialized foodstuff, delicacy merchants here are lamenting over the gradual “falling out of love” of locals with traditional food delicacies.

“People are no longer craving for the food that we served long ago. They would rather buy those foodstuff filled with preservatives than cook the food that we traditionally prepare during Christmas,” said Nimfa Manalo, proprietor of Nimfa’s Deli here.

She said most people now are more interested in easy-to-prepare food.

“In the past, we were asked to cook and prepare suman and kalame for even affluent families, but now it seems that most people would rather do their food preparation the easier way,” she said.

She cited the high price of ingredients and the painstaking time to prepare home-cooked delicacies like tsokolateng batirul, kalame, suman, and mamon tustado.

Deli merchants here pointed out that the process of making such delicacies for a whole family would take around four to five hours, depending on the volume to be made.

“Families seem to have stopped passing the food tradition to the next generation. Those who cannot cook the delicacies could not resort to deli merchants to cook for them since the price alone is very discouraging,” Manalo said.

Despite this, deli merchants here are hoping that the attention given by local government units in the province would reawaken the interest in Kapampangan native cooking.

They said the youth should not be deprived of such interest.

The town of Guagua and its neighboring towns of Sasmuan and Sta. Rita are home to native delicacies and traditional Christmas cooking.