Puso, or hanging rice, is very common throughout the Philippines because it is the most convenient way to grab rice on-the-go for a quick meal or snack. They can be seen hanging from street vendor stalls up and down the road, especially during the lunch rush and after working hours. Oftentimes when my host mother has been busy throughout the day she will bring home several puso and some roasted chicken for us to eat for dinner. From the first time I ate one I have been amazed at the simple rice contraption and I was finally shown the process of creating one by the wonderful women who comes to help us on the weekends, Linda.
She went to the back yard, cut off some bamboo leaves, and brought them inside to show me how to weave the intricate container. I think it literally pained her to make them so slowly while teaching me the process but she was great and patient with me, even when I asked her if we could go upstairs where there was better light for photos. After this weekend she probably thinks I am even crazier than her previous premonitions. I have included a video to show how she proficient she is at weaving, but unfortunately it is too fast to follow. Honestly, even in slow motion it is tricky, Linda had to fix my first one even after following her step-by-step demonstration.
Puso is made out of two long slivers of bamboo leaves which are connected at the top. The slivers are tightly woven into a small basket-like structure and uncooked rice is poured in to the halfway mark. The basket is woven closed and then dropped into boiling water until cooked. As you can see in the photo, once it is done cooking it is slit down one side with a knife so that the cooked rice can be taken out and eaten with the rest of the meal. Vendors will hang them all around their stalls just like chips or candy since they are encased and can last throughout the day.
They are amazing little conveniences and the women here are incredible at making them in a matter of moments. They are neat little pieces of everyday life here and I just wanted to show you 🙂
Much love everyone!