Calamay- Bohol's Must-Have Treat

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They say that a trip to Bohol would never be complete without bringing some of its signature delicacy, a simple yet sweet treat in native coconut shell, the Calamay. So don’t forget to bring home some of these for those with sweet tooth at home.

Calamay is known across the archipelago and there are many versions of it in different regions of the country. This is so because its procedure so easy to follow and the ingredients are very common.

Basically, its composition is made up of well-milled glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar plus chopped peanuts as optional. The milled rice is then poured into the half-heated coconut milk. Constant stirring is needed until the right consistency of stickiness is achieved. This what makes Calamay famous. Two hours of constant stirring over low fire is not a joke. It resembles the patience, dedication and hard work of every Boholanos.

Like the Peanut Kisses, Boholano give importance on the nutritional value of peanuts. Chunks of peanuts are then added into the mixture, giving it texture and its nutty flavor, especially made for peanut lovers. But there are also sold without peanuts. You just have to ask the vendors which one has peanuts and which one doesn’t.

There are many manufacturers of this delicious specialty around Bohol but the best-tasting ones can only be bought at Jagna, Bohol. Jagna is known as the “Calamay Country” where the finest Calamays are made. Calamay mixture is then placed in a clean coconut husk sealed with a red band.

According to a report, the calamay industry has been giving the members of Jagna Calamay Makers and Vendors Association (JACAMAVEA) enough income to bring food to their tables. However, they also suffered great loss when the seaport at Jagna was temporarily closed. Now that the port was reopened, the business is back.

There are no reasons to leave Bohol without these simple sweets. Vendors in every ports of Bohol are strategically displaying their products, often by three’s for a hundred pesos. There are also sold in plastic canisters but tourist tend to buy the ones in coconut shells.

For you loved ones, Calamay is the best gift for your homecoming from Bohol. Substitute it for your usual spreads. It can even be refrigerated, and then sliced like cheese. Enjoy.

Other Must-Have Delicacies

I have found a recipe on how to make a Calamay over the net. Pretty simple, here it is:

Kalamay Ingredients

  • 10 liters water
  • 10 kilos white sugar
  • 2 gantas malagkit
  • 20 pieces coconut


  1. Soak the malagkit overnight.
  2. Grate the coconuts.
  3. Extract the milk from the grated coconut two times: first, with 5 liters of water, then with 3 liters of water.
  4. Pour the malagkit into the first coconut milk extract, and grind the mixture.
  5. Mix sugar with the second coconut milk extract, and boil to make latik.
  6. Pour the ground malagkit into the boiling latik, and stir for 4 hours or until the mixture becomes very sticky.
  7. Put the mixture into half of a coconut shell. Cool for 3 hours. Then cover with the other half of the shell.
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