Kalamay from Bohol packaged inside empty coconut shells.
Alternative names Calamay
Course Dessert
Place of origin Philippines
Region or state Visayas, Southern Luzon
Serving temperature Hot, room temperature, cold
Main ingredients Coconut milk, glutinous rice, brown sugar
Cookbook: Kalamay  Media: Kalamay
Opened Kalamay inside the coconut shell.

Kalamay (also spelled Calamay), which means "sugar", is a sticky sweet delicacy that is popular in many regions of the Philippines. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. They can also be flavored with margarine, peanut butter, or vanilla. Kalamay can be eaten alone but is usually used as a sweetener for a number of Filipino desserts and beverages.[1] It is similar to the Chinese Nian gao (also known as tikoy in the Philippines) but is sweeter and more viscous. A cousin of kalamay is dodol, found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and in some parts of the Philippines.


Kalamay is made by extracting coconut milk from grated coconuts twice. Glutinous rice is added to the first batch of coconut milk and the mixture is ground into a paste. Brown sugar is added to the second batch of coconut milk and boiled for several hours to make latík. The mixture of ground glutinous rice and coconut milk is then poured into the latík and stirred until the consistency becomes very thick. It can be served hot or at room temperature especially when eaten with other dishes. Viscous Kalamay are often served cooled to make it less runny and easier to eat.


Kalamay is a popular pasalubong (the Filipino tradition of a homecoming gift). They are often eaten alone, directly from the packaging.[2] Kalamay is also used in a variety of traditional Filipino dishes as a sweetener.[1] This includes Suman and Bukayo. It can be added to beverages as well, like coffee, milk, or hot chocolate.

Puto cuchinta and biko

Biko and Sinukmani are similar dishes which use whole glutinous rice grains. The preparation is the same except that the glutinous rice is cooked whole and not ground into a paste. It is smothered with latík as well. In some regions (particularly in the Northern Philippines), this dish is referred to as "Kalamay", while the viscous kind is differentiated as Kalamay-hati.

Latík can also be used with other desserts, particularly with dishes made from cassava (it is then referred to as 'cassava kalamay').

Kalamay used as a sweetener in a glutinous rice dish.
Biko, sweetened cooked glutinous rice with latík.

Types of Kalamay

There are many variations and types of kalamay. Kalamay can be divided roughly into two types: the syrupy kind used in conjunction with other dishes, and the gummy chewy kind which is more expensive and usually eaten on its own.[2]

Varieties include the following:


Kalamay, in many Visayan languages (particularly Hiligaynon), is synonymous with 'Sugar'.[6] Its production has been known since the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. In the Waray language, kalamay refers to a hardened cake of molasses used as sweeteners for many cooked desserts.

See also


  1. 1 2 Vicente Labro (2006-11-18). "'Kalamay'-making survives high-tech sugar mills". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 "Calamay from Bohol". marketmanila.com. 22 June 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Edgie B. Polistico (December 18, 2010). "Pinoy Food and Cooking Dictionary - C". EDGIE POLISTICO’S encyclopedic PINOY dictionary. philfoodcooking.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  4. "Municipality of San Enrique and the Kalamay Festival". iloilohangout.tigaswebs.com. 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  5. "Calamay Buna, a Sweet Delicacy from Indang, Cavite". wowcavite.com. 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  6. Jenny B. Orillos (June 21, 2010). "Sweet and Sticky Pinoy Treats: Our Top 10 Kakanin". spot.ph. Retrieved January 7, 2011.

Media related to Kalamay at Wikimedia Commons

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