Snack picks: What’s for merienda?

Published August 12, 2021, 12:41 PM

by Jules Vivas

Merienda in Europe, Hispanic America, North Africa, Brazil, and, of course, the Philippines, is a light meal taken between noon and evening, the equivalent of the English afternoon tea. The generic term for any sort of small portion snack consumed outside the three primary meals, it also corresponds to brunch, elevenses, or second breakfast. Following this, the typical Pinoy dining schedule goes: breakfast, merienda, lunch, merienda, dinner, repeat.

Filipinos, being the innate foodies we are, are huge merienda fans. Based on the long list of morsels from kakanin to bilo-bilo, from bananacue to shaved ice desserts like halo-halo and mais con yelo, breads like pan de sal, pan de coco, pan de regla, and all the other pans available in the bakery, one could say that the Philippines is a snack country.

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There are no rules over what constitutes as merienda. It does not even have to be a light dish—and it rarely is, since Filipinos love to eat in huge quantities. The important consideration is that it is delicious and that it satisfies a person’s food cravings.

That said, here is a list of choice of food items worth trying for your next merienda.

Cooped Chicken

Chicken sandwiches are a hot commodity these days. Whether McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King, almost all the famous fast food restaurants offer the dish. It has become so popular that there is this so called “chicken sandwich war,” prompted by Popeyes’ introduction of their chicken burger in 2019.

Going with the trend, individuals and online restaurants are offering their own versions. Quisine Ph, known for sushi bakes and kamote krisps, enters the chicken sandwich market with the Cooped Chicken. Crispy chicken fillet patty with a choice of Dijon honey, sriracha mayo, and garlic aioli sauces is sandwiched between waffles.

CHICK AND WAFFLE Among Quisine PH’s new products is the Cooped Chicken

The release of the new food item is in line with the brand’s celebration of its first year of success. There will also be a flash sale on the anniversary date, Aug. 16. The brand is also launching its official website soon.

To appreciate how good the new waffle sandwich is, get one for ₱300 or three for ₱850. Order via the social media page Click the link in the bio for the order form.

Chunky Asado Siopao

Chinese fast food chain Chowking has improved its bestselling siopao. Described as “a beacon of amazing quality and explosion of everyone’s favorite flavors,” the Chunky Asado Siopao is now meatier, chunkier, with a saucier filling. Tucked in a soft steamed bun is a hefty amount of chunky asado meat in roasted asado sauce. All that for the affordable price of ₱39 per bun, or in three-piece takeout boxes for only ₱115. Because a piece is definitely not enough.

ALL THAT CHUNK Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao

Order via the hotline #9-88-88 or through website It is also available in Grab or foodpanda, and in the physical stores.

Filipinos, being the innate foodies we are, are huge merienda fans. One could say that the Philippines is a snack country.

Tippled Chicken and Spaghetti

It may not be your birthday, but it might as well be with Tipple & Slaw Katipunan Bar’s Katipunan Fried Chicken and Angus Beef Spaghetti. If you’ve seen it in a prior list, that’s because it’s just that good.

AUTHOR’S PICK A plate of Tipple & Slaw Katipunan Bar’s Katipunan fried chicken and Angus spaghetti

As opposed to Pinoy red sauce pasta characterized by an overbearing sweetness, the Angus Beef Spaghetti has just the right amount of sweet and meaty. The tender fried chicken, meanwhile, is highly addictive with each bite a flavorful rush of salty and sweet. Both dishes perfectly suit the Filipino palate.

It may be a full meal, but we’re more than happy to have it for merienda. For takeout and delivery, call or text (0917) 772 0756.

Make It Turon

LOOK AT THAT GLAZE SM’s award-winning turon

The all-time favorite turon, conveniently enjoyed by people from all walks of life, is peddled everywhere, from street sides to palengke to supermarkets. One of the best fresh saba, brown sugar, and lumpia wrappers in Metro Manila can be found at SM Markets. Their commitment to quality turon is so impressive that they have standardized the crispy warm delicacy to eight inches in length and two inches in diameter per serving. They take pride in their turon as the flag-bearer of their ready-to-eat offerings.

The turon with langka sells for ₱20 per piece, while its ube variant sells for ₱25. Only in-store purchase is available. SM customers could chance upon the turon stalls at Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, and Savemore Markets.