30 May 10 Guamanian Desserts You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Guam
Guam’s desserts are especially unique. Layered with rich Chamorro tradition and an infusion of flavors from other places, the selection of sweets truly reflects the various cultural influences in the territory — from the Spanish Era to the surge of Philippine nationals between the 16th and 19th centuries, all the way to the arrival of other diaspora communities from all over the world
Many of the ingredients used are also indigenous to Guam. While it’s possible to find desserts served up with a gourmet twist, it’s easy to appreciate the traditional recipes used by the islanders, which, according to many tourists, is like enjoying classic desserts but with a local flair.
Here are just some of the desserts you should try while in Guam.
1. Chamorro Potu (Sweet Rice Cake)
You can easily find these steamed cakes in fiestas and birthday parties. Although the size, shape, and color can vary, all Chamorro potu have a slightly sharp yet sweet taste. This is because the rice used in the cakes is soaked in fermented coconut juice (tuba) before they’re made into flour. Try buying a couple of these little cakes from the many bakeries in Guam, and enjoy them with your favorite cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
2. Guamanian Mochi
It’s sticky, sweet, and oh-so-delicious! Made from coconut milk, butter, and sweet rice flour (locally known as mochiko), this cake-like dessert is a favorite in many family gatherings and festivals in Hawaii and Guam. It’s really filling, too. Just a few slices of this sticky treat is enough to satisfy your sugar craving.
3. Månha Pie
Coconut is a big part of Guam’s cuisine. You’ll find them used in many local dishes, as well as desserts, including their månha pie. In fact, månha means the meat of the young coconut. To make this local pie, you’ll need some chopped månha, coconut juice, butter, evaporated milk, cornstarch, sugar, water, and a lot of egg yolks. For more flavor, just add a few drops of vanilla extract.
4. Buñelos Aga (Banana Doughnuts)
This is one popular dessert that locals love to do with their ripe bananas, and it’s incredibly satisfying to snack on. It’s typically deep-fried and eaten like a bun, but you can also dip them in maple syrup or roll them in white sugar for a sweet and savory finish.
Unlike other dessert drinks, åhu is best enjoyed warm rather than cold. Pieces of floating dumplings made from månha are used to thicken the mixture, while the liquid itself is made from fresh månha juice. Other variations of this delightful dessert can include a sprinkle of månha pieces to accompany the dumplings for a more coconutty taste.
6. Buñelos Månglo’ (Air Doughnuts)
If you’re ever stuck in inclement weather during your visit to Guam, you’ll want to ask around for some buñelos månglo. Loosely meaning “air doughnuts,” these tasty sugar-covered fried desserts are classic comfort food for cold weather. They’re incredibly light on the inside and crunchy on the outside — a combination that makes it one of the most well-loved Chamorro desserts, rain or shine.
The custard and cinnamon layer of this delicate dessert will surely hit all the right spots. The good news is that no Chamorro table is complete without it, especially during island gatherings and fiestas, so they’re easy to find. You’ll also find variations, but any way they’re made, they’re absolutely delicious.
Chocolate lovers rejoice. If you were starting to think Guam’s local delicacies don’t have anything with chocolate, you have yet to try this Chamorro dessert: champulado. You’ll definitely enjoy the bolder taste of chocolate as this recipe is made from a generous amount of cocoa powder, as well as evaporated milk, sugar, water, and rice. Enjoy it warm or cold, it’s still delightful either way.
9. Madoya Aga
Another simple simple yet mouth-watering dessert you can find anywhere in Guam is madoya aga. They’re slices of bananas covered in batter then fried to perfection. Its simplicity is part of the charm of this traditional comfort food, which uses firm instead of fully ripe bananas. They’re typically served with butter or cinnamon for more sweetness.
Also known as apigige’, this delicacy is a Chamorro favorite and often requested by locals for parties and community gatherings. They share similarities with Filipino suman and sweet tamales.
Instead of sticky rice or specially treated corn flour, however, they’re made from freshly grated coconut and tapioca flour, then wrapped in banana leaves for grilling. You can buy apigigi’ straight from the grill to enjoy them hot or store them in the fridge to be reheated and eaten another day.
Explore the Different Flavors of Chamorro Cuisine in Guam
A quick walk in the streets of Guam will expose you to many mouthwatering favorites being sold by the locals. They’re a perfect snack choice if you’re looking for foods on the go as you explore the beautiful island, so don’t hesitate to give them a try to get the full island experience.