While doing research on the kakanin theme for the Doreen Fernandez Food Writing Competition in 2005, I became obsessed with the search for the meaning of the name of a popular snack, putu lasun, which baffled me since childhood. The Tagalogs were straightforward in calling it putong puti. But I wondered, why would Kapampangans name a much-loved food after lasun, which means poison (as spelled and when pronounced with the wrong accent) in our native tongue? There was one unfamilar word that the rice maker kept saying to refer to the big, old steamer: lasungan. Putu lasun could be just that — steamed rice cake. My entry was late for submission but finding the answer to a nagging question made all the effort worthwhile 😀 Read more on rice cakes, bibingki and the inspiring story behind the family who led me to my peace of mind, in the March-April 2006 issue of Baking Press Magazine.