Suman is a rice cake originating in the Philippines. It is made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, and often steamed in banana leaves. It is served wrapped in buli or buri palm leaves and usually eaten sprinkled with sugar. Suman is also known as budbod in the Visayan languages which dominate the southern half of the country
Suman wrapping is a unique art in itself, and can be traced to pre-colonial roots which have had contact with Indian traditions. Wrappers utilize a wide variety of indigenous materials such as palm, banana, anahaw and bamboo leaves, coconut shells, and others. Some wrappings are simple folds such as those found in the binuo and the kamoteng kahoy, resulting in rectangular suman. Others are in vertical coils like the inantala, giving it a tubular form. Still others are in pyramid-like shapes, like the balisungsong. Some forms of suman are eaten like ice cream–with cones made from banana leaves, and still others are in very complex geometric patterns like the pusu (“heart”). Some are woven into the shape of a banana blossom (which in the Philippines is referred to as the banana plant’s “heart”), or the pinagi (from the word pagi, meaning stingray), a complex octahedral star.