by crisdiwata on 16/11/10 at 9:34 am
Arrowroot, or obedience plant (Maranta arundinacea), locally known in the Philippines as Uraro.
Arrowroot, or obedience plant (Maranta arundinacea), locally k,nown in the Philippines as Uraro is a large perennial herb found in rainforest habitats. It is usually planted for obtaining starch from its rhizomes, which is called arrowroot. The roots are dug when it is a year old and are yellowish white, jointed and covered with loose scales. In the Americas, studies show some evidence that it has been developed as early as 7,000 years ago. It’s name was said to be come from aru-aru or meal of meals based on the language of the Caribbean Arawak people and is their staple food. It is also said that the name arrowroot was based on its use in treating poisoned arrow wounds for it draws out the poison when applied to the wounded area.
In Marinduque, arrowroot cookies become one of so many reasons that make the province famous especially the town of Sta. Cruz. Before, producing Uraro or Arrowroot cookies has been difficult because there is no steady supply of the starch from this arrowroot because it take ten months to one year before it is ready for harvest. Traditional processing requires a herculean task and a lot of time. Good thing is, there’s one entrepreneur in the name of Mita Rejano owner of Rejano’s Bakery in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque who tried to find a solution to this problem to ensure a steady production of this cookies who has been a part of the tradition. Now, they are using machine that speed up the process of making arrowroot into flour. Her bakery offers Uraro cookies in different variants such as sugar-free, sugar-free with pinipig, organic, cinnamon, high-fiber and ampalaya-enriched that come in different atrractive packages. Uraro cookies made by Rejano’s bakery are heart-shaped symbolizing the shape of Marinduque Island and its location in the Philippine archipelago. Uraro cookies are now available not just in Marinduque but also in Manila and leading Supermarkets. Many tourist also buy these cookies to be brought in their respective countries.