Chichacorn or cornick production has been proven to be a viable business enterprise. It is considered as one of the most successful local industries in the Ilocos region. The product, popularly known as “Ilocos Chichacorn”, has been phenomenal because of its taste attributes that consume the public. It has a unique taste, crunchy texture, and comes in different flavors.
The industry has mushroomed over the past years and gradually progressed from a typical household production into commercial scale level due to steady increase in the demand not only locally but even in the international market. Several stories have already been told regarding the success of small scale chichacorn businesses in the region. With only a mere capital of about Php 500, a certain local manufacturer has grown to at least a million worth of working capital business.
Chichacorn is a corn snack prepared by frying the cooked corn kernels sufficient to attain a crunchy texture with or without the addition of salt, spices, sweetening agents or other food ingredients and additives and packed in any suitable packaging materials (Standards for Fried Corn Snacks, 2010).
A favorite and popular food snack among Filipinos, it is manufactured through a series of processes that involve soaking, boiling, deskinning, washing, drying, sorting, frying, oil-draining, flavoring and packaging. It is crispier and tastier because of extra ordinary manufacturing techniques that enhance its palatability. Ilocanos have chichacorn as a delicacy.
It is considered by many as a special pasalubong to officemates, friends, relatives and loves ones because of its unique taste, crunchiness and affordability. Tourists and balikbayans just cannot afford to leave Ilocos without a pack or two of delicious chichacorn. It is for this reason that chichacorn in the market often runs out of supply. There are times that even chichacorn factories run out of stock especially during the peak season. Some customers even put orders in advance to be able to get hold of the product on time.
Dr. Rolando P. Jevellonar
Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII)