PDA

View Full Version : Kasaysayan ng pagkaing Pinoy



danny
11-01-2009, 12:34 AM
Teka nga muna. Bakit nga ba naging "bistek" ang "bistek"?

Ang litson ng Visayas? Galing Tsina o Ingglatera? At bakit iba ang lasa nito sa litson ng Vietnam?

Adobo? Iba ba ito sa adobo ng mga Latino.

Hay naku...magpaliwanaga kayo.

Nais kong malaman ang mga pinagmulan ng pagkaing pinoy. Sino ang nagdala ang nag-impluwensya. At kung ano ang pagkakaiba.

Dahil kinakain, dapat alamin. ;D

Wang-Bu
11-24-2009, 09:33 AM
Sir Danny ibang-iba ang adobo natin dito sa adobo ng mga Latino. Ang adobo natin ay sinangkutsa at ginisa bago brasado sa sariling mantika, asin at suka. Oo asin, hindi pa naman kasi uso ang toyo nung araw, bagamat garantisadong may toyo ng sa ulo ang maraming Pinoy nuon pa man. Ang adobo naman ng mga Latino ay parang barbecue natin dito, na binanad muna saka inihaw na karne, kadalasan palaman nila sa kanilang soft tortilla.

salsa caballero
11-24-2009, 03:52 PM
bistek ='s "beef steak"

analogous to "tambay" which is a filipinization of "stand-by"

at any rate, it works both ways as the Americans' "boondocks" is a direct adaptation of our "bundok" :-)

Joescoundrel
11-24-2009, 08:23 PM
There is no lumpiang shanghai in Shanghai.

There is no pancit canton in Canton.

How on earth those wound up called as they did puzzles me to this day.

LION
11-24-2009, 11:07 PM
Dito may Amoy Fukien. Sa China ba meron? :)

I recall reading a story when I was in grade school that the lechon actually originated from China. A pig was roasted alive during a fire which gutted down a farmer's house. According to legend, the Chinese farmer tasted the charred remains of the pig and, several centuries later, Aling Mila became famous not only in La Loma but in the whole country as well.

Saan ba nagmula ang Soup No. 5?

Sam Miguel
11-26-2009, 03:19 PM
Soup Number 5 became called such because the parts of the cow or carabao used to make said soup was often referred to as the "fifth leg" of the beast. It was turned into soup simply because no part of the beast should ever go to waste, as even the horns were turned into decor and the feet into bulalo. Perhaps some intrepid cook tried it first, cooking it ala Bulalo or Nilaga and found it worked wonderfully, and may have even worked some wonders as well. Waste not want not was surely taken more seriously by older generations.

Of course since it was my often drunk grand uncle who told me that I am uncertain whether or not that provenance of the legendary soup is true. My grand uncle was born in 1908 so I assume he was a young man taken to imbibing said soup sometime in the late 1920's, meaning the said soup has been around for at least that long.

I believe the modern term for Soup Number 5 now is "Bat and Balls Bulalo".

Moving on, a lot of Chinese food found its way to our country from way back when. I wonder what parts of China these foods came from? I am especially interested in standards such as Pata Tim and Hototay Soup.

danny
11-27-2009, 10:24 AM
Sir Danny ibang-iba ang adobo natin dito sa adobo ng mga Latino. Ang adobo natin ay sinangkutsa at ginisa bago brasado sa sariling mantika, asin at suka. Oo asin, hindi pa naman kasi uso ang toyo nung araw, bagamat garantisadong may toyo ng sa ulo ang maraming Pinoy nuon pa man. Ang adobo naman ng mga Latino ay parang barbecue natin dito, na binanad muna saka inihaw na karne, kadalasan palaman nila sa kanilang soft tortilla.


Yes sir. Kapag sinabing adobo ng Latino, ibig sabihin "marinated".

Pero ngayon ko lang nalamang yung asin at hindi toyo. Ayos!

danny
11-27-2009, 10:26 AM
bistek ='s "beef steak"

analogous to "tambay" which is a filipinization of "stand-by"

at any rate, it works both ways as the Americans' "boondocks" is a direct adaptation of our "bundok" :-)


Pero bakit ganun ang naging luto? Soy Sauce, onions and pepper. That's it.

danny
11-27-2009, 10:28 AM
Dito may Amoy Fukien. Sa China ba meron? :)

I recall reading a story when I was in grade school that the lechon actually originated from China. A pig was roasted alive during a fire which gutted down a farmer's house. According to legend, the Chinese farmer tasted the charred remains of the pig and, several centuries later, Aling Mila became famous not only in La Loma but in the whole country as well.

Saan ba nagmula ang Soup No. 5?



Ewan ko sa soup No 5. , pero sa Pinas, kapag litson ang pinagusapan, galing yan sa Tsina at naunang lumapag sa Visayas.

danny
11-27-2009, 10:30 AM
Napanood ko sa "No Reservations" ni Anthony Bourdain na ang sisig pala ay bago lang na putahe ng Pinoy. Galing Clark.

Joescoundrel
11-27-2009, 10:58 AM
bistek ='s "beef steak"

analogous to "tambay" which is a filipinization of "stand-by"

at any rate, it works both ways as the Americans' "boondocks" is a direct adaptation of our "bundok" :-)


Pero bakit ganun ang naging luto? Soy Sauce, onions and pepper. That's it.


Danny, beef steak is a generic recipe of the Americans that involved shallow-frying a thin or pounded-out slab of skirt steak or flank steak and then slathering it with a dark gravy with onion bits. I believe it is a Yankee version of the country fried steak of the Southerners. This was served with fried large red tomatoes that they now call beefsteak tomatoes.

My best guess is that when the Americans came to the Philippines and began cooking this dish and showing the natives how to cook it, the Filipinos as usual adapted. Eventually I suppose the Filipinos didn't just fry the beef steaks and slather sauce / gravy on it, but just plain cooked the beef with the sauce and onions all in, and they dispensed with the tomatoes.

danny
11-28-2009, 04:59 AM
^^^

Possible.

One "myth" that stuck with me until recently was the use of ketchup in some Pinoy food. Eventually I realized that this too was taken from the American south. Also , our sweet tooth is not distinctly Pinoy after all. The American southerners like putting sugar in some of the food they cook. Wow!

I'm betting that hotdog as an extender in our sweet style Spaghetti has an American origin too.

LION
12-01-2009, 08:00 AM
Who invented the "balot"? Us or the vietnamese?

Lucas Palaka
12-01-2009, 09:35 AM
What do they call it back in Vietnam?

salsa caballero
12-01-2009, 10:50 AM
^^ Neither, I believe it was the Japanese. That is, if the Araling Panlipunan I had in grade school was of any value.

LION
12-01-2009, 01:17 PM
What do they call it back in Vietnam?


Hot vit lon.

danny
12-03-2009, 03:56 AM
I prefer Vietnamese balut.

danny
12-03-2009, 04:02 AM
Chicken feet, head, and all those internal organs we eat have been part of the Cantonese cuisine for hundreds of years. They say that the Cantonese will cook and eat everything that has four legs and has it's back against the sun.

Addidas, helmet at bituka? Not originally Pinoy.

Jaco D
12-03-2009, 11:39 AM
Does "pinikpikan" really taste different from meat slaughtered the traditional way?

danny
12-20-2009, 02:09 AM
^^^

No idea.

From what I understand, the flavor of the meat, in this case chicken, depend more on how the poultry was fed and raised. Free range vs the "factory" way. The kind of poultry will also determine the taste. The French Blue Leg chicken vs. the White Leghorn for example.

The cooking technique and the spices will also make wonders.

As to how they were butchered, I surmise that tortured meat is less attractive from an emotional point of view. ;D

LION
12-20-2009, 10:52 AM
I prefer Vietnamese balut.


Based on your recommendation, will definitely try hot vin lon when I revisit Vietnam in 2010. ;)

fujima04
12-20-2009, 02:00 PM
It appears wala pang pagkain na maituturing nating atin since page 1.

Though, I am not aware of the origins of these foods but what about the following foods below. Atin bang maituturing ito?

a. ginataang kuhol
b. munggo
c. pakbet
d. sinigang
e. papaitan

Wang-Bu
01-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Sa ganang akin naman mga katoto masasabi nating orig na potahe sa atin ang mga mas simpleng pagkain, gaya ng dinengdeng ng Ilokano. Basta may pampaasim o gata masasabi nating may mga ganyan din kasi ang mga karatig bansa natin dito sa Timog Silangan Asya. Kumbaga kung may sinigang tayo may Tom Yum naman ang mga Thai, at may lutong gata din ang mga Thai, Malay at Indones. Sa kaso ng dinengdeng ewan ko lang kung may ganyang potahe ang kahit sinong bansa, maging sa Asya man o sa ibang dako pa ng daigdig. Ang simpleng definition ng dinengdeng ay kahit anong gulay na pinakuluan lang sa tubig at bagoong, maaring may sapaw itong inihaw o pritong karne or isda o wala. Natatawag din itong "inabraw" sa ibang bahagi ng Ilocandia. Ang klasik na dinegdeng ay talbos ng kamote, gulayin na sili na hindi kaanghangan, pakukuluan hanggang lanta sa mga limang bahaging tubig sa isang bahaging bagoong, at pinipigaan ng ilang kalamansi para lang may pangontra sa talas at kati sa dila ng alat ng homemade na bagoong, lalo ang mga hindi processed o de-garapon na nabibili lang sa tindahan.

Siempre pa dahil nakirmet ang Ilokano kaya naman naisipan ang potahe na ganito, mura nga naman, madali pang lutuin. Sabi nga ng mga Tagalog, mistulang pinulot sa lansangan na mga damo-damo na nilaga lang at winisikan ng bagoong at kalamansi, voila, may dinengdeng na. ;D

Hindi ako sigurado sa karekare natin kung talagang tayo lang ang may ganyang uri ng potahe. Sa pagkakaalam ko hango ang karekare mula sa mga potahe ng India na may curry. Ang sa akin naman, papano naman kaya nagkaganun ang karekare natin na wala ng alat at anghang at iba pang kakaibang lasa na normal na characteristic ng mga curry ng India? Sa sobrang walang dating nga ng ating karekare kailangan niya ng katernong bagoong o di naman kaya ay malasang adobong baboy. Gawa nga din ng may mani ang ating karekare baka meron din itong impluwensiya mula sa mga satay ng Indones, hindi ko lang sigurado.

Ang sisig at dinakdakan ay mga nakakaintriga din kung mga orig na pagkaing Pinoy. Siguro naman sa Asya na lang maraming nakakaisip na huwag sayangin ang ulo at mukha at tenga ng baboy, pati na din ng utak nito, at naisipang gumawa ng version nila ng sisig o dinakdakan. Sa limitadong nabyahe ko na sa abroad ewan ko lang, sa Pilipinas pa lang ako nakatikim ng sisig at dinakdakan, although may naikwento sa akin si Sir Joe minsan na meron daw potaheng Scottish o British yata na kung tawagin nila ay "Brawn" kung saan ginagawang parang embotido ang mga nilansag na laman mula sa ulo at tenga ng baboy.

danny
01-16-2010, 10:17 AM
I prefer Vietnamese balut.


Based on your recommendation, will definitely try hot vin lon when I revisit Vietnam in 2010. ;)


Good! Try also the Vietnamese Roast Pork (lechon). They stuff it with local herbs and spices thus the distinct taste.

danny
01-31-2010, 03:02 AM
It appears wala pang pagkain na maituturing nating atin since page 1.

Though, I am not aware of the origins of these foods but what about the following foods below. Atin bang maituturing ito?

a. ginataang kuhol
b. munggo
c. pakbet
d. sinigang
e. papaitan



Let me put it this way. We have to contend with the fact the ours is not an ancient civilization like China, India, Greece, Persia, Italian/Roman etc. etc.

Our culture is an amalgamation of sorts, both imposed and assimilated.

Thailand and India are ancient civilizations that were already using coconut milk for their food preparation. Ginataan in local parlance.

Munggo is native to India, Pakistan and China.

Sinigang or Tamarind based soup can be found in ancient Indian and Thai cuisine.

Again, given that we are a young civilization, it is important to realize that the ingredients themselves may not be Filipino in origin (rice which was indigenous to Mesopotamia/Africa and spread to China and India to Latin Ameirca) but the cooking and the preparation is what makes it our own.

The preparation, the variation of ingredients and the cooking style makes it Filipino.

"Sinigang sa palayok" (although palayok may not be indigenous to the country) is Pinoy like India's Tandoori Chicken (cooked in Tandoor) or good old coal/wood fired brick oven Italian Pizza.

Now I'm off to Manhattan to taste Italian Pizza, Jewish Pastrami and European Bagel in New York. ;D

danny
01-31-2010, 03:25 AM
Kapeng Barako?

Coffee is from Persia and the Europeans first recorded encounter with coffee was with the turks during the Ottoman empire. Long before the first European coffee house in Vienna, the Ottoman Empire already have their "Starbucks chain" mixing coffee with politics. ....and the dimwits transferred Cafe Adriatico to Serendra. What the effing is going on with this Pinoy institution. ;D

Sam Miguel
02-01-2010, 11:40 AM
A lot of the favorite techniques and methods and flavors of what we have come to grow up with as Filipino food is actually, as already well-explained by Danny, an amalgamation and evolution of many and varied culinary influences. Inihaw and sabaw are practically universal. We also seem very capable of cooking foods in many different ways. Liempo and Lapulapu are excellent either as pinirito, inihaw, inadobo or sinigang. I am not too sure though if liempo would work as escabeche, unlike Lapulapu which is splendid in that recipe.

We could go to the Dorset countryside in England or even the smaller towns of Texas and Kansas and or Guangdo in mainland China and see a lot of charcoal grilling or wood grilling, as well as various soups and broths. Of course the European and North Americans would more likely use aged hunks of beef or lamb rather than pork. Maybe what the other cultures have more of would be in terms of salads. I do not think we have too many original/traditional Filipino salad recipes. Our pipino and talong ensalada are identical to the cucumber salads of the United Kingdom and aubergine salads of Italy, Spain and even Thailand and Vietnam.

Jaco D
02-01-2010, 11:12 PM
I am not too sure though if liempo would work as escabeche


Wouldn't that look or taste like something close to sweet-sour pork?

LION
02-02-2010, 07:58 AM
Kapeng Barako?

Coffee is from Persia and the Europeans first recorded encounter with coffee was with the turks during the Ottoman empire. Long before the first European coffee house in Vienna, the Ottoman Empire already have their "Starbucks chain" mixing coffee with politics. ....and the dimwits transferred Cafe Adriatico to Serendra. What the effing is going on with this Pinoy institution. ;D



Coffee was discovered by the muslim goatherds in Ethiopia but the practice of roasting coffee started in Yemen.

Cafe Adriatico? Kilabot ng mga waitress diyan si red rabbit. ;D

coreytaylor
02-02-2010, 10:35 AM
What's the history of Sizzling Sisig? Where did it originated?

AnthonyServinio
02-02-2010, 10:43 AM
What's the history of Sizzling Sisig? Where did it originated?

SISIG was originally used by the ancient Capampangans as a ritual dish for pregnant women. Unlike today's version, it was served cold.

I believe the sizzle was added sometime in the 1980's when a restaurant decided to serve it on cast iron plate. Also, today's sisig may have some ingredients that were not in the original recipe, particularly crushed chicharon and mayonaise.

Of course, modern sisig has sprung up several variants from the pork variety -- beef, chicken, fish and seafood.

coreytaylor
02-02-2010, 11:03 AM
What's the history of Sizzling Sisig? Where did it originated?

SISIG was originally used by the ancient Capampangans as a ritual dish for pregnant women. Unlike today's version, it was served cold.

I believe the sizzle was added sometime in the 1980's when a restaurant decided to serve it on cast iron plate. Also, today's sisig may have some ingredients that were not in the original recipe, particularly crushed chicharon and mayonaise.

Of course, modern sisig has sprung up several variants from the pork variety -- beef, chicken, fish and seafood.


So it originated in Pampanga? Actually sir, I've already tried eating Sisig with chicharon and mayonaise. It's soo delicious. They also add scrambled eggs to make it more tasty.

I don't like Bangus Sisig. For me, it's not tasty.

Joescoundrel
02-02-2010, 11:37 PM
What's the history of Sizzling Sisig? Where did it originated?


If we are to believe the "Aling Lusing" PR, this dish was invented by a Kapampangan woman sometime in the late 1970's. She apparently used to run a small barbekyuhan, and when some of the "walkman" or pigs ears barbecue got overcooked and nearly burned into cinder, she simply chopped it up, added some onions, chili peppers, salt, pepper, kalamansi juice and served it as an altogether different and new dish that she called "sisig".

True to Anthony's own account, the sizzling plates came a little later, sometime in the early 1980's, because by that time it was not only being eaten as ulam, but also as pulutan with Sam Miguel's favorite ice cold pale pilsen. Aling Lusing, who unfortunately fell victim to a yet-unsolved crime, eventually grew into a Pampanga institution, and her famous dish traveled to all parts of these Islands.

Sam Miguel
02-14-2010, 04:45 PM
We have our lechon. Spain has its cochinilla. Hawaii has its pit-roasted whole pig. North Carolina has its own version of the pit-roasted whole pig as well. I know it seems pretty obvious that pigs in the wild, once human beings figured out they tasted good, would soon find themselves on a spit over a fire, or in a pit of coals. But I remained intrigued as to how our native lechon came to be associated with festivities and celebrations.

In a lot of small towns in rural communities, a pig is usually fattened for a year for the town fiesta, but not to be turned into lechon. Smaller and not-so-prosperous communities, and that I believe is the norm in our country, normally take the fattened pig, kill it, then butcher it, to turn the various parts thereof into many and varied viands. Fleshier parts such as the liempo and kasim will likely be turned into menudo and lechon kawali. Blood and internal organs will be turned into dinuguan and bopis. Pigue will become asado or hamonado. Even the face, cheeks, ears and tongue, if the locality is so inclined, will become dinakdakan or sisig. Legs, especially the front legs, and the tail, will become bulalo or nilaga or sinigang.

Yes sir, that whole hog will most certainly go a long, long way. I've had this experience in many rural communities, from Dolores in Quezon, to Lubao in Pampanga, to Castillejos in Zambales, to Alicia in Isabela, to Polangui in Albay, to Lipa in Batangas.

Unless you're a guest of a wealthy family, do not expect to see a whole hog wasted as just one lechon.

danny
02-06-2011, 01:44 AM
bistek ='s "beef steak"

analogous to "tambay" which is a filipinization of "stand-by"

at any rate, it works both ways as the Americans' "boondocks" is a direct adaptation of our "bundok" :-)


Pero bakit ganun ang naging luto? Soy Sauce, onions and pepper. That's it.


Danny, beef steak is a generic recipe of the Americans that involved shallow-frying a thin or pounded-out slab of skirt steak or flank steak and then slathering it with a dark gravy with onion bits. I believe it is a Yankee version of the country fried steak of the Southerners. This was served with fried large red tomatoes that they now call beefsteak tomatoes.

My best guess is that when the Americans came to the Philippines and began cooking this dish and showing the natives how to cook it, the Filipinos as usual adapted. Eventually I suppose the Filipinos didn't just fry the beef steaks and slather sauce / gravy on it, but just plain cooked the beef with the sauce and onions all in, and they dispensed with the tomatoes.


Pareng joe, thanks to Alton Brown, I realized that beef steak has so many variations even in the US. So we Pinoys have the right to make our own version.

In fact, this "American cuisine" is actually Austrian/German in origin brought to America by Austrian and German immigrants. It's the Austrian/German-American take on the Wiener Schnitzel.

Talking about Schnitzel, is the German Club in Makati still open? Last time I got invited there was during a loan underwriting to distribute a German line of salon products. :D

Sam Miguel
02-08-2011, 04:41 PM
Perhaps one cooking technique that is very Filipino is the gisa and sangkutsa, which I believe cannot really be considered sauteeing in the Continental cooking sense.

I used to see a lot of Chinese chefs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Shanghai using high heat, some form of fat or oil and doing lots of stir-frying and sauteeing. At first glance it looks kind of like our gisa or sangkutsa, but there seems to be something missing.

Our techniques emphasize putting some color into the sauteeing process, unlike other cultures who are just trying to extract some "essence" or "hint" from whatever they are sauteeing. Case in point: garlic. Continental and Oriental cooks do not like browning garlic because it tastes "bitter".

Browning doesn't make garlic bitter, burning does. Therein is a key difference already. Pinoy home cooks brown garlic for our adobo, chopsuey, bistek, sinangag and other native cooking, because brown means color and color means flavor.

danny
07-05-2011, 05:52 AM
Kilawing Tanigue is a favorite pulutan when I was in college. We always end up in Dencio's Katipunan to sample this Pinoy dish...ooopppssss. Not so fast. Kilawing Tanigue or any fish for that matter is not really Filipino.

Peruvians have been eating this stuff for 2000 years. It's called ceviche and is part of Peru's national heritage. Instead of vinegar, they use key lime mixed with onions, salt and pepper.

Peru may the most accepted origin of ceviche, but the Spanish Moorish roots of this dish is also noted by food historians.


Marinating raw fish with acidic ingredients is a technique known in may parts of the world. Kilawin is not strictly Pinoy.

danny
07-05-2011, 06:06 AM
How about puto bumbong? Did we really invent puto bumbong?


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4f/Puttu.jpg

http://deepann.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/bambooputtu.jpg?w=300&h=400

http://deepann.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/bambooputtu1.jpg?w=300&h=225




Unfortunately, what you are looking at is not puto bumbong but PUTTU from India.

Jeep
07-05-2011, 01:23 PM
gosh, sir danny! it looks exactly like puto bumbong! and the name, could we have actually gotten it from there?

kung tutuusin, wala naman talagang masasabing original pinoy na pagkain. we are a veritable melting pot (i like the reference to cooking ;) ) of different cultures and nations, so one cannot say a certain dish is strictly pinoy. rather, they are dishes of these various cultures given a unique twist that makes them ultimately our own. take adobo and chicharon, for instance. clearly, these are spanish delicacies by way of mexico. but from what i am told the same dishes back in those countries look and taste a tad different. for one, the mexicans are able to fry pork rinds in a way that gives their chicharon a flat appearance rather than curled up like we have here.

but much as it's interesting to know about these different origins of filipino food, what i'd like to know is: why hasn't pinoy cuisine gotten the attention in the world capitals that, say, vietnamese, thai, or even indonesian good has gotten? the cooking of those countries has made their way into various types of fusion dishes that have made those countries' cuisines household words in paris, london, new york, and tokyo.

but if you say filipino food, do you get the same response as the cuisines of vietnam, thailand, indonesia, even cambodia? if not, why? looking forward, can we expect that kind of gustatory interest to surface for pinoy food in the near future?

Raging Blue
07-05-2011, 01:51 PM
From what I understand from my gourmet friends, the drawback for Pinoy cuisine is the presentation. For one, kare-kare is not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes for non-Filipinos and I won't delve into that further. Yet foreigners when asked, consider adobo as their favorite Filipino food.

Right now, contemporary chefs are making Filipino food more palatable to the eyes through their dish presentations. Here's hoping that they succeed in making the Philippines prominent in the world cuisine map.

Jaco D
07-05-2011, 02:50 PM
Does pinikpikan have an international equivalent? Wala lang - just some drinking session question I remember from simpler times while waiting for that first job.

Joescoundrel
07-05-2011, 03:16 PM
Pinoy food takes some doing to make it into "presentation style" of plating as they say in professional kitchens. Pinoy food is really more for the "family style" of serving, one of the sure signals of our community/family-oriented.

RagingBlue mentioned karekare. Imagine trying to plate that presentation style for one entree serving. It'd be messy to say the least, and not that easy to manage with a knife and fork.

Adobo seems to take to presentation style plating with a bit more facility, but really, what self-respecting Pinoy wants to see maybe three small pieces of pork/chicken adobo served on a small mound of rice, drizzled with some of its own cooking sauce, sprinkled with some parsley and then eaten with a knife and fork? It might seem nonchalant for a foreigner, but for a Pinoy, that just plain doesn't make sense.

maroonmartian
07-14-2011, 12:03 AM
How about puto bumbong? Did we really invent puto bumbong?


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4f/Puttu.jpg

http://deepann.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/bambooputtu.jpg?w=300&h=400

http://deepann.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/bambooputtu1.jpg?w=300&h=225




Unfortunately, what you are looking at is not puto bumbong but PUTTU from India.






Hindi lang pala bibingka ang galing sa India.

maroonmartian
10-05-2011, 06:36 AM
If Manila has chicken and beef mami while Iloilo has their batchoy, Ilocos has an answer to that, the hibol (pronounced as high ball). Just imagine our beef paksiw mixed with our own version of pancit (not pancit canton but just plain pansit, flour, water and salt). Sarap and the taste is superior to the beef mami sold in Manila.

I don't know the history but you know Ilocanos are not beef eating folks (we don't have a good pastureland except maybe Abra but that province is remote). Maybe some chef just added the beef paksiw and pancit and the common people like it.

http://blauearth.com/category/ilocano-food-recipes/page/2/

These are some of the pictures of the food:

http://blauearth.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/dsc_7042.jpg?w=500&h=362
Ingredients: Beef paksiw, noodles, shallots (sibuyang Tagalog or in Ilokano Lasona)

http://blauearth.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/dsc_70581.jpg?w=493&h=329
The product.

Note: Masarap na pulutan ang beef paksiw. It serves a dual purpose actually. Merienda, almusal, soup et al.

Sam Miguel
11-21-2012, 09:28 AM
7,000 islands with 28,000 ‘adobo’ variations

By Ambeth R. Ocampo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:19 pm | Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Teaching A course on food in Philippine culture to Japanese students has opened my eyes to what we eat, why we eat, and what our cuisine reflects about our history, leading to ideas on what we think we are as a people. My Japanese students were assigned to try Philippine food, and the easiest way to do this is to sample the street food outside St. Ignatius Church on Sundays: lugao, pancit, barbecue, banana-Q, all sold together with phone cards, Pinoy movie magazines, banana ketchup, Eskinol, and rubbing alcohol in the familiar green bottle that makes you remember, “Di lang pangpamilya, pang-sports pa!” The stalls outside this church on Sundays present a slice of home in a foreign land; in early spring you can have adobo under the cherry blossoms. With winter approaching, I’m thinking of trying Japanese tinapa, tuyo, or daing na bangus because I won’t risk eviction by cooking these in my apartment.

My students went the extra mile: They looked for turo-turo tucked away in different corners of Tokyo, one interviewed his Filipino friends, some tried cooking adobo by following a recipe on YouTube. I also asked them to look up the CNN list of 50 foods that define the Filipino. We are an archipelago, and in Spanish-period dictionaries, the food-related terms in our languages are mostly related to rice, our staple food, and fish from river and sea. Why is it that in the 21st century, fish and rice are listed way below meat dishes that are predominantly pork, followed by chicken and beef?

Preparing my lecture was a challenge because I wanted to use pictures that flattered our food, which is far from photogenic. Adobo is always brown and oily. How could I entice my students to try dinuguan, balut, betute or kamaru? My students were an adventurous lot and tried Tokyo turo-turo, and one of their striking observations was that Pinoy “restaurants” were small and seemed to cater only to Pinoys. In contrast, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants, for example, can be found all over Tokyo catering to a general or curious public, not just homesick nationals abroad.

Reading the papers of my students and listening to their experience of tasting Philippine food made me realize how the tastes and eating habits of Filipinos have changed in the past two or three decades. In the past, Filipinos would not go out to eat Philippine food that they enjoy at home or in the homes of friends. Today there are many restaurants that serve Philippine food, mostly the cholesterol-rich staples of fiesta fare. One can credit the late Lorenzo Cruz for bringing the Pampanga food of his father, E. Aguilar Cruz, to Manila. He was one of the first to serve: kamaru (mole cricket), betute (frog minus the head and stuffed with ground pork), palos (freshwater eel cooked in coconut milk), etc. These were viewed as gastronomic exotica in Manila, but old folk in Pampanga would say that these were common country fare that wouldn’t have been served to guests at a party.

Food ways have changed because we now have fast food and ready-to-eat Pinoy goodies. Big food companies like Magnolia and Purefoods distribute pre-packaged food all over the country, changing the way we eat. Clean, air-conditioned supermarkets are now preferred over wet markets. Fresh produce is harder to get than blast-frozen chicken, shrimps, meat, etc. One does not even have to know how to cook because we have “instant” food preparations now. Leche flan, kare-kare, paella, etc. come in packets that have the simplest instructions like: “Just add water.”

In Pampanga the generic term for food is pamangan. The Pampango fixes his menu around the nasi or steamed white rice, which is the staple food of Filipinos. The asan (which can mean fish, “asan danum,” or meat) must contrast with the bland nasi. So you have, among other things, nilaga or liga (boiled pork or chicken or combinations of these with seasoning, potatoes and cabbage), sigang (Pampango for sinigang, a dish with pork or fish with broth soured by tamarind, kamias, santol, etc.), arobu (Pampango for adobo, pork and chicken sautéed in garlic and soy sauce), asan danum (any type of fish fried, grilled, or in soup), tidtad (Pampango for dinuguan, and, unlike the Tagalog kind, uses pork tripe, bituka, etc. and gets its name from tidtad, meaning “chopped”), to name a few.

These foods are basically the same everywhere, but what makes food different in each region is worth further study and observation. Food is something we see every day and we rarely give it a second thought, unless we are comparing it with something else. I studied the food of my father’s province for my undergraduate thesis, and now I’m learning about food from the eyes and palates of my Japanese students.

Food is not just for eating; it is a language that expresses the history and identity of a people. Maybe the Filipino search for that elusive thing we call national identity can be found not just in history books but also in the adobo and sinigang on our plates. The problem is that we have 7,000 islands and over 28,000 variations of adobo. Where to start is part of the fun.

Sam Miguel
01-10-2013, 09:40 AM
‘Laswa,’ ‘adobo sa dilaw,’ ‘damuraga nga darag,’ ‘kilawin nga baboy’–Ilonggo dishes in the spotlight

By Micky Fenix

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:38 am | Thursday, January 10th, 2013

We hit the ground running, so to speak. After emerging from the Iloilo airport, it was a quick lunch at Esca restaurant before judging a cooking competition, the second “Tabu-an: Western Visayas Ilonggo Heritage Cooking.”

Chef Miguel Cordova, who was also judging that day, made sure we enjoyed many of his dishes—a great welcome indeed to this cuisine-rich Visayan city. Laswa was predictably sweet because the vegetables were fresh, simply boiled and seasoned minimally. Bagongon (black cone shellfish) cooked in yams and coconut milk was heavy but so flavorful. Native chicken was cooked as adobo sa dilaw (turmeric). Shrimps were boiled then fried a bit, the shell clinging to the flesh, a sure sign that those were fat because it was molting season.

Kawilhayan festival

The setting this time for the second Tabu-an was in the municipality of Sta. Barbara, which was celebrating the 114th year of its revolution against Spain with a festival called Kawilhayan. But even without a festival, Sta. Barbara has attractions that can make a visit worthwhile, such as the town church and the oldest golf course in the country.

This town was once called catmon, after the tree that produces beautiful white flowers and green apple-like fruits that are used to sour sinigang dishes. Yet when I asked Chef Tibong Jardeleza, untiring organizer of Tabu-an, about the tree, the query drew a blank stare, possibly because today, there is only one catmon tree existing in Sta. Barbara. It was in Infanta where I encountered the tree for the first time, and thought its fruit was beautifully designed with its swirling green structure inside that contrasted with the magenta threads shooting out of the stem.

Ilonggos are more familiar with alumpiran, the leaves of which are used for souring. One of the competitors, the K Carsi Culinary School, used those to flavor the young native chicken (damuraga nga darag) in the dish pinaisan nga darag sa kuron. They mixed together all the ingredients, which also included garlic, ginger, shallot, langkawas (blue ginger), lemongrass, salt and coconut cream, then slow-cooked these in a clay pot (kuron) for an hour.

The group also made adobado nga biga-biga, braised pig’s innards cut into bite-size pieces—perfect for feasts, and made orange with achuete oil. The group won second prize; the members chose the dishes well, because after all the chopping, slicing and mixing, they just had to wait until the food was cooked over charcoal.

The contestants were busy since morning completing their three-course menu. We were in time to grade the preparation and correct procedure of the six groups.

Good laugh

Aklan State University did ukoy nga talaba (oysters in batter) and squid relleno, both of which required too much chopping, which worked against the team. West Visayas State University made kilawin nga baboy (fried pork seasoned with a vinegar mix) and pochero nga guya ng baka (beef face or maskara) with some pork knuckles cooked with tomato sauce in the Spanish style.

Finally, I saw how the panara was made, the turnover, or empanada, with an outer shell made with rice flour. Each was filled with shrimp and mongo sprouts, shaped into a half-moon then placed on banana leaves from which each piece slides down to the hot oil.

The IRC Sta. Barbara, which made the panara, also made pancit efuven (egg noodle) with steamed shrimps (tinuom nga pasayan), uhong (mushroom) and patola (sponge gourd). We had a good laugh, though, about the brand name of the pancit efuven, which read “Streams in the Desert.”

Third place went to Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, which did fresh lumpia made with ubod (coconut pith) and lengua con setas con olivas (ox tongue with mushrooms and olives).

Tasty offerings

It was quite delightful to know that the first place went to a group that belong to the Barangay Nutrition Scholars of Santa Barbara, the host town. They made two dishes that seemed unattractive at first. There was nilagpang na pantat (hito, catfish), fish grilled then picked (the bones discarded), mixed with grilled onions and tomatoes, flavored with vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and chili, then added with hot water to make a curious but tasty soup.

For the main course, it was escabeche of lison, sweet and sour dried fish. Both were so tasty, and I’m sure the guests that evening who sampled all the food must have noticed as well. Like last year, the awarding ceremony involved a dinner where the competitors cooked for several guests, giving them a taste of what the judges had a few hours before.

The contest and the rest of the visit was a feast for us, the judges. It was also a time to connect with many of the figures in the culinary industry.

Our thanks to Cebu Pacific for bringing us there. And to Amigo Terrace Hotel, which pleasantly surprised me with its remodeled rooms, refurbished with first-class amenities, from when I was last there. This January should be a great time to go to celebrate Iloilo’s Dinagyang, the feast of the Sto. Niño.

E-mail pinoyfood04@yahoo.com

Sam Miguel
02-20-2013, 11:00 AM
Cocido/pochero – Manila style

TURO-TURO

By Claude Tayag

(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Sauces of contention: The berenjena/eggplant and tomato sauces are a Filipino invention to accompany our cocido and pochero. The sauces are born out of the Tagalogs’ penchant for adding sour (i.e., vinegar, kalamansi and kamias) as a counterpoint to a cloyingly rich dish (pampaalis suyâ).

In my column last week, “Spanish Cuisine 101,” my lesson plan (if you will) was tracing the origins, similarities and differences between our cocido/pochero and that of its progenitor, cocido madrileño. As is the tradition in Spain, the kind of meats and vegetables may vary from house to house, region to region, or what is preferred or afforded. But what separates us mainly is the manner of eating it and the condiments that accompany our version.

I received several reactions from readers, basically agreeing with what I wrote, but all were wondering where our berenjena (Spanish for eggplant) sauce that goes with our cocido/pochero came from. The tomato sauce is easily ingestible (pun intended); the Spaniards have their pan con tomate (pa amb tomaquet in Catalan), which is basically a mash of ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt, slathered over a slice of toasted bread, and also we’ve borrowed their way with sofrito or sautéing with garlic, onion and tomato, but have parted ways with our addition of ginger and bagoong alamang/shrimp paste, bagoong isda/anchovy paste, or patis/fish sauce.

By the way, in the Philippine context, cocido generally refers to the soup-based boiled meats and vegetable dish, while pochero is the tomato-based stew of the same meats and veggies (though interchangeable at times), and both are served with the berenjena sauce. But wait! In Legazpi City, Albay, cocido refers to their clear broth fish head soup (quite similar to sinigang but not as sour), while in Cebu, pochero is boiled beef shank, more popularly known as bulalo by the rest of us. Confusing enough? I’m just testing if you’re still with me (wink, wink).

Going back to the berenjena sauce. Cultural anthropologist Dr. Butch Zialcita of Ateneo de Manila University theorizes that Tagalogs love to counter cloyingly rich (suyâ, surfeit) dishes by adding a sour sawsawan (dipping sauce, i.e., vinegar, kalamansi, kamias). My co-author in the Kulinarya cookbook, former restaurateur-chef Conrad Calalang, attests that our berenjena sauce is a uniquely Tagalog concoction. He said it is nowhere to be found in Madrid, not even in his personal favorite restaurant Taverna La Bola (a Madrid institution since 1870, mentioned in my column last week); he also asked his friends residing there. Writer Chit Lijaoco of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, informed me they have la-oya, quite similar to berenjena sauce but with the addition of mashed boiled sabá and kamote to accompany their pochero. My sister-in-law Tessa Marquez, who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household in San Juan, says their family’s cocido is the tomato-based stew (guiso in Spanish), served with boiled saba, pechay Tagalog, olive oil, and a clear soup on the side.

Incidentally, it was a great privilege to have been invited by the Spain Tourism Board to attend the food conference Madrid Fusion last Jan. 21-23, which has afforded me the time and opportunity to investigate the origins of such iconic Filipino dishes bearing Spanish names that are generally believed to have come from madre España, like the adobo, estofado, escabeche, embutido, and yemas, to name a few. I have come home from the 10-day trip with a wealth of information, though a little squeaky in the joints from having my fill of the jamon iberico and quezos y vinos they feted me with everywhere I went.

To paraphrase an idiomatic expression: “There’s more to eat than meats the eye in Spain.” I got more than I bargained for.

Here’s a recipe for cocido, Manila-style, adapted from the Kulinarya cookbook (serves 6 to 8). Meats, meat cuts and vegetables are variables depending on one’s preference. .

Cocido, Manila-style

Ingredients: 2 stalks leeks, clean and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces; 3 pcs celery ribs, clean by removing leaves and wash; 3 pcs medium-sized onions, peel, separate 1 piece and quarter, chop the other 2 pieces; 4 pcs medium-sized carrots, peel, leave 1 piece whole, quarter the 3 carrots lengthwise and cut each piece into 2; 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns; 1 whole medium-sized cabbage, cut into 4 along its core to keep the quarters whole, wash; 1/4 kilo Baguio beans, wash and trim; 5 stalks pechay Tagalog (or bok choy), wash but leave pieces whole; 1 can (225 gms.) garbanzos, open the can, discard liquid, peel each piece and discard the skin; 4 pcs saba bananas, peel and cut into 2 diagonally, discard peel; 2 pcs medium-sized potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered; 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely; 3 pcs of 1/2 kilo each medium-sized beef shank (kenchi) with bone marrow intact; 1/2 kilo beef brisket; 2 pcs chicken breasts with bone, fillet and set aside bones to make stock; 200 gms. thick bacon slab; 200 gms. ham hock; 2 pcs Spanish chorizo (known locally as chorizo de Bilbao), cut into 1/4” slices; enough water to cover meat in stock pot; 3 tbsps. olive oil.

Procedure:

1. Put beef shanks, brisket, chicken bones, bacon slab, salted pork or ham hock and chorizo in a large casserole with the quartered onion, whole carrot and celery stalks.

2. Cover with enough tap water and bring to a boil. After about 10 minutes, remove the beef shanks from pot. Using a toothpick, prick the marrow around the inner wall of the bone in a circular motion. This is to loosen and then extract it off the tubular bone. Set aside. Note: if one allows the shank to boil till tender without extracting the morrow, it will just melt away like oil.

3. Lower heat and simmer until meats are tender. Take out pork, chicken bones, chorizo and bacon slab first as these will cook ahead and set aside.

4. Take 3 cups/ 720 ml of the broth and pour into a separate pot. Put in the quartered cabbage, sliced carrots, Baguio beans, pechay, bananas, and the garbanzos. Bring to a boil. Season the broth with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the pot and place on a platter.

5. Using the same broth where the veggies were cooked, heat to a rolling boil. Dunk the chicken breast and let boil for 1 minute covered with a lid. Turn off heat and let the chicken submerge in the broth for about 3 minutes. Remove from pot with a strainer and dip in a bowl filled with iced water. This is to stop the cooking process, just like in making Hainanese chicken. You want a moist, tender chicken breast, not a dry overcooked one.

6. Place the meats that were set aside into the casserole where the vegetables were cooked and keep there until ready to serve.

7. In a preheated pan with the olive oil, sauté the chopped onions and garlic. Add the drained vegetables. Remove vegetables to a platter.

8. Remove the chorizos, brisket and bacon slab from the casserole. Slice into serving sizes. Set aside.

9. When the beef shank is fork-tender, remove from pot with a strainer. Place in a serving platter and put back its marrow.

10. Cut the brisket, pork belly, chicken breast, salted pork/ ham hock into serving pieces and arrange on the platter together with the shank; likewise with the vegetables. Accompany with tomato sauce and berenjena (eggplant) sauce placed in separate bowls.

Cocido tomato sauce:

Ingredients: 1 pc small onion, peel and chop finely; 2 cloves, garlic, crush, peel and mince; 1/2 kilo tomatoes, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, peel when cooled, cut into halves crosswise to remove seeds and then chop finely; 4 tbsps. olive oil; 1 pc bay leaf; 1 sprig parsley; 1/2 cup water; salt and pepper to taste.

Procedure:

1. In a preheated pan with olive oil, sauté onions and garlic, then add tomatoes. Add bay leaf and sprig of parsley and the water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Discard bay leaf and parsley sprig.

3. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Berenjena (eggplant sauce):

Ingredients: 2 pcs long eggplants, roast over stove flame till skin is charred, peel and discard peel; 2 cloves garlic, peel then mince; 2 tbsps. vinegar; 2 tsps. salt; 1 tsp. pepper.

Procedure: Mash broiled eggplants and add minced garlic and vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Sam Miguel
02-20-2013, 11:19 AM
Bagoong Club: Just as good on its 5th year

JOYFUL HARVEST

By Joy Angelica Subido

(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Remember the childhood fable about the race between the hare and the tortoise? The hare bolts from the starting line quickly, becomes overconfident and soon loses steam. The tortoise, on the other hand, ventures determinedly along. Step by step, he sure footedly and confidently ventures forward. He overcomes all obstacles in his path so that he eventually ends up winning the race.

That fable could very well apply to the restaurant business. After the fanfare that comes with opening shop, the novelty soon wears off. The drudgery of the daily grind sets in and more likely than not, some restaurants are soon no more. Alternatively, success can bloat egos so that a once-welcoming place becomes insufferably stuck-up. Believe me, I’ve seen this happen often enough so that I catch myself asking, “Will this new place live up to its promise?” Thankfully, some restaurants do.

Bagoong Club is one of those happy stories. Five years after my first visit, I am happy to report that the place has stayed true to its commitment of serving good Filipino comfort food without pretensions. The prices remain reasonable, the servings are still hearty, and the service is just as attentive.

Of course, some of the original staff have moved on and there are quite a few unfamiliar faces. “People have been moving up to other things,” confirm restaurant co-owners Rosky and Franco Sevilla. But even if training new people entails additional work, the brothers cheerfully take on the extra effort. They are, after all, the sort of unselfish people who want others to do well. Thus, Bagoong Club is the kind of place that values and celebrates success. No such thing as “crab mentality” here.

Still, it was good to hear that Tristan Bayani (who was the chef when the restaurant first opened) still holds court in the kitchen. Even without trying everything on the new menu, his presence and the Sevilla brothers’ hands-on style of management is an assurance that the food at Bagoong Club remains hearty, tasty, down-home cooking. With them taking an active hand in running the restaurant, we were confident that it remained a place for big eaters who truly enjoy rich, distinct and full-bodied Filipino flavors. This is not a place for those insipid, hoity-toity and exaggeratedly plated scraps pretending to be Filipino food.

On our latest visit, we were sorely tempted to choose the usual favorites yet again. But seeing as the bulalo sa monggo, crispy pork binagoongan and traditionally slow- cooked ox-tail and tripe kare-kare are always satisfying, we ventured to sample the newer dishes. There was a tasty, creamy laing espesyal made without scrimping on coconut cream, ensaladang cilantro sa ginulat na tilapia, and balut adobo with cloves of garlic and green mango. Most surprising, however, was a tasty dish called Mula sa Puso which is a crispy banana-heart sisig. Of course, the popular bagoong sampler is still around. But with all the tempting choices listed on the menu, it is easy to go overboard and order more than one should eat.

Fortunately, the restaurant offers lunch specials so that one can visit every day and try something new in acceptable (non- gluttonous) portions. “We came to a realization that the big servings may be intimidating for small groups of diners,” admits Rosky. Hence, for P175 one have a full course of soup (choice of bulalo con monggo, sinigang na bangus or sinigang na salmon belly sa miso), salad (ensaladang itlog na maalat, inihaw na talong or steamed vegetable ensalada), and viand (kare kare, binagoongang baboy, ginulat na tilapia, garlic chicken inasal, Bicol express na kamto), and rice.

“How do you hold out against the fierce competition in this area?” I catch myself asking and realize, too late, that this might be a dim question. I know firsthand that Rosky and Franco are direct descendants of warriors, heroes and patriots — a great grandfather who was the aide-de-camp of the Filipino revolutionary general Gregorio del Pilar (also their relative); and a grandfather who is the nationalist Francisco ‘Soc’ Rodrigo. Of course, they will not give in!

Rosky chuckles, “Hindi kami madaling patumbahin (We’re not pushovers).” He concedes, however, that there has been a real effort to retain authenticity of taste. Our conversation veers to the division of their hilltop, pine-clad property in my hometown of Baguio and I learn that Kapit Langit, their summer home in Baguio, has been sold. “I went around one last time, and thanked the house for many happy memories,” relates Franco. I, too, am a bit saddened as my city transforms.

But it dawns on me that although physical property may change hands or disappear, there is always food to make us remember. By staying true to the authentic flavors, we have a pathway to old and happy memories. This is Bagoong Club’s contribution. Its food is our handhold to memory, our kapit langit to good, old times.

* * *

Bagoong Club is at 122 Scout. Lazcano, Quezon City. For information, 929-5450

Sam Miguel
02-21-2013, 09:41 AM
THE QUIET DINER

Recurring culinary pleasures

Restos at a glance

1:24 am | Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Delicious culinary experiences actually lead foodies to go back to restaurants where they had very satisfying meals coupled with efficient service and pleasant ambiance. Sometimes, we are too conservative that we would rather go back to these dining places rather than try new ones and come out frustrated.

There is one which emblazoned the greeting “Hello, Happiness”—a fitting invitation to a memorable meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Another one, which in its quiet, consistent way, silently beckons those seeking uncluttered ambiance and good food.

Relish

74 Scout Limbaga, Quezon City

Contact nos.: 3525492; 3520774; 0926-6959885

Established by the Almario sisters (of the famed Interior Design outfit) and their other siblings. The clan must all have the Midas—incidentally the name of the hotel that they also outfitted—touch, for they have been literally “hounded” by success.

Relish Restaurant, which first opened in Salcedo Village, Makati City, now has a branch in Kamuning, Quezon City. The place bears the tagline “Hello, Happiness” and, fair enough, one gets very enthused about a joyful dining experience here.

After being extended a courteous welcome, you must take in the romantic ambiance, sit as elegantly as you can muster, and receive the longish, laminated menu card.

Dining area: A foyer by the entrance provides a unique welcome to the guests. It feels like walking into a cozy living room of an upscale house. The romantic mood starts with the lovely settee and chairs with the softest cushions; a duo of geometrically designed towers; and a chandelier hanging from an inverted cone ceiling.

Inside, look around and “relish” the tastefully assembled objets d’art, arranged to blend with the vases of flowers in white and green. There is no unpleasant view across, seen from the glass walls, because the Almario sisters had the walls painted in the colors of the interior with decorative flowers. Even the loos are tastefully done.

Service: Impeccable. There is a greeter at the entrance. You are led to a table, the chair is pulled and the menu handed.

Staff: Mostly males, very neat and elegant in long-sleeved gray shirts tucked into dark trousers. Servicial, as a guest beckons. Unobtrusive but attentive.

Suggested orders: Chona Almario, who is credited for putting together the impressive array of dishes, most of which come from her clan’s heirloom collection, graciously makes her recommendations. For starters, quench your thirst with a very refreshing green drink.

Then select from the regulars, herbs rendering rich flavors on two appetizers: the Gourmet Pesto Cheese spread with a dollop of pesto on top, laced with a tomato-based dip with Melba Toast; and the Amazing Artichoke Dip with Tostitos.

A must is the Roasted Pumpkin Soup, so flavorful it would make you more anxious about what could come next.

An A-1 dish is the Pasta with Wild Mushrooms, so generously laced with truffle oil. This makes you sigh a happy note.

Three recommended mains: Stuffed Grilled Prawns; Slow-Roasted Beef Belly, tenderized for eight hours, turning it very soft that it falls off one’s fork, served with gravy and corn kernels; and Louisiana Pork Chop, amply thick but equally tender, served with apple sauce.

Other bestsellers: Smoked Salmon dip with caviar; Steaks; Lamb Chops; and Grilled Fish. And don’t forget the wines.

You can skip the dessert since the main entrées can be filling. But try a spoon each of the very nutty Sans Rival, the perfect Chocolate Cake and the light Bread Pudding.

Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

*****

Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant

G/L Robinsons Magnolia, Hemady Street, Quezon City

This chain, which got popular through word-of-mouth recommendation, has successfully spread its wings to many parts of the metropolis from its beginnings in BF Homes, Parañaque. It all started when the three Conti sisters introduced a line of fabulous, towering cakes which captured the fancy of sweet-tooth city dwellers. Later, they expanded to full-service restaurants and a very active catering service.

Dining area: All Conti’s restaurants have been given a new look, but most retain the original green-and-yellow motif. The resto’s new branch on Hemady took on a new color scheme—beige and chocolate brown.

The place is homey and soundproof. The Baked Products section is separate but accessible from the main door.

Service: Fast and efficient.

Staff: Neat in their uniforms, accommodating.

Suggested orders: The Filipino comfort food is what brings us back to any Conti’s branch, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We give a 10 for its Tapa with Garlic Sinangag and Fried Egg. The meat is very soft, the seasoning a perfect blend of sweet and salty.

The Pancit Palabok is just how our dedicated, late Tia Bana would do it—tender rice noodles bathed with atsuete-colored sauce, with no evidence of too much thickening starch.

Other choices: Salmon comes in baked, sinigang, grilled or salpicao varieties.

Never skip the desserts: tall Viennese Mocha Torte; Oreo Cheesecake; or any pastry.

Service charge and government taxes are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored in all outlets.

*****

Sam Miguel
02-21-2013, 09:52 AM
‘Pinikpikan,’ oranges, Arabica coffee–but also yogurt and gravy in Sagada

By Micky Fenix

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:27 am | Thursday, February 21st, 2013

I had promised myself that I should see the Banaue Rice Terraces, and soon. My nationalistic conscience bothered me when friends from foreign lands would ask me if I had been to this wonder of the world. When that happens, I change the subject matter to other places like Batanes and Tawi-Tawi, faraway places I had been to, which, at the time, almost no one had visited yet.

And so when the offer to go to Sagada was made, I grabbed the opportunity.

My lack of geographical knowledge was evident; I didn’t even know that the Halsema Highway from Baguio didn’t pass through Banaue, and so every terrace look-alike seemed a possibility, even if what were grown there were vegetables. And the long, six-hour trip made me regress to my five-year-old self, bothering my companions with the question every hour: “Are we there yet?”

The adventure part certainly was eternally present as we seemed to zigzag through the top of mountains forever. The dizzying height made one companion comment that, if we ever fell into the ravine, we still had time to call our loved ones.

Chilly weather

We arrived finally at 9 p.m. in a darkened Sagada; our lodging, Rock Inn, was a few minutes outside the center of town. It was only in the morning when we connected the name with the limestone formation at the road entrance—limestone natural sculptures being an attraction in other places in Sagada.

The chilly weather required hot soup, and how great that there was sinigang na baboy to warm our stomachs. I don’t think chicken noodle soup would have done the trick. Nothing like sour soup to alleviate hunger while at the same time readying us for more food, because we were hungry from that long trip.

‘Killing Me Softly’

Still, another chicken soup should have sufficed for me, the pinikpikan which Rock Inn had in the menu. But I would have been the only one from the group, since the rest were wary about this Cordillera soup that had a reputation based on the title of the song “Killing Me Softly”: The chicken is tapped with a flat stick until unconscious and then finally killed, the tapping also producing blood clots that add flavor and texture.

And so I had to wait till the next day to show them how good this soup was, and that the flavor came from etag, the salt pork usually smoked and dried out in the cool Sagada air. It is used sparingly because protein is hard to come by in the mountains.

How disappointing to hear that during our visit, the Sagada orange season was over, according to Fely Capuyan Omengan, owner of Rock Inn. But there were still some on branches in the grove, which grows about 2,000 trees. It was only in recent years that Baguio has begun selling Sagada oranges. Every time I was offered one, I thought the vendors were just taking advantage of the Sagada tourism fever.

How unfortunate to know, when we were about to leave, that the Masferre farm still had some oranges. Eduardo Masferre’s daughter-in-law, Monette, brought out several pieces for us to take home from the family farm, smaller than what the Baguio vendors claim is Sagada orange—really sweet, thin-skinned, not too many seeds.

The trees aren’t that big, she said, and always heavy with fruit, so that they have to prop up the branches to prevent them from breaking.

Eduardo Masferre is a revered figure in the Cordilleras. He documented in striking photographs the people there—his people, actually, because his Spanish father, a Catalan soldier turned farmer and Episcopalian pastor, married a Kankanaey, one of the Igorot tribes of the Cordillera, found mainly in Sagada and in Basaey.

Masferre’s legacy not only includes the striking photographs and the oranges, but also the Arabica coffee planted in the sloping highlands of Sagada. We visited one of the coffee houses, Bana’s, where the Sibayan couple roast the beans onsite but out of sight of visitors like us. They also brew the coffee, and the aroma is so enticing that the simple bread they offer there becomes also a must to partake of.

Small town

Because Sagada is such a small town, you bump into tourists, both domestic and foreign, everywhere. There are a big number of women among them, which probably means they find the place safe.

Yet while Sagada is beautiful and reminded me of long-ago Baguio with its healthy pine trees and quiet, sleepy atmosphere, the food is geared to foreigners, with sandwiches proudly offered, many places serving battered pork and chicken with lots of gravy, and yogurt, which has become a specialty even if fresh milk can’t be easily had in these mountains.

We wondered why fresh fruits grown in the place aren’t always served, like the blueberry that grows wild. But we were glad the Lemon Pie House uses Sagada lemons. We wondered why the celebrated chef is French. And the day we left, dinner at Masferre Inn, where we also stayed, was going to have another foreign chef cooking for the mostly Greek and Israeli tourists he was accompanying.

If there is one place one should visit, it is Sagada Museum where owner Christina Aben gives an enlightened introduction to her Igorot culture through her collection of kitchen utensils, woven blankets and clothes, hats and bags and pipes, and stories about why women then wore tattoos.

She told me that a demonstration and tasting of the pinikpikan is now part of most tours. I am glad for that, but I hope it’s not the “killing me softly” process that is emphasized, but how this dish is part of Igorot culture—that it is this ritual food that keeps them in touch with their ancestors.

Sam Miguel
02-28-2013, 08:25 AM
Sample Cavite delicacies, from ‘tamales’ to ‘pancit pusit’

By Micky Fenix

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:05 am | Thursday, February 28th, 2013

One way to persuade people to visit your province is to make it easy for the traveler to get there. For Cavite, it’s through Cavitex, the expressway that zooms you there and cuts travel by something like an hour. We bypassed what I used to call the hell highway, suffering through traffic every time we passed there.

Cavite City market was our first stop to catch the girl who was selling the quesillo, which is how kesong puti, or white cheese, is called there. There was still bulungan at one corner, wholesale bidding of fish done by whispering the price offered to the seller.

At another corner, lumpia wrappers were being cooked, the batter spread by hand on a rounded hot plate, its thinness determined by the cook’s experience.

In one stall, we had bibingkoy. For a few pesos, we had this rice cake, rice batter surrounding sweetened monggo, cooked then served with a sauce made of a mixture of sweetened coconut milk thickened with rice flour, and sweetened with langka (jackfruit) and sago.

There were stalls that still sold American goods we used to call PX items once obtained from the now-closed American Sangley Point base, today the headquarters of the PN as Cavite natives call the Philippine Navy.

‘Kenkoy’

Our tour included revisiting Dizon Bakery, which once had a crowded glass display but now has much less bread and cookies.

The kenkoy, a rectangular cookie, was still there. And so was the sliced queso de bola that makes this Cavite bakery unique because it shows how people still like to have this imported edam cheese with their bread.

The sliced white bread is no longer labeled as Pullman, the way it was when the late owner, Amparo Dizon Bartolome, was running the bakery. She said then that the American cooks taught her staff how to do what we also call pan Amerikano.

Our guide was book designer Ige Ramos, who is finishing his book “Republic of Taste: Untold Stories of Cavite Cuisine.”

His winning essays in the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award were on bacalao (dried salted cod) and haleyang sampaloc (tamarind jam), both cooked the way they do it in Cavite.

And he has been testing recipes at Asiong’s, the restaurant of Sonny Lua whose dishes are truly Caviteño (P. Paterno St., Caridad).

Black noodles

We were excited to be eating again at Asiong’s, named after Sonny’s father but where his mother’s recipes are cooked daily. He reminded me that this was the third time I have been to his place.

We looked hungrily as he brought in the pancit pusit, sotanghon noodles made black with squid ink garnished with chicharon (pork crackling) and sliced kamias (bilimbi) on top.

Fish sinigang sa miso was also done though the mustasa (mustard leaves) used was fermented (buro) instead of fresh leaves as we do it at home.

To complement our lunch we brought out the tamales bought at Ellen and Boy Robinson’s place. People mistakenly think that this very good Robinson tamales, full of peanuts and egg on top of the steamed rice base, can be bought at the Robinsons mall.

Throughout lunch, Sonny Lua wanted to share more than just the main courses. He brought out a side dish of fermented fish eggs that was eaten with the Cavite fish sauce called patis labo partly because of its intense flavor and its dark coloring.

‘Biyuko’

Next, he brought out a bottle of sweetened small mangoes, the variety called biyuko, which you can put whole into your mouth, scraping out the flesh with your teeth so that what remains is the flat seed (buto). The biyuko is different from the supsupin, which is as small but has a more rounded seed.

Sonny said his mother used to make sweetened siniguelas (Spondias purpurea) as well. And Ige added that tomatoes were also sweetened and ended up looking like dried pomegranates. I could just imagine those.

Was sugar so cheap in Cavite at the time?

Ige said there were sugar plantations and mills called trapiche there, but all have disappeared, replaced by subdivisions. It’s a good thing the haleyang sampaloc of Ige’s essay is still being done and we were able to taste it, too.

Sonny Lua had more to share, this time his chicken pastel that he makes as filling for empanada, for those who can’t afford to buy the whole big order under a pastry blanket.

And as if we hadn’t had enough of Cavite specialties, Pearl de Guzman came all the way from Santa Rosa, Laguna, to bring her versions of ensaymada (e.g. ube, Nutella, speculoos). She continues the tradition of her late mother who ran Pat’s Bread and Pastries in Cavite City.

Pearl’s sister now manages the bakeshop and Pearl named her own shop, Baby Pat Breads and Pastries.

We ended our day with crisp pan de sal at Beruete’s Bakery with Arnel Beruete telling us about the huge breads of Cavite. And so, back through Cavitex and no dinner that evening.

Sam Miguel
03-04-2013, 01:20 PM
Bacalao: Penance or indulgence?

TURO-TURO

By Claude Tayag

(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 28, 2013 - 12:00am

Tejadas de bacalao rebosado: My all-time favorite bacalao dish, next to the vizcaina that my mother used to cook. I first stumbled on Casa Labra bar/restaurant way back in 1980 during my first trip to Spain, and on many succeeding visits thereafter, I never failed to make a tryst once or twice a day while I was in the city. This is an institution founded in 1860 and run by the same Molina family for the past six decades. What first attracted me to this bar was the long queue it had, extending down to the pedestrian street that would make one think there was a food rationing of some sort. In a way, there was. It was brought about by the backlog of newly fried tajadas de bacalao, big slices of desalinated cod fritters in a batter so crisp and airy light, fried in olive oil to boot. Best eaten with a glass of cerveza, manzanilla or fino. Casa Labra, calle Tetuan12 (just on the side of El Corte Inglés, Puerta del Sol, Madrid).

Attendant to the deep Catholicism we’ve inherited from Spain’s more than three centuries of colonization is the practice of fasting and/or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penance during Lent, in particular abstaining from eating any type of meat. Though we faithful are obligated to fast and abstain from eating meat only on Ash Wednesday (the official start of the cuaresma or 40 days of Lent) and Good Friday, a lot of devout Catholics practice varying degrees and forms of self-imposed sacrifices, the most common of which is having meatless-Fridays for the whole of Lent , or even going dessert/chocolate-less, soft drink-less, smoke-less, and of late, the good Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urging the faithful to give up watching one’s favorite telenovela (soap opera) and spend more quiet time with God this Lenten period.

Ergo, have you ever wondered why many Filipino households would have monggo soup and tuyô (dried salted fish) on Fridays, some not just during Lent but even as a year-round practice? And, in a strange twist of faith (pun intended), in Bantayan Island just off the northwestern tip of Cebu, the locals got papal dispensation in the 19th century (so the local historians claim) to eat meat on Good Fridays since fishermen do not set out to fish on that day, and besides, they subsist on seafood the rest of the year anyway. Stretching a bit this dispensation, the natives not only feast the whole Holy Week but also have lechon on Good Fridays (quick, book me a flight to Cebu!).

As for me, admittedly, the main reason why I anticipate with so much excitement the coming of Holy Week is not so much its religious significance (forgive me, Father, for I have sinned), but the once-a-year appearance of the precious bacalao ala vizcaina on our mother Imang During’s table. This indulgence in itself may warrant some form of penance. And, as a penitence for my wrongdoing, I willingly forego the pleasures of meat. It has always had a special niche in my heart — nay, stomach — topping my list of special-occasion dishes, not just because my mother cooked it, but because of its savory flavors like no other, with its milky white, buttery meat (oops, I mean flesh, no meat remember? Wink, wink). Though the prohibitive bacalao from Spain can be bought year-round, somehow it’s never the same if you have it any other season (Dulcinea Restaurant serves it year-round). Just try having queso de bola and jamon in July, two other Spanish imports we associate with the Christmas season. But I digress too much.

What is bacalao anyway? It is actually the Spanish name of codfish found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. It is one of the most important fishes in the history of mankind, as fresh, frozen, or dried and salted. Locally, the imported fresh/frozen kind is known by its Japanese name gindara, while the Portuguese call it bacalhau, and the French morue. Nowadays, the term bacalao is universally accepted to mean dried salted cod. It is milky white, delicate, and tender when desalinated (usually soaked in water for 24 hours, with three changes of water), with the lomo as the prime, most expensive cut, while the tail is stringy and dry, being the cheapest cut, and lends itself well to a wide array of cooking methods and sauces.

Bacalao’s superstar status in the gastronomic world hasn’t always been so. In the past, its reputation has suffered from its being unattractive in appearance and considered a “penitential” food, or at best it was the poor man’s fish (just as tuyô and daing are to us). And since medieval times in Spain, there has always been a heavy demand for dried salted cod, especially during Fridays and Lent. In its dried form, it keeps and travels well, especially important during those pre-refrigeration times. And much earlier than that, the Vikings valued dried fish as a foodstuff on their long sea voyages.

This cold-water fish largely comes from the North Atlantic seas, particularly Scandinavia, Scotland and Newfoundland. But perhaps we should credit Spain and Portugal, who popularized and perfected its preparation, for the sublime status it enjoys today. Both claim to have more than 365 different ways to prepare it year-round. And it was the Basque fishermen who initially discovered, introduced and traded bacalao salado (salted) to the whole of Spain more than 600 years ago, and then spread out to its former colonies in the Americas and the Philippines. Hence, as former colonies, we all share a common “bacalao tradition” associated with Lent in our respective cuisines.

When the Spain Tourism Board invited me to attend the food conference Madrid Fusion last January, one of the specific requests I made was to try as many bacalao dishes as time permitted in the different destinations they were going to take me to after the conference. Hombre, was I in for a treat! It was a veritable bacalao road tour, a moving bacalao feast. I said it before in my last column and I’ll say it again — I got more than I bargained for. There’s more to eat than the vizcaina we are most familiar with.

Sam Miguel
03-07-2013, 08:55 AM
4 types of ‘adobo,’ ‘lechon’ belly, ‘balbacua’–authentic Filipino heirloom recipes

Chef Tatung’s ‘pichi-pichi’ is also in a league of its own

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:30 am | Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Myke “Tatung” Sarthou finds it hard to say no to people. When he started cooking—borne out of passion and family history than a formal education—for friends at his home in Quezon City, splendid tales of his dishes spread like wildfire, chiefly among acquaintances, and later, ladies who lunch, politicians, power players and, soon, strangers.

“I’ve had a guy—I did not know him—who wanted to surprise his date with a romantic dinner,” said chef Tatung on a bright Sunday morning. “I felt I had no choice but to open my home to him. Then, another one texted, checking if I could accommodate his party; I said yes to that, too. Eventually, it snowballed; by evening, our house was full to capacity with diners. The cops even thought I was running some sort of gambling house since it was always so busy at night!”

Outside his green gate, a slew of cars began regularly lining the street that his neighbors in the subdivision started complaining.

Chef Tatung has since moved to the sprawling Acacia Estates in Taguig, a 10-minute drive from Bonifacio Global City under normal traffic. The restaurant, named after him, sits beside a bamboo grove, the view of which may be enjoyed from its spacious patio.

Beyond the thicket, a creek produces an ambient sound and, with the rustic smell, evokes summer memories in the province. (Younger patrons raised in the city may find the aroma peculiar, to say the least.)

The outdoor dining space is decorated with typical colonial Spanish flair: carved hardwood furniture featuring sofa lounges, woven rocking chairs, and ceiling fans mixed with religious statues and clay jars. And yet, despite the richness in the décor, Chef Tatung offers an easygoing, unpretentious dining experience.

Challenge

The challenge in serving Filipino cuisine is that we have no standard criteria for it other than the practical, which is to please one’s palate. The benchmark by which we judge Filipino food is based on how our own grandmother, mother or tito made it: Sentimentality overrides regulation, which makes it a veritable free-for-all.

“Take adobo, for example,” chef Tatung said. “We have different types, based on the region or province: adobong Cebu is dry, cooked in vinegar until the fat renders and slow-cooks in its own lard—it looks like lechon kawali but tastes like adobo, crunchy but it melts in your mouth; Batangas adobo uses turmeric instead of soy sauce, so it’s yellow; and adobong Ilonggo is spiced with achuete and extended with chicken liver.”

Chef Tatung succeeds by being true to the dish. His adobo is how we know it to be, no matter the nuanced differences from our own heirloom recipes. The mild sourness kicks in immediately, just as the sweet-salty flavors provide a bold taste to the dish.

More importantly, the meat is firm and yet melts in your mouth, a technical achievement which not many cooks in our respective families are able to reach.

For good measure, the restaurant serves all three adobo types, plus a fourth, to cater to his patrons’ diverse cravings: lengua adobo. Ox tongue is given a twist in this playful dish that is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and garnished with green olives and roasted garlic.

The flavors remained authentically adobo, and this dish made us see his point of view: Inventiveness may go as far as recreating a classic dish but without compromising its soul.

Chef Tatung said he sources ingredients locally and would create dishes based on what’s available in the market. This is the reason he prefers, for example, not to fax the menu in advance when he caters private events.

He also prefers perfecting a dish in its purest and conventional form, rather than experiment with, say, fusion food. His palate can be very exacting: According to the chef, he has yet to make an excellent paksiw, one that skillfully balances the sour note of vinegar that it’s known for.

Sweet and tender

His slow-roasted lechon belly is a charming dish, as the pork sitting on a bed of garlic and lemongrass glistens with honey, perhaps as a nod to our Chinese influences. Again, the meat practically dissolves by itself in your mouth, and it’s hardly surprising—according to the menu, this dish is roasted in a brick oven for six hours.

Another tedious dish to make is the chef-recommended balbacua, a soup that originated in Cebu, Tatung’s home province. Stewed for over eight hours, the ox trotter and kneecaps turn succulent and are made complex by the tandem of ginger, star anise, black beans and peanuts.

The result is a rich broth with an intense yet comforting aroma, and a hearty meal that reminds one of home, even if not from Cebu.

For dessert, we were served pichi-pichi, a gelatinous cake made from cassava with grated coconut. Chef Tatung recalled how a friend went to his restaurant to try them, doubting it could beat what the latter considered as the best pichi-pichi from a local Filipino catering restaurant for which it is known. The verdict: Chef Tatung’s, hands down.

We knew about the pichi-pichi the friend was referring to; it’s an office favorite. However, true enough, Chef Tatung’s version is in a league of its own. The pandan-flavored cassava tastes luxurious with its custard sauce and generous crust of quezo de bola brûlée.

It was a glorious end to lunch.

Chef Tatung’s Sunday spread

Why you should bring your family to this buffet

We were raised to reserve Sundays for God and family. At Chef Tatung, Sunday is very popular among families who go there for a hearty buffet lunch.

The constantly evolving spread consists of traditional Pinoy favorites with its star mainstay: Cebu lechon (the pig is freshly roasted in the morning before being served).

Apart from the usual suspects, chef Tatung incorporates regional specialties in the spread, like Cebuano-style balbacua, a stew made with ox trotters; and Bicolano dinuguan made with gata (coconut milk)—the way his grandmother used to make it.

At only P650 a head, it’s essential to make reservations for the lunch buffet since the place easily fills up; it’s not unusual to see a family of 20 enjoying the fare.

Despite his busy schedule running the restaurant and occasionally catering private parties, chef Tatung makes sure he’s always at the helm of the Sunday buffet.

“I cook some of the dishes, and when I have the time, I like going to the market personally for the buffet. It’s when I get to see seasonal ingredients and I’m inspired to incorporate these into the buffet,” he said.

The restaurant’s homey ambiance invites one to linger after the meal. During our visit, a family who had finished dining moved to the al fresco area to chat some more while a birthday celebrant opened presents. Chef Tatung even puts lounge chairs facing the creek for people who’d like to take a post-meal nap.

Chef Tatung is on Molave Lane, Acacia Estates. Visit http://cheftatung.com for map and directions. Call tel. 661-7703 for reservations. Tatin Yang, Philippine Daily Inquirer, contributor

Sam Miguel
03-13-2013, 09:33 AM
Younghusband and awful food

By Ambeth R. Ocampo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:10 pm | Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

One of the assignments in my course on “Food in Philippine Culture” in Sophia University, Tokyo was for the students to sample Philippine food sold outside St. Ignatius Church on Sundays. I was surprised that some students sought out hidden Filipino “restaurants” around Tokyo, while a few followed YouTube recipes for adobo, cooking them at home and later reporting that Filipino food was greasy, brown and generally unhealthy by their standards. I raised my hands in surrender and explained that not all our food is that bad. I mean balut is quite nutritious despite its notoriety as one of the world’s most disgusting foods.

My Japanese students reminded me of G. J. Younghusband, a British officer billeted in a Spanish-run hotel in Manila in 1898, who was not particularly impressed by the food he was served as he indicated with a graphic description in his book “The Philippines and Round About” (1899): “The perennial menu consisted of soup, very thin and greasy, and presumably made from boiled dish cloths. As piece de resistance came a portion of venerable cow, the father or mother of all cows, such original nutriment as it possessed having first been boiled out of it and possibly sold as soup elsewhere. Next would come a nameless horror, which a confiding public was invited to believe to be an entrée; this article from a purely archeological and geological point of view had some interest, and might be of value [to a museum]… for exhibition. Some people maintain that it was made of fragments of Egyptian mummy; others said that we were merely using up the broken remains of [Admiral] Montojo’s fleet. For myself I prefer to keep an open mind and leave conjecture to the scientists.”

Boiled dish cloth? Fragments of mummy wrapping? Could Younghusband be describing a dish we know as ropa vieja (literally, “old clothes”). This is still served today but is often referred to as nilagang baka that has been boiled so long or reheated more than once, such that the overcooked meat is turned into disintegrated strips resembling the remains of an old rag. The soup in this dish becomes thick and oily as described above.

Younghusband reminded us of the recycled canteen food many of us endured in school. For example, the pritong manok or fried chicken today was yesterday’s adobong manok, and would become tomorrow’s tinolang manok. The possibilities are endless for a creative cook or a canteen owner who closes shop with lots of leftovers for recycling the next day.

Reading Younghusband’s restaurant review was like doing archeological work. After digging up artifacts, you sit and try to figure out the past from broken pieces of earthenware and some bones of humans and animals. He continued:

“Occasionally, a venerable fish was added to the feast, and the banquet closed with a weird dish called carey, which consisted of small chunks of some defunct bird, by courtesy understood to be a fowl, floating about in liquid train-oil slightly spiced.”

I thought this was kare-kare but since its main ingredient was some sort of bird, it must have been the Pinoy-Spanish version of chicken curry. If this was indeed an Indian type curry, did he have mango chutney? It also made me wonder what hotel Younghusband was in because I would presume chicken curry would be served in the Binondo hotel Fonda Francesca de Lala Ari (The French hotel of Lala Ari) made famous by Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere.” Crisostomo Ibarra lodged here at the start of the novel.

Younghusband complained that: “No butter seems to be obtainable, if one expects a yellow horror reputed to be manufactured from old cocoa-nut chips, and the sight of which would certainly give any right-minded cow delirium tremens.” In those days butter was imported in cans from Australia and much later from Europe; thus many cooks, including my mother, would refer to canned butter she used for her pound cake as “Brun butter.” It’s very Filipino to use a generic name for things: toothpaste of any brand is called “Colgate;” men’s underwear are rightly called “brief” (without the “s”) or sometimes “Jockey”; all refrigerators are called “Frigidaire” and all cameras used to be “Kodak,” thus our picture-taking pastime is called “Kodakan.” The canned butter my mother used was not the Danish Brun butter anymore, but an Australian brand.

From May 1898, Manila was under a US naval blockade and food supplies were scarce and expensive. Younghusband may be politically incorrect to 21st-century readers, but he described the Philippines and the Filipinos as he saw and understood them. It is significant that Younghusband made a trip to Malolos, Bulacan, then capital of the First Philippine Republic, and there he was all praises for a certain Union Restaurant that I have to research on. Before Younghusband’s interview with Emilio Aguinaldo, he ate in Union Restaurant and raved over a first-class omelet, Oxford sausages and café au lait. I presume that while Intramuros was close to famine and would eventually surrender to the Americans on Aug. 13, 1898, all the gastronomic goodies were in Malolos. Little wonder then that the legendary banquet menus of Sept. 29, 1898 were possible.

Filipino students who see the name Younghusband today think of hearthrob soccer players, so its good for them to meet another Younghusband from another century whose meals reflected the Philippines then.

* * *

Sam Miguel
03-14-2013, 01:18 PM
‘Siling duwag,’ ‘pinakbet’ pizza and other Ilocano delights

By Micky Fenix

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:40 am | Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Siling duwag: I thought that best described the green chili before me. It looked like the ordinary siling haba or siling pang-sigang, but you could eat it and not feel the stinging heat.

During my first visit to Ilocos Sur, I tried to convince a companion to take a bite of the chili. She did, and started to jump up and down. It wasn’t hot, but her mind was conditioned to the effect. Or, it could be that a rogue chili, the real green, long chili, was mixed in with the lot.

It was Chef Nick Rodriguez who gave me the chili’s name. At his Bistro Candon in Ilocos Sur, he served the siling duwag in the pinakbet, a combination of vegetables boiled with a bit of bagoong isda (fish paste) and mixed in with pieces of pork.

At Sam Blas’ Saramsam Restaurant in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, the siling duwag is a dish cooked as adobo. For first-timers, it can be exciting to eat something that seems forbidden. The un-hot chili reminded me of the fimientinos de padron of Galicia, Spain—same effect, no heat. Galician women at the market can tell which ones are safe to eat but, I was warned, they sometimes miss. That makes it an adventure eating them, battered and deep-fried at the Spanish tapas bar.

The other unusual fact we noticed during the three days we stayed in Ilocos is that pizza was always present at many places. It was offered at one bakery in Laoag. And it serves as the base for many Ilocano food in at least two restaurants we had been to.

My first encounter with pinakbet pizza years ago was at Herencia Café in Paoay, a delightful little place with a view of the ancient Paoay Church. It was different, yes. But I had reservations as to whether that was good for traditional cooking. The idea caught on and more restaurants now serve pizza.

On this recent visit it was pinakbet pizza at Saramsam (Rizal Street, Laoag). I may have been hungry but I liked it. Think about it: Tomatoes are important to both Italian and Ilocano cooking. Tomatoes form the base of pizza and whatever toppings are used say something of the place, the ingredients and cooking of the people.

We thought of ordering pizza dinardaraan. That’s how Ilocanos call their dinuguan, or blood stew. But we thought that was too much since we had dinardaraan as is, including the still crisp chicharon bulaklak pieces (part of pig’s alimentary track, deep-fried) that made this dish rich and special.

At Bistro Candon, Rodriguez made another pizza version. It had the Ilocos eggplant omelet with the outrageous name (at least to non-Ilocanos) of poque poque. Pieces of bagnet were strewn on top—crisp pork chunks that are boiled, dried, fried and refried.

We did have traditional dishes, all excellently done, which makes a trip to Ilocos always something to look forward to.

At La Preciosa in Laoag (JP Rizal Street), our welcome lunch to the place included miki, freshly done noodles in achuete-colored soup. There was insarabasab, pork slices grilled then dressed with sukang Iloco, or sugarcane vinegar that some people there call “balsamic” after the special Italian vinegar.

There was igado, pork liver and other innards mixed with guisantes, or green peas. We decided to taste gamet, the expensive seaweed that was cooked with shellfish. And to make our meal complete, we had very good carrot cake served with grated fresh carrots.

Rodriguez had food good for triple the number of us who were there. Apart from pakbet and pizza, we had a huge chaffing dish of pochero, beef shin in tomato sauce with cabbage among the vegetables and potatoes. There was also sinanglaw, boiled beef innards sliced, served as soup and flavored with salt and Iloco vinegar.

There was imbaliktad, thinly sliced beef with the marrow of its spine boiled with onions and ginger with papait (bile) poured in, its name from the mixture being turned after one side is cooked.

Slices of bagnet were also served. And Rodriguez saw us off with boxes of his now famous chocolate cake which kept its quality and form all the way from Candon to Laoag and then to Manila, where those who tasted it couldn’t stop themselves from having another slice.

Lunch before leaving was at Shyne’s Foodhaus (F.R. Castro, Laoag) where we had insarabasab cooked medium rare—the way it should be, according to our Laoag guide, Jane Gaspar, whose family owns the place.

We tasted the family’s siniwsiwan, native chicken cut up into small pieces, boiled with bile and blood and some ginger, then spiked with siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili) and lots of sili leaves.

We thought that was our very last dish before flying off, but Blas gave us a peek at where he will relocate Saramsam, right where his Balay da Blas is (Giron Street). He had a full merienda waiting, but we only had space for the paridosdos, or guinataang halo halo with peanuts.

Sam Miguel
03-14-2013, 01:18 PM
‘Siling duwag,’ ‘pinakbet’ pizza and other Ilocano delights

By Micky Fenix

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:40 am | Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Siling duwag: I thought that best described the green chili before me. It looked like the ordinary siling haba or siling pang-sigang, but you could eat it and not feel the stinging heat.

During my first visit to Ilocos Sur, I tried to convince a companion to take a bite of the chili. She did, and started to jump up and down. It wasn’t hot, but her mind was conditioned to the effect. Or, it could be that a rogue chili, the real green, long chili, was mixed in with the lot.

It was Chef Nick Rodriguez who gave me the chili’s name. At his Bistro Candon in Ilocos Sur, he served the siling duwag in the pinakbet, a combination of vegetables boiled with a bit of bagoong isda (fish paste) and mixed in with pieces of pork.

At Sam Blas’ Saramsam Restaurant in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, the siling duwag is a dish cooked as adobo. For first-timers, it can be exciting to eat something that seems forbidden. The un-hot chili reminded me of the fimientinos de padron of Galicia, Spain—same effect, no heat. Galician women at the market can tell which ones are safe to eat but, I was warned, they sometimes miss. That makes it an adventure eating them, battered and deep-fried at the Spanish tapas bar.

The other unusual fact we noticed during the three days we stayed in Ilocos is that pizza was always present at many places. It was offered at one bakery in Laoag. And it serves as the base for many Ilocano food in at least two restaurants we had been to.

My first encounter with pinakbet pizza years ago was at Herencia Café in Paoay, a delightful little place with a view of the ancient Paoay Church. It was different, yes. But I had reservations as to whether that was good for traditional cooking. The idea caught on and more restaurants now serve pizza.

On this recent visit it was pinakbet pizza at Saramsam (Rizal Street, Laoag). I may have been hungry but I liked it. Think about it: Tomatoes are important to both Italian and Ilocano cooking. Tomatoes form the base of pizza and whatever toppings are used say something of the place, the ingredients and cooking of the people.

We thought of ordering pizza dinardaraan. That’s how Ilocanos call their dinuguan, or blood stew. But we thought that was too much since we had dinardaraan as is, including the still crisp chicharon bulaklak pieces (part of pig’s alimentary track, deep-fried) that made this dish rich and special.

At Bistro Candon, Rodriguez made another pizza version. It had the Ilocos eggplant omelet with the outrageous name (at least to non-Ilocanos) of poque poque. Pieces of bagnet were strewn on top—crisp pork chunks that are boiled, dried, fried and refried.

We did have traditional dishes, all excellently done, which makes a trip to Ilocos always something to look forward to.

At La Preciosa in Laoag (JP Rizal Street), our welcome lunch to the place included miki, freshly done noodles in achuete-colored soup. There was insarabasab, pork slices grilled then dressed with sukang Iloco, or sugarcane vinegar that some people there call “balsamic” after the special Italian vinegar.

There was igado, pork liver and other innards mixed with guisantes, or green peas. We decided to taste gamet, the expensive seaweed that was cooked with shellfish. And to make our meal complete, we had very good carrot cake served with grated fresh carrots.

Rodriguez had food good for triple the number of us who were there. Apart from pakbet and pizza, we had a huge chaffing dish of pochero, beef shin in tomato sauce with cabbage among the vegetables and potatoes. There was also sinanglaw, boiled beef innards sliced, served as soup and flavored with salt and Iloco vinegar.

There was imbaliktad, thinly sliced beef with the marrow of its spine boiled with onions and ginger with papait (bile) poured in, its name from the mixture being turned after one side is cooked.

Slices of bagnet were also served. And Rodriguez saw us off with boxes of his now famous chocolate cake which kept its quality and form all the way from Candon to Laoag and then to Manila, where those who tasted it couldn’t stop themselves from having another slice.

Lunch before leaving was at Shyne’s Foodhaus (F.R. Castro, Laoag) where we had insarabasab cooked medium rare—the way it should be, according to our Laoag guide, Jane Gaspar, whose family owns the place.

We tasted the family’s siniwsiwan, native chicken cut up into small pieces, boiled with bile and blood and some ginger, then spiked with siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili) and lots of sili leaves.

We thought that was our very last dish before flying off, but Blas gave us a peek at where he will relocate Saramsam, right where his Balay da Blas is (Giron Street). He had a full merienda waiting, but we only had space for the paridosdos, or guinataang halo halo with peanuts.

Sam Miguel
03-25-2013, 10:50 AM
Everything I learned in the kitchen, I learned from Mom

A TASTE OF LIFE

By Heny Sison

(The Philippine Star) | Updated March 21, 2013 - 12:00am

Life has always been a series of challenges for me and recently, after the loss of my mother, I embarked on a sentimental inventory of things she gave me. One of the things I came across were wooden heirloom cookie molds used to make araro and the iconic San Nicolas de Tolentino cookies. These cookie molds brought back childhood memories. My mom told me that my dad surprised her when he gave them to her as a birthday gift. My dad commissioned someone from Pampanga to have them done. I remember helping my mom when I was still a little girl mold and roll the cookie dough of araro and San Nicolas cookies using the molds. Little did I know that these molds would be instrumental in my learning that my mother is still with me to this day.

As usual I was commissioned by a couple to do their wedding cake. As anyone would expect, I was not in a creative mood to undergo such a process. I would usually have two meetings with my clients, first to interview the couple, to get their ideas as to what they liked and the theme of the cake; then the second, to make a sketch of what the cake might look like. I was struggling to think of an appropriate creation for this couple; I asked them to bring a copy of their wedding invites as well as swatches of their clothes hoping to draw inspiration from them, to no avail.

The third meeting came, and as I was desperate both for time and ideas, I chanced upon the heirloom molds lying around the table; they were being studied as to how they could be made into a wall decoration. Chef Patty, upon seeing them, said that perhaps it would be a good idea for them to be used once more by the latest batch of students in my culinary school for their upcoming graduation. And so, a burst of inspiration struck me. Right then and there I asked the couple if they would like the molds to be the inspiration for their cake. I decided to use the molds since the theme of the wedding was Filipiniana-inspired. Up to now, I think Mommy is guiding me in coming up with ideas for my creations. I was glad when they agreed, because the end result was remarkably beautiful. I made the cake with a lace pattern following the designs of the heirloom cookie molds, where instead of using cookie dough I used pressed fondant instead. The result was a towering cake that was rustic and elegant. I was proud of that cake for so many reasons, but mainly because it reminded me that at the time I was in a rut, my mother’s influence could and would inspire me no matter what.

It was with this air of nostalgia that I found myself in the kitchen of the iconic atching Lillian Borromeo, a woman known throughout Pampanga for her culinary and historical prowess. Our heritage tour began with typical Kapampangan breakfast fare such as tamales, suman, tsokolate batirol, with mini palitaw balls filled with yema — all prepared and presented with the traditional flair.

Our tour would be a combination of hearty eating and distinct historical recollection of the origins of our food. We were told that the old, rich Kapampangan families made the San Nicolas cookies for a variety of reasons. Atching Lillian researched her roots and meticulously revived the basics as she documented the history of Pampanga, with examples such as how they made the traditional ensaymada with the fat of a pig, egg yolks, and gatas ng kalabaw (carabao’s milk) or evaporated milk versus the more contemporary versions.

She told us the reason why most traditional recipes called for egg yolks was due to the training of the local folk by the Spanish nuns, who needed to use the oversupply of egg yolks left after the egg whites were used as mortar mixed with lime powder to build edifices such as churches and government buildings. These yolks would start to stink after a while, so they were repurposed for making delicacies such as ensaymada. To think that you are brought back to the time of the Spanish friars thanks to a recipe. That would be an appropriate description of what Atching Borromeo’s tour felt like.

Aside from her rich stories of the past, her equipment and outside kitchen served as an informal gallery showcasing rustic elements from the Dulang, which is a low kneading board traditionally used by farmers to eat their lunch at the farms, and the bilao, or circular woven trays used for various kitchen tasks. Her bilaos were distinctive, though, with the initials of the families to which they belonged emblazoned at the back as to confirm ownership. She also showcased her collection of wooden cookie molds that had similar patterns to mine. I remarked that perhaps my dad and she had the molds made by the same craftsman. I was also fascinated by the garapun, a gigantic glass jar filled with duck eggs instead of chicken eggs.

Atching Lillian showed us another delicacy: the Dulce Prenda, a cookie stuffed with candied watermelon, whose dough is derived from the San Nicolas cookie dough. She also taught us that glazed or candied tomatoes as well as empanaditas with cashew are better cooked in copper pans in order to avoid discoloration and overcooking. The food that we got to cook in the midst of this very interactive history lesson was worth all the effort, from bringhe to sisig. We dined by the bangerrahan or common area, as we talked of the good life our heritage once offered us. I realized that it is now up to us, the keeper of our traditions, to pass on to the next generation our rich cultural and culinary heritage, which will serve as a legacy for all of us for ages to come.

***

fujima04
03-25-2013, 01:26 PM
KALUTO NG PILIPINO:
A GEOGRAPHY OF THE FILIPINO APPETITE (http://www.msita.com/islands.htm)
An article from Mama Sita website

If islands are countries unto their own, then the Philippines is invariably a whole planet in itself. The country’s dynamic, kinetic and continuously evolving culture takes root from a myriad of influences and is continuously shaped by the diverse geographical features of its more than 7,000 islands. These influences find their most eloquent expression in the way Filipino regional and tribal group’s cook and eat. Collectively, these dishes form the kaluto (cuisine) that is uniquely Filipino.

The frugal and hardworking Ilocanos living on the harsh strip of land in the northwest part of Luzon have developed a rudimentary cuisine. They are best known for dinengdeng and pinakbet, both stews consisting of vegetables that can be easily grown in the backyard (like talong, squash, okra, tomatoes and ampalaya) seasoned with fermented fish or shrimp sauce (bagoong), or cooked with grilled fish. Caught between sea and mountain range, the region’s sandy soil is better suited to growing tobacco.

The provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, sitting on river deltas and fertile plains, are homes to the landed gentry. Thus, their culinary cultures boast of some of most lavish cuisine such as relleno, estofado and asado. The fields with their overabundant harvest of grains have yielded a seemingly endless selection of rice cakes and savory rice entrees such as bringhe and paella.

With the sea, rivers, lakes, rich grazing lands and farms forming a prolific matrix of food source, the Southern Tagalog provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite and Rizal have developed a cuisine that resonates with the unadulterated flavors of land and sea: sinaing na tulingan and bulalo of Batangas, seafoods of Cavite, dinilawang carpa and sinigang na kanduli of Rizal, the jardinera and pancit habhab of Quezon Province, and the puto at kutsinta of Laguna.

In the Bicol peninsula where typhoons can blow strong and cold, Bicolanos have perfected the use of sili to concoct a cuisine that is fiery hot. The abundance of coconuts has also enhanced the regional cookery. Together, coconut milk and sili work their magic in such dishes as Bicol Express (named, conspicuously, after the train that plies between Manila and Bicol), pinangat and the ubiquitous laing.

The islands of the Visayas, whose reefs teem with fish and whose lands are some of the most arable in the country, are home to some of the purest flavors in Philippine cuisine. In some cases, food is eaten raw such as the oysters and sisi of Capiz and Iloilo. Aside from its prized oysters, Capiz has distinguished itself as the ‘Seafood Capital of the Philippines’ with its bountiful catches of crabs (alimango), prawns and mussels.

In Dumaguete, on the island of Negros, freshly caught dilis is painstakingly gutted and marinated in vinegar, lime juice, sili and the cream of grated coconut to create a kinilaw of a rich and delightfully spicy flavor. In Bacolod, inasal, or grilling, is the favored method of cooking poultry. Chicken meat is marinated in lime or calamansi juice and annatto, and grilled to golden perfection.

Jutting close to the islands of Malaysia and Indonesia, Mindanao shares many of the flora and fauna of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Thus, nowhere are spices such as turmeric, lemongrass, cilantro and curry used more extensively than in Mindanao cookery. Here, tables are laden with exotic harvests such as durian, mangosteen and marang.

The seas surrounding Mindanao are also famous for the yield of gigantic tuna – making the fish and its parts a rich source of recipes such as tuna belly and panga, which are grilled and dipped in sili-spiked soy sauce. In Zamboanga, two unusual crabs – the tatos and curacha – emerge from the sea to eat coconuts and enrich the cuisine even more. They are simply steamed, boiled, or simmered in coconut milk and enjoyed with gusto.

While commercial interaction and marriage with people from neighboring Asian countries have invariably added color, texture and flavor to local cuisine, it is the influences from the Chinese that continues to shape Filipino cookery. The dynamic relationship between Chinese and Filipino flavors is best captured in the many mutations of pancit, the generic term for noodles.

From the Chinese, Filipino cooks have learned to use canton (thick egg noodles), bihon (dried rice vermicelli) and sotanghon (glass mung bean noodles) which were generally sautéed with vegetables and pork, chicken, or shrimps. The love affair with pancit was so strong and extensive that Filipinos all over learned to create their own versions. There’s pancit Malabon (cooked with shrimps, squid and mussels which the seaside town is famous for), pancit habhab (served in banana leaves and bathed in vinegar and sold in the streets of Lucena and Lucban) and even pancit buko (a tasty concoction using the grated meat of young coconut rather than noodles).

Under Spanish rule for centuries, the Filipino taste buds acquired a yen for the richly flavored stews of the Iberian conquerors. The Spaniards brought with them the jamon Serrano and chorizo de Bilbao, and new ingredients such as acete de oliva, Mexican paprika, cheeses and butter, wines and other distilled spirits. Filipinos embraced the foreign flavors and learned to cook the Spanish way. This love affair comes to the fore in the Filipino festive dishes that are highly treasured, such as, lengua estofado, paella, cocido, morcon, menudo, galantina and relleno.

The Americans may have stayed the shortest as the country’s administrators but their hold on the Filipino palate remains strong and compelling. The Americans changed the landscape of Philippine cuisine forever when they introduced such easy-to-cook morsels as hotdogs and hamburgers. Today, Filipinos wake up craving for hotdog served with fried rice and eggs, or as a filling between sliced pandesal. From mami, goto and tokwa’t baboy, Filipinos have shifted their devotion to hamburgers as the preferred snack. This has been highly Filipinized as well by using local beef and more redolent seasonings to make the beef patty tastier.

Archipelagos they say are most won't to go with the shifts in global trends and ideologies—the waters surrounding the islands are relentless harbingers of change. For millennia, Filipinos have embraced such changes—welcoming but altering them to suit the climate, the temperament and the persuasive powers of the taste buds.

Sam Miguel
04-04-2013, 08:49 AM
^^^ I love this article, a nice capsule of our native foods across the regions, well done Fujima.

About Bicol Express, funny thing is that all of my Bicolano friends say that while it is definitely influenced by the sili at gata cuisine of the Bicol region, they say there is no such dish in Bicolandia itself, at least not in their regions of Albay, Camarines Sur and Norte, and Sorsogon. The term Bicol Express although correctly associated with the famous PNR train route, is supposedly not in wide use among native Bicolanos. They simply refer to it as ginataan or pangat, or a dish that uses gata at sili. Their explanation for the term Bicol Express, although not academically or emipirically verified, is that some Manila folks who cooked in the Bicol style with gata at sili with vegetables and/or meats and seafood, when pressed as to the name of the dish, simply came up with the term Bicol Express as a handy way to denote the style of cooking as distinctly Bicolano.

Sam Miguel
04-04-2013, 08:51 AM
Tagaytay resto carries on the family legacy

Restos at a glance

1:40 am | Thursday, April 4th, 2013

She comes from a family with a history of having established three food groups, basically engaged in restaurants. They cooked, ate, explored and discovered new dishes from master chefs, cooks and their forebears as well. They have successfully managed restaurants, which to this day are blessed with large groups of diners always craving for true Filipino food. Today, Tootsie is definitely in her element in the dining place she named after herself. She pays homage to her parents’ legacy.

Tootsie’s Tagaytay (J. Abad Santos cor. Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City; call 046-4834629)

One enters the place and most likely finds it, even before lunchtime, teeming with people enjoying the hot, soothing broth from Nilagang Bulalo. That strongly whets the appetite as the menu is checked and choices are made.

Dining area—Bright with all-glass walls. Tables are made of white tiles with wooden borders. Wooden chairs are comfortable. The small bar quickly dispenses drinks.

Service—Gracious, efficient, fast from the kitchen and hot, freshly cooked.

Staff—Very knowledgeable. They make suggestions and offer alternatives such as that the Grilled Maliputo is more popular than the Sinigang na Maliputo.

Suggested orders—This is where the diner is charmed by the “stories” that tell of how the family chain has grown, how they collected and preserved recipes of traditional food, and how some friends beg and cajole them into sharing recipes, such as those from the late culinary genius Ed Quimson.

Filipino dishes with a twist

This is the place for truly Filipino food, although some dishes have been given a twist. The menu card specifies which items are offered only on weekends. Peruse the list and one would still find “old” but delicious favorites.

Some annotations about the dishes are in Tootsie’s handwriting. She regales the diners with anecdotes on how they came about, like the Roast Chicken Kawi, done in such a hurry, but which came out special. Start the meal with broth from Nilagang Bulalo, long simmering on the stove that gives it that sumptuous flavor.

Definitely, one must have the maliputo, the rare fish from Taal Lake, either grilled (as mentioned above) or cooked as sinigang (in a sour broth). Its meat has that quality of undefinable flavor and a texture that is unlike any other fish, soft and almost sweetish. It comes with mango salad and bagoong balayan. Pair this with kilawing puso ng saging; its sour taste blends well with the maliputo.

There are other dishes like the Tembutido (the first three letters are Tootsie’s initials), which is a take off from those of Nora Daza and Pia Castillo Lim. From chef Ed are the Leg of Lamb and the innovative palitaw with ube filling, very good!

Drive to Tagaytay early on a weekend, when traffic would still be light.

Service charge and government taxes are collected. Senior cards are honored.

Sam Miguel
05-03-2013, 09:15 AM
The flavors of Iloilo

OOH LA LAI

By Lai S. Reyes

(Pilipino Star Ngayon) | Updated May 2, 2013 - 12:00am

When in Iloilo, forget about your diet! Simply because the food there is namit gid!

I was formally introduced to Ilonggo cuisine late last year when I was invited to sit as one of the judges at the 2nd Tabu-an Western Visayas Ilonggo Heritage Cooking Competition and Food Fair, held at Santa. Barbara. There, I discovered not only the well-loved Ilonggo cuisine firsthand but the hospitable and sweet nature of the Ilonggos as well.

We flew via Cebu Pacific and its inflight magazine Smile whet our appetites even more with its feature on iconic Ilonggo eats.

And so, food was on everyone’s mind as soon as we arrived at the Iloilo International Airport. It was way past lunchtime and our host, chef Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza II, read our lips well. He knew we were starving so instead of taking us straight to our hotel, chef Tibong brought us to Esca restaurant, where I had my first fill of what was typically daily Ilonggo fare — laswa (boiled malunggay, okra, squash, and eggplant with kalkag or dried shrimps) , adobo sa dilaw (native duck with turmeric) and ginataang bagongon (black cone shellfish). Simple, delectable, and comforting best describe the feast, which was carefully prepared by chef Miguel Cordova.

More food awaited us at the Santa Barbara Church grounds where the contestants prepared their featured dishes. Six groups — Aklan State University, West Visayas State University, IRC Sta. Barbara, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, K Carsi Culinary School, and the Barangay Nutrition Scholars — joined the competition and each of them was required to prepare an appetizer, main course, and dessert. There were 18 dishes spread on the table, and yes, we tried them all!

There was the panara, which reminded me of Vigan’s empanada. But instead of grated green papaya and longanisa, the rice flour — molded into a half-moon — was filled with mongo sprouts and shrimps. Then there was okoy na talaba (oyster cake) that oozed with freshness.

We just couldn’t get our spoons off the tasty nilagpang nga pantat (hito or catfish), which was grilled, then sauteed with onions and tomatoes, flavored with vinegar, sugar, soy salsa, and chili, and then simmered to make a flavorful soup. This dish won for Barangay Nutrition Scholars the grand prize.

The Tabu-an Western Visayas Ilonggo Heritage Cooking Competition and Food Fair were conceptualized by chef Tibong in 2010 to preserve Iloilo’s culinary heritage.

“Tabu-an,” which means “meeting place” in Ilonggo, also refers to a unique kind of Ilonggo food experience popularized by chef Tibong, one of Iloilo’s popular chefs and caterers.

Tabu-an is chef Tibong’s version of a boodle feast. It’s also an apt name considering he would serve his dishes right at the Iloilo Central Market, the meeting place of those who appreciate and are passionate about local food. Tabu-an requires a group with a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 20.

There were about 10 dishes — with the freshest seafood one could think of — spread out on the long table lined with banana leaves. With our bare hands, we succumbed to the temptation and savored each dish to the last bite. Well, that experience has been indelibly etched on my taste buds.

Savor the taste of the Visayas at Mandarin

Get your own

If you want to try some of the Visayas’ iconic seafood delicacies and other gastronomic delights I’ve mentioned, you need not go far. From May 6 to 12, Mandarin Oriental’s Paseo Uno holds “Flavors of the Visayas,” a week-long festival featuring chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing’s signature Ilonggo dishes in its lunch and dinner buffets.

Paseo Uno will be transformed into a marketplace for the duration of the festival. A taho vendor will be on hand to take your orders, and there will be a piyaya station to satisfy your sweet cravings.

During the press preview, chef Pauline teased not just the taste buds but the imagination as well when she presented the windowpane oysters, popularly known as capiz shell oysters (lampirong or bay-ad in Ilonggo). I had no idea there was “meat” — which tasted like chicken — sandwiched between those shells!

“We wanted to bring in new and fresh ideas for the festival but, of course, we had to stick with the iconic Ilonggo food. I bet not all of you have tried the windowpane oysters,” chef Pauline says with a grin.

Chef Pauline is also proud of the gingaw, a kind of fish you won’t find in the wet markets here in Manila. She also let us sample the grilled blue and black marlin.

Marinated in soy sauce and kalamansi, the three kinds of fish were grilled to perfection. I fell in love with the black marlin. As I bit a morsel off the charred fish, I felt its natural oil drip down my lips.

“The black marlin is rich in omega 3 fatty acids so it’s good for the health,” notes chef Pauline.

Diners can also indulge in traditional Ilonggo fare such as kadios, baboy at langka, popularly known as KBL, a tangy soup made with kadios beans, pork, and jackfruit, soured with batuan seeds; chicken inasal, lukon na may aligue kag paho, fresh Aklan prawns with crab fat in garlic and scallions; and batchoy, a rich broth steep boiled for hours with soup bones, meat of pork and beef, innards, and guinamos for flavoring.

Adding to the experience is a spread of traditional Ilonggo desserts. Chef Pauline’s versatility stems from her roots as a student of the Culinary Institute of America, New School of New York, and the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s New York), where she had rigorous training.

In Iloilo, she operates four popular food establishments, including a successful catering business.

“We’ve prepared something really special for everyone — dishes you love and haven’t tried before. One thing I can assure diners, the food items are namit gid!” enthuses chef Pauline.

Chef Pauline also introduced the tultul salt, an organic salt block which she uses to flavor her dishes. It was the same salt, which Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council Eugene Jamerlan gave all of us when we visited the Camiña Balay Nga Bato.

“It has coconut milk so it isn’t too salty than the usual rock salt. There’s only one family in Guimaras who produces tultul so it’s a bit expensive.

The Flavors of the Visayas buffet is priced at P1,990+, and P2,450+ for the Luxury buffet, which is available for dinner on Friday and Saturday and lunch on Sunday.

An exquisite Mother’s Day lunch buffet wraps up the food festival on May 12.

Sam Miguel
05-16-2013, 08:35 AM
Dumaguete express, ‘fabada crispy pata, pinaasim na tilapyang malutong’–heritage Filipino dishes in Makati

XO 46 offers a selection of homecooked dishes, Visayan favorites

By Raoul J. Chee Kee

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:50 am | Thursday, May 16th, 2013

The idea to open a restaurant in Makati serving Filipino food came about after the owners wondered why Filipino restaurants that open abroad are always greeted with much fanfare.

“I’ve always wanted to push Filipino food, but many of the restaurants that offer Filipino fare here are of the carinderia-type, offering very basic dishes that keep well, and can be reheated and served on succeeding days,” said Sandee Siytangco-Masigan, vice president of Advent Manila Hospitality Group, Inc.

“We didn’t want to go the same route; Filipino food needs to grow up,” she said.

So when she and her husband Andrew opened XO 46 a couple of years ago, they decided on a menu that featured mainly heritage dishes. This meant preparing Sopa de Mariscos (seafood soup) from scratch, and using only the freshest seafood available.

“Although we initially intended to serve only heritage dishes, we tweaked some of them a bit. Some examples include our Sinigang na Lechon Kawali (crisp fried pork in sour vegetable broth), and the Pinaasim na Tilapyang Malutong (crisp fried whole tilapia topped with bean sprouts, coconut strips and herbs),” Masigan said.

Even the restaurant’s version of sisig has since been updated and “sanitized” after their daughter freaked out when she found out it was traditionally made of chopped pig cheeks, snout and entrails. Now, the sisig is made with lechon kawali.

Cross-orders

First-timers might be confused by the establishment’s two entrances but really need not be as the dining area is simply divided into two. XO 46 New Visayan Room serves Visayan comfort food “prepared with Filipino flair” while XO 46 Filipino Bistro has heritage dishes prepared the old-fashioned way.

Guests seated in either area can simply cross-order, which is exactly what we did.

From the Visayan Room we ordered the Dumaguete Express and the Fabada Crispy Pata. The first is their take on the popular Bicol Express which is made of copious amounts of fiery chilies with a bit of pork. Dumaguete Express consists of fresh seafood (lapu-lapu, mussels, shrimps and squid) cooked in a spicy coconut sauce. It was the hands-down favorite that afternoon.

The Fabada Crispy Pata, crisp pork trotters on top of a stew of beans and chorizo, is described as “the ultimate hacienda feast for family and friends.” It was true to its word and more, however we were too full to try more than a few forkfuls.

Made fresh

Masigan said that unlike other Filipino restaurants that have no qualms about reheating food prepared one or two days ago and serving it to customers, all of the dishes at XO 46 are made fresh upon ordering.

They must be doing something right because even on a Monday—usually the slowest day of the week for restaurants—the place was full of patrons, many of them regulars.

“This year, we want to focus on growing the business through our catering service which can handle parties of 30 people and up,” Masigan said.

“We also want to push our ‘party plates’ to those who work in the area and want to bring home ready-cooked food. They only need to call in their orders by noon so they can pick them up later in the day.”

She said that for their upcoming anniversary (May 25), she plans to begin collecting family recipes that people can upload on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“We will try them out and if they’re really good, we might include them in the menu. By next year, I hope to come out with a small cookbook,” Masigan said.

Sam Miguel
07-03-2013, 08:20 AM
Adobo’s stealth conquest of US tastebuds

By Amy Besa

INQUIRER.net U.S. Bureau

6:39 am | Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

If you’re one of those Filipinos who constantly ask why Filipino food has not made it anywhere in the world, perhaps you missed the boat. People can be so blind to their theories and beliefs that they’re likely to miss all the signs that Filipino flavors have slowly crept onto the American table, starting from the moment Filipinos set foot on American soil as farm workers and slaved to put vegetables and fruits on the table of every American home in the past century.

Even today, I field so many questions from documentary filmmakers, students, diners and so forth asking why Filipino food is invisible in the United States.

Instead of looking at the cup half full or empty, how about looking at a plate filled with adobo? Adobo is our signature dish and the most prominently featured dish in our cuisine. Adobo is the darling of the American media, and not by accident. It’s because enough restaurants make adobo that enough editors, food writers and diners have taken notice of this.

When we first opened Purple Yam in 2009, the New York Times, New York Sunday Times Magazine and Time Out New York (along with a number of cable TV shows) featured our adobo. Even Martha Stewart on her February 2006 show on Presidents’ Week had Chef Romy Dorotan showing her viewers his secret to making a good adobo. And the secret is coconut milk.

Last year, Cook’s Illustrated (April 2012), a highly subscribed and popular food magazine, led its banner headline with how to make adobo the western way. Its sister TV program, “America’s Test Kitchen,” which airs on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations all over the country, eventually featured Chef Romy ’s chicken adobo with coconut milk (gata) in its spring 2013 season. Bryan Roof (who lived in the Philippines for several years), was the chef assigned to capture the essence of adobo for its audience. He wrote in this issue that he had reached an “impasse” in his adobo versions because all of his attempts failed to meet the approval test of his peers in the magazine’s test kitchen.

He wrote: “As I found myself at an impasse, I also happened to have plans to be in New York City, and a colleague suggested that I stop into Filipino chef Romy Dorotan’s acclaimed Purple Yam restaurant in Brooklyn to try his adobo. His version was terrific, and when I inquired about the recipe, Dorotan revealed that he added coconut milk to the braising liquid, which he told me is customary in adobos native to southern Luzon, the largest of the Philippine islands. I’d shied away from the super-rich milk in my earlier tests, fearing that it would muddy the flavor of the braise. But his version convinced me otherwise, as it tempered the salt and acidity, while still allowing for plenty of tanginess. The effect was not unlike the way that oil tames the acid in a French vinaigrette.”

Recalling the glories of the right use of vinegar in American cooking is the key to bringing our palates in harmony with those of the American diner. Many Americans have pushed the memories of vinegar to the farthest reaches of their memory banks, according to food critic Frank Bruni, who reviewed and gave our previous restaurant, Cendrillon, two stars. “Cendrillon favors sour notes, which it hits so hard and often that you experience a kind of taste revelation, realizing as never before just how far into the background of most cuisines these notes recede.” (“Cooking Without Concessions,” New York Times, August 3, 2005).

Many Filipinos are too married to the concept of promoting Filipino food through finished dishes and do not recognize that FLAVORS of our culture and cuisine also define us in a unique way. The most potent flavors come from fermentation, a legacy of the era of pre-refrigeration. Vinegar is fermented fruit or palm sap and it tells us how our ancestors preserved what ever they foraged or hunted. The presence of vinegar early on in our history is traced to its Tagalog term “suka,” which comes from the ancient Sanskrit word “ashoka.”

New Yorkers are catching up to this fast.

As recently as May 2013, Saveur magazine’s Sarah Dickerman wrote an article entitled ”Preserving Plenty: The Beauty of Fermented Foods,” stating unequivocally that “the process of fermentation is the secret behind some of the world’s most delicious foods.”

There is a so-called “underground food movement that ferments revolution,” declared the New Yorker in November 22, 2010, featuring their reporter at large, Sandor Katz, who has become the guru of fermentation. In his book, The Art of Fermentation (Chelsea Green Publishing, May 2012), he lists several references to Filipino fermentation processes including bagoong and burong isda.

The way I look at it, New Yorkers and Americans are finally catching up to the Filipino palate.

Sam Miguel
07-03-2013, 08:23 AM
‘Cook’s Illustrated’ editor Doc Willoughby, Filipino food’s secret champion

By Amy Besa

INQUIRER.net US Bureau

6:57 am | Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

NEW YORK—John “Doc” Willoughby was managing editor of Gourmet magazine from 2000 to 2009 when he fell in love with Philippine food and decided he would be one of its secret champions. He became a good friend of ours and brought many of the magazine’s editors and food writers to sample Philippine dishes in our first restaurant, Cendrillon (1995-2009), in SoHo.

But no matter how much Doc tried, the unwritten rule for mainstream magazines then was to focus on Europe, and no one wanted to take the risk of promoting an unknown Southeast Asian cuisine to its readers. Philippine food was still outside of their comfort zone.

A decade later, in 2011, Doc was back as executive editor at Cook’s Illustrated (CI) after the print version of Gourmet folded. Cook’s Illustrated is a monthly US-based recipe-driven food magazine he co-founded with Christopher Kimball in the early 1990s. CI does not devote any of its pages to ads and relies purely on its subscription base of 900,000 for sustenance.

Doc had an inspired idea. His instincts told him that in the previous three or four years, Americans had significantly broadened their range of culinary interests. People were now more adventurous and were hankering to discover lesser-known cuisines. So he thought, why not feature Philippine adobo and get one of their in-house chefs, who had spent a few years in the Philippines, to come up with his own recipe for that classic dish?

He would try one more time to put adobo in play, sending out a readership survey among its subscribers to see what kind of interest the dish would generate. He was shocked when he got an 87 percent positive response to adobo. Suddenly, adobo was now ready for primetime.

Flash back several years: My first encounter with Doc was not totally felicitous. In 1994, the New York Times asked him to do a food and travel piece on Southeast Asia’s emerging trendy food condiment called “fish sauce.” I excitedly skimmed through the article, curious to see what he would say about “patis,” our fish sauce. Seeing no mention of it, I fired off an e-mail asking why there was no mention of patis, a major flavor agent of a country that was unmistakably a significant part of Southeast Asia. I don’t exactly remember his response, but I gave him some slack because he was someone important in the media who sincerely loved Southeast Asia, its cuisines and flavors. At the time, there were only a handful of his kind, and I carefully nurtured their friendships through the years.

That friendship finally paid off. With Doc back at CI’s helm, Philippine chicken adobo was its headline recipe for the April 2012 issue, and “America’s Test Kitchen” (the magazine’s TV program), filmed Chef Romy Dorotan’s chicken adobo recipe at Purple Yam, our present restaurant in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. The episode was aired on different Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations nationwide this spring.

In tough economic times, how a particular cuisine gets media coverage is driven by economics. Publications, including food magazines, need to bring home ad dollars, and this pressure broke down the Chinese wall between the editorial and sales departments. So, advertisers get product placement in editorial photo shoots; if a company selling watches advertises in a particular issue, their watches make it on the wrists of people who are in the photos for stories. Tourism boards try to drive traffic to their countries by paying huge sums to publications in return for lavish spreads extolling food, vacation getaways, etc.

But adobo’s path to recognition did not need expensive and lavish photo spreads backed up by ad dollars. Doc says there are now so many bloggers, food writers, cookbook authors who can provide more in-depth and up-to-date information about food. With dozens of people in place reporting on what dishes are getting eaten and how they are cooked in real time, dishes don’t need the attention of expensive, globetrotting food journalists to get exposure. Adobo’s “coming out” in the mainstream is the cumulative effect of millions of Filipinos everywhere cooking, eating, serving adobo to their families and friends and uploading their photos and recipes on social media. And then there are those valuable friendships within the media that will come through for you now and then.

I have always instinctively known that adobo was the “handle” by which we could showcase our cuisine. Many people make the mistake of putting out as many dishes as they can without benefit of a vision or a strategy. Lumpia, pancit, kare kare, dinuguan are indeed part of our culinary landscape, but to try to make a public with a short attention span appreciate them all at once is a fool’s mission.

One needs a specific dish that people can relish over and over again until they understand how its seemingly contradictory flavors add up to make one balanced and nuanced dish that becomes unforgettable. The Thais have pad Thai, the Vietnamese have pho and banh mi, the Malaysians have laksa, the Burmese their mohinga and the Filipinos have adobo. And why do so many of our customers keep coming back to Purple Yam? To get their adobo fix. That’s how it starts and that’s why we are on track to bringing our food to the mainstream.

danny
07-08-2013, 12:30 AM
Adobo is already known in North America. Ther are now tons of trendy food trucks being featured in the food network serving adodo. We are now mainstream in the urban centers, folks.

Ther is even a TV show called Adobo Nation. So her instinct was really based on what is already happening on the streets. Hey I eat adobo for lunch with my non~Pinoy Investment Advisor co~worker.

Pinoy barbecue is another huge hit. Our version certainly appeals to the Americans from whom we acquired our sweet tooth.

Adodo does not need any coming out party. It has already arrrived a long time ago. These kinds of magazines are simply riding on the trend when the street has already accepted adobo.

What it will do is to re~cement to the conservative status quo that Pinoy Adobo is now mainstream.

Joescoundrel
07-24-2013, 02:01 PM
^ Danny, does the adobo off the food trucks come with rice and itlog na maalat?

How much for an adobo meal?

Sam Miguel
08-15-2013, 09:23 AM
Filipino food conquering NY, one balut at a time

By Momar Visaya

AJPress/INQUIRER.net News Partner

8:27 am | Thursday, August 15th, 2013

NEW YORK CITY—Filipino food is conquering New York, one balut a time. Or lumpia, or halo-halo.

There seems to be some stars aligning somewhere as Filipino dishes and snacks are being talked about and discussed on the streets of New York. Not as much as conversations about cronuts, but we’ll get there. Hopefully.

Over the weekend, the team behind Maharlika and Jeepney restaurants staged the 2nd annual Balut-Eating Contest. For the uninitiated, balut is a fertilized duck egg 14 to 21 days old, on average—hardboiled and consumed warm on the shell and ideally with a pinch of rock salt to taste.

Last year’s winner, 28-year-old Wayne Algenio, devoured 37 eggs to win the title again, beating 11 other valiant competitors. “I had never tried it before, so I had no clue what it was going to taste like or the texture would be,” Algenio said. “It tastes similar to a regular boiled egg, but with sauce.”

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Algenio never heard of balut when he was growing up and only saw it on television featured in shows like “Fear Factor” and the food show hosted by Andrew Zimmern.

Asked about how it felt to be able to defend his title, he remarked with a smile, “It felt great defending my title. I was pretty nervous the few days before the contest since it was the first time I would be defending a title. But I’m still hungry. Lechon time!”

As a competitive eater, Wayne joined his first contest in August 2012. “It was a local pizza contest and I was just looking to make some extra cash. The balut contest is definitely shorter than most contest I compete in which are usually 10 minutes long,” he shared.

More difficult

Compared with other eating contests, eating balut is a bit more difficult and more technical since contestants have to crack the shell open and get the egg out.

“In other contests like pizza or burgers, I’m just constantly eating. So I have to have a lot more capacity for those contests. For balut I need speed,” Algenio added.

When he’s not eating competitively, he goes for his Filipino favorites like lechon, lumpia, BBQ sticks and his ultimate favorite, bistek. For the team behind the summer eating contest of the year (at least in the Filipino-American community), it is about opening the doors to showcase more of the Filipino cuisine out there.

“Hopefully it gets bigger every year. We want to have Filipinos, expats together and they have a place here in New York where they can go with friends and family,” said Nicole Ponseca, co-owner of Jeepney and Maharlika.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team. We’ve been really working hard to put the word out, so that the city can embrace Filipino food. I pinch myself every time I open a magazine or a newspaper and there is a feature about Jeepney or Maharlika. It’s great. How many times do we get to see Filipinos and non-Filipinos celebrating Filipino culture and food? It’s a multi-cultural crowd celebrating with us.”

Team member Tomas de los Reyes couldn’t agree more. “We have a two-time champion now, it is unbelievable! This could only get bigger and better and I can just imagine bringing more balut next year,” he said. “The crowd was awesome, they came to support. This is for Filipino food.”

Chef Miguel Trinidad was ecstatic and praised Algenio for the feat. “Oh my God, Wayne! You are a balut-eating god—37 baluts in five minutes. I could do 2 to 3, tops,” he said.

The team prepared and initially brought about 360 baluts. “As the contest came closer, they started disappearing,” Nicole said. “People started munching and eating balut as snacks. We started at 360, but today I think we have a little over 300.”

Balut tutorial

At Jeepney and Maharlika, they give tutorials to diners who want to try balut with their meals. During a recent kapihan at Jeepney with philanthropist and businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis, the discussions were broken with shouts of “Baluuuuut!” similar to what you’d hear on the streets of Manila or every town in the Philippines selling the delicacy. It turns out that the team chants “Baluuut!” everytime the kitchen gets an order.

A lot of New Yorkers are curious eaters and they are adventurous enough to try and eat food they would consider exotic or foreign to them. That is why the balut-eating contest gained traction.

This year, among these curious eaters was Carlos Borges, originally from Puerto Rico and now a resident of NYC. “I didn’t think this through,” he said laughing, referring to the balut-eating contest, which he joined upon the prodding of his Filipina girlfriend, Anafe Casas. Last Saturday, the couple ate balut for the first time. He finished 23, she ate 11.

“I hate losing. Balut is a very unique dish, I’m not sure if I’ll eat it again,” Borges said. “I almost lost it a couple of times because I got a few raw ones. I wanted to win but he (Algenio) is the champ.”

Another contestant, Dale Watkins, is no balut virgin. In fact, he was described prior to the competition as “someone who eats balut like candies.” He was able to finish 11 as well. “I’ll be back next year to redeem myself,” he said laughing.

No excuses

“I’m not making excuses but opening them up was a little more difficult than I thought. I’ll have to strategize a little bit and eat more balut on the side. I have no problem eating them, I’ll just practice how to open them faster.”

Yahoo Travel featured Nicole in a recent interview and cited her for the idea. “We may or may not have been drinking when we came up with the idea for this competition,” Nicole told them. “But, really, it’s less about the intimidation factor and more about finding a fun way for us to gather everyone together around something our culture loves.”

This year, it was one of the gatherings for the season. Its new location at the Hester Street Fair downtown may have been smaller than last year’s Dekalb, but the loyal followers of Filipino cuisine were not deterred.

With craned necks and all, they witnessed a long row of participants break open hundreds of balut, collectively filling the air with that unique smell and immediately transporting them back home, no matter where it is.

“I have to say thank you to Andrew Zimmern, Anthony Bourdain, April Bloomfield, Mario Batali and all these chefs who have come before us to try all these kinds of meats and offals and different kinds of cuisines. Without this kind of people pushing multi-cultural food, I don’t think we’d be as successful without them,” Nicole added.

Just this week, Anthony Bourdain, host of “Parts Unknown” on CNN ate balut during an interview with Piers Morgan. “This is a fetal duck egg very popular in the Philippines and Vietnam. There is a very hot, hispster restaurant currently in New York where hipsters with ironic facial hair and sunglasses are lined up twelve feet in to eat this. It’s not one of my favorite things, but it’s not that bad,” Bourdain said.

Sam Miguel
08-29-2013, 10:04 AM
To Seattle’s Fil-Ams, ‘adobo’ is more than food

By Hiyasmin Quijano

INQUIRER.net U.S. Bureau

4:53 am | Thursday, August 29th, 2013

SEATTLE, Washington—Hip-hop artist Geo Quibuyen said he hosted the Adobo Fest cook-off to bring the community together to find the best adobo in town. Turn out adobo lovers did.

With more than a hundred hungry aficionados, the cook-off and kid-friendly block party outside the Station cafe on 2533 16th Ave. South (across from El Centro de la Raza) was almost out of adobo half way through the scheduled five-hour event.

“We wanted to mash up all three and to see what happens,” said Quibuyen, better known as Prometheus Brown of the Blue Scholars hip hop duo founded in 2002 when he was a student at the University of Washington.

Quibuyen’s adobo organizing team grew up going to Filipino festivals, food events and block parties.

“The event was planned and put together in less than a month so we definitely want to do it again next year, but this time, with a whole year to plan ahead and make it even bigger!” said Quibuyen.

In this cook-off, Filipino American Garret Doherty won top prize for “The Best Adobo” in the greater Seattle area.

Doherty received a cash prize, trophy, and his adobo will be featured in the Beacon Avenue Sandwich http://www.yelp.com/biz/beacon-ave-sandwiches-seattle shop’s “Jose Rizal” adobo Sandwich.

A wide variety of Adobo Fest entries included chicken, pork belly, and chicken/pork, vegetarian. Contestants put their cultural influences and culinary skills to use.

“I’m from Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, and I came from a very poor family, so my style of adobo is inexpensive and easy to prepare,” stated Linda Gatcho Cupp, her style of cooking reminding her of where she came from.

The audience chose three best-tasting entrees. A panel of judges led by Mayor Mike McGuinn chose the winner at a live tasting in the final round.

The judges were Charles Aguiling, chef-owner of Outside the Box Paleo Food Truck; Dr. Agnes Garcia, director/board member of Filipino Community of Seattle Arts & Culture; JFK – Emcee Grayskul & Th3rdz; Aleksa Manila, LGBTQ activist/ counselor and Seattle’s Queen of Drag; Ajani Quibuyen, eight-year-old “adobo expert”; Kuya Ernie Rios, owner of Inay’s Restaurant ; Luis Rodriguez, owner of The Station & Beacon Ave Sandwiches; and Myrna Victoriano, Filipino Community of Seattle administrative assistant.

Quibuyen’s eight-year-old son Ajani said, “It felt really good to be sitting next to our Seattle Mayor McGinn!”

“After the event, the audience told me they liked what I said as a judge and that I was honest about each adobo dish. I’m glad that my mom and dad said I could be a judge,” added Ajani.

Seattle Fil-Am’s proved that adobo can be used to gather as one big family and influence younger generations while not forgetting about “home.”

A portion of the Adobo Fest funds will be donated to an exposure trip to the Philippines, which will include several Fil-Am families with children.

Sam Miguel
09-23-2013, 08:29 AM
After balut comes bibingka

Filipino food with American twist hits NY streets

By Cristina DC Pastor

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:07 am | Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

EILEEN FORMANES quit her job as vice president for human resources at a public relations agency to sell bibingka in New York City. “I’m free, I’m happier… and I’m determined to succeed,” said the daring entrepreneur. There are now an estimated 4 million Filipino immigrants in the United States.

If the “balut” can do it, why not the “bibingka?” Go mainstream, or as Eileen Formanes, 39, said with a shrug and a smile: “Americanize it.”

“I want it to be the next chocolate chip cookie,” she declared to The FilAm followed by sparkling laughter.

Eileen has taken the rice cake of our childhood Christmases—traditionally steamed on a banana leaf and eaten with freshly grated coconut—and given it an all-American twist. Imagine it tasting like peanut butter and jelly or strawberry or s’more. Campfire bibingka: What took you so long?

She has been baking bibingka full time since she left her job as vice president for human resources at a public relations agency.

“My bibingka is chewy with a crunchy crust,” describing it on her website. It is the same bibingka she brought to her office’s celebration of International Day. The raves from coworkers ignited the idea.

Eileen marked June 10 on her Facebook page as her “first day of freedom.” Which means she has been baking, cooking, experimenting with a medley of flavors and selling at pop-ups and street fairs around Manhattan for more than three months now. Her Bibingka-esk.com, which accepts orders, was up and running a month earlier (“esk” combines the first letters of her name and her daughters, Shea and Kaye).

“I wasn’t happy anymore,” said Eileen about being an HR professional for 20 years. Before a NextDayBetter (NDB) gathering of young Filipino American professionals and students celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship, she said, “It was time to make a change, to do something for myself. I did and never looked back.”

She is constantly finding new ways to reinvent Philippine desserts. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t so you just keep trying,” she said. What’s important, she stressed, is she is doing something that makes her truly happy.

Some of those who attended the September 14th event thought ditching a full-time job for a start-up at a time when the economy hasn’t fully recovered was a leap of faith. “Tapang niya (she’s got guts)” was a common comment.

One of the speakers put Eileen’s story in perspective, commenting how Filipinos have never been known to be risk takers or entrepreneurs. “They’re usually told to do well in school, find a good-paying job and stay there until retirement.”

NextDayBetter is a social platform which brings together innovators and entrepreneurs to share experiences and ideas. Explained cofounder Ryan Letada, “Their ideas and actions are Philippine-flavored and rooted in entrepreneurship, design and innovation.”

What Eileen is attempting is no different from what Nicole Ponseca of Maharlika and Jeepney restaurants had set out to do three years ago, when she reintroduced Filipino cuisine and made it more appealing to the American palate of younger and US-born Filipinos. Her very popular restaurants have launched the “balut”-eating contest in Brooklyn, which has garnered city-wide media coverage. The balut—or duck embryo—is enjoying acclaim in New York as a delicacy for fearless foodies.

Like most entrepreneurs in the food business, said Nicole who shared the stage with Eileen, one needs to have a back-up plan. In her case, she learned how to cook, wash the dishes, mix drinks, wait on tables, etc. so that in the event her staff walks out, she is ready to take over.

“You have to do everything yourself, as you have only yourself to lean on,” said Nicole.

The two met at the balut-eating contest at the Hester Street Fair where Eileen was a vendor.

“Nicole contacted me and told me about the event with NextDayBetter and she thought that my product and my story would be a good fit,” she said.

Eileen is also a regular at Hester Nights, LIC Flea & Food and Bryant Park. In October, this Bayside, Queens resident will be among the local vendors at QNS Urban Market in Long island City.

“Yes, walking away from a fulltime job is quite scary… but is there really a good time to do it?” she said. “I’m a hard worker and I’m determined to succeed.”

Pulitzer Award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas made reference to the “Golden Age” of Filipino culture in America and how it’s time for Fil-Am culture to flourish after being the underdog despite a rapidly growing population estimated at more than 4 million.

“This is especially true in the areas of theater, design and food,” he told reporters. “It’s time. I feel the energy of it.” The FilAm

Sam Miguel
10-11-2013, 09:33 AM
From ‘mi’ to ‘pancit’

By Michael L. Tan

Philippine Daily Inquirer

9:31 pm | Thursday, October 10th, 2013

I listened to an interview on Internet radio with food writer Jen Lin-Liu about her new book, “On the Noodle Road,” where she describes a six-month journey through China, into central Asia, Turkey, Iran and finally Italy, to see if she could find the origin of noodles, or pasta. For decades now, books have been written, even conferences organized, on the question of whether it was Chinese noodles that led to Italian pasta, or the other way around.

I haven’t been able to get Lin-Liu’s book but in the radio interview, she still seemed inconclusive. She did say that the story of Marco Polo bringing noodles to Italy was a myth created by the macaroni industry. In a book excerpt found on the site of National Public Radio, she also raises some doubts about the authenticity of Chinese claims to the oldest noodle, found in an archaeological site in Qinghai and supposedly dating back 4,000 years. She seems inclined to accept a theory that it was Genghis Khan, or the Mongols, who spread pasta-like products across his empire.

What Lin-Liu did establish is that very similar products are found from Beijing to Rome: all kinds of noodles, as well as dumplings, the Chinese “wonton,” the “manta” of Central Asia, the “manti” of Turkey (prepare yourself: beef and onions as the ingredients, served with a yogurt sauce drizzled with mint and paprika) to the “tortellini” of Italy.

Lin-Liu and other food scholars (no degree programs yet, unfortunately, for this specialty) point out that dumplings came about because they were a portable way of moving food around, and indeed when you think about it, yes, you’re really talking about protein food (meat, vegetables, even cheeses) being wrapped in a flour-based pouch so it won’t spill all over the place, and then steamed, stir-fried or cooked in whatever kind of broth that is available, sometimes even just plain water.

And the noodles? Lin-Liu suggests that the noodles might have “descended” from bread, torn into strips. I did a bit more research on the Internet and indeed, noodles, or at least the dried varieties, can last for extended periods and can be stored and transported. The Arabs did have their version of noodles, which they took on long caravans.

‘Pancitero’

Listening to all that talk about noodles and pasta got me thinking about the Philippines. Our taste of noodles almost certainly came from the Chinese, given the names we use. “Mami” means meat noodles in Minnan Chinese, the language used by most local ethnic Chinese. As a Filipino term, “mami” now simply means noodles, so we have chicken mami, pork mami, even seafood mami.

The term “pancit” is more intriguing, apparently derived from “piensit,” the Minnan Hokkien term for “ready food.” Documents from the Spanish period refer to the “pancitero,” or Chinese street vendors, selling Chinese food. In a way they were the original fast-food vendors. Piensit eventually took a strange turn, becoming pancit, referring to noodle dishes alone. And today we have all kinds of pancit preparations, from pancit canton (many Chinese restaurants actually served Cantonese food even if most local ethnic Chinese are from the adjoining southern Chinese province of Fujian or Hokkien) to pancit malabon.

The noodles of northern China, like the Italian pasta, are mostly wheat-based. Our “mi” and pancit products use more of rice flour. “Bihon,” a type of noodle, in fact means “rice flour.” “Sotanghun” is another noodle, “sotang” being a corruption of “sua tang” or the province of Shantung.

What about instant noodles, which have become such a staple for Filipino households, sometimes even used as the only dish by the poor and not-so-poor (like students, bachelors, and other people who can’t cook)?

Now that took another route. The original instant noodles were developed in Japan by Momofuku Ando, whose company, Nissin, brought out the first commercial instant-noodle product in 1958. These are instant “ramen,” the Japanese name derived from the Chinese “la mien” or pulled noodles. The technology for instant ramen spread throughout Asia while the product itself found markets all over the world.

I first discovered instant ramen while living in the United States as a graduate student, who couldn’t cook. Today I still occasionally use instant noodles but throw away the seasoning, which is mostly monosodium glutamate or “vetsin,” and add my own ingredients for better nutrition.

As much as possible, though, I avoid the product as well as many restaurants’ noodle products, which are still loaded with vetsin. There are a few places now offering better noodles, including genuine hand-pulled ones complete with the cooks doing the hand-pulling behind a glass window to prove they’re authentic. The best noodles are described as having a certain “pull” similar to al dente for Italian pasta, and in Minnan Chinese (actually Taiwanese Chinese) it is called “q,” as in the letter Q, with no Chinese character for it!

An unexpected development in recent years has been the spreading popularity of Vietnamese “pho,” which are truly complete meals—carbohydrates from pho and protein from meat or seafood, or, for vegetarians, tofu and mushrooms. The pho’s distinctive flavor and aroma come from cardamom. The dish is also supposed to be taken with “tauge” (mung bean sprouts) and an Asian basil variety, but I notice that quite often Filipinos disregard these vegetables.

Spaghetti

What about Italian pasta? Macaroni and spaghetti are still the most well known. In my childhood they were associated with birthday parties, but today they have become common food, available at fast-food joints. Children love Filipino spaghetti because it’s so sweet and has hot dogs, a concoction which Italians find almost blasphemous.

Our appreciation of Italian pasta is changing, though, with supermarkets and restaurants offering a wider variety of products. Rustan’s even has freshly prepared pasta, together with all kinds of ingredients to go with them. They’re still considered expensive, so are unlikely yet to become common dishes.

Other Filipinos are discovering the joys of homemade pasta and noodles, investing anywhere from P7,000 to P50,000 for pasta makers. You knead your own dough and pass it through the pasta maker, which has different attachments for all kinds of pasta, including Asian noodles. There are also contraptions for making dumplings, expensive ones.

Returning to Lin-Liu, author of “On the Noodle Road,” she did talk about how women in several cultures, across central Asia and into Italy, are rated for their marriage eligibility by their expertise in preparing dumpling products. In Turkey, the most highly rated are the ones who can make four tiny manti fit into one spoon!

I am sure we will see more Filipino versions of noodles and dumplings emerging in the future, shaped by our diaspora, as well as by local tastes and ingredients. Don’t forget that dumplings are just small, even tiny, wraps, the ingredients left to your imagination, to be concocted and relished with good company.

* * *

Sam Miguel
10-23-2013, 08:04 AM
How to eat ‘balut’

By Ambeth R. Ocampo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:16 am | Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

“Taiyaki” is a Japanese snack related to our hopia or mongo roll. It is a small cake in the form of a fish filled with sweet, dark mongo. Taking the first bite of a taiyaki depends on gender: Men start at the head of the fish, women start at the tail.

How people do things differs from place to place. When Pinoys slice and eat a mango, do they start at the sweet pointed tip, the not-so-sweet bottom, or the center, and work their way up? We crack a balut from the round part of the egg rather than the pointed tip, to form a small cup, the better to sip the “soup” before dissecting the duckling. Growing up, my sisters and I fought over the balut soup, which was everyone’s favorite, then we took our respective parts: I got the sisiw or chick, one sister got the “yellow” or yolk, and the youngest got the bato, which is normally discarded or fed to an appreciative pet under the table.

The rituals of eating are so common we hardly notice them, except when we observe something done differently. A typical Filipino table setting has a plate and glass (both turned down, I guess to avoid dust, and turned up when you sit for the meal), and a spoon on the right of the plate and a fork on the left. Knives are rarely used because Pinoys spear a piece of meat with a fork and bite pieces off or, in the case of children, an adult will use a spoon and fork to cut the food into smaller pieces. A friend had a childhood Chinese amah or yaya who chewed the food for her wards, spat it into a spoon, and fed it to the children! Why their parents allowed this is beyond me. Adults blow on hot soup or food to cool it before feeding a child, but in the West it is considered rude to blow on food.

Noodles are treated differently. In the West you put a fork into a bowl or plate of spaghetti and a spoon at the bottom of the fork, then you twirl and form a mouthful. Sucking a strand of noodle into the mouth with appropriate noise is considered fun and acceptable for children, but not for adults. In China and Japan noodles are served in bowls, often with hot broth, and taken with chopsticks. No twirling here. One catches the steaming noodles with the chopsticks, puts these in the mouth, and slurps it all in. The loud slurping serves to cool the noodles and signals contentment or appreciation.

Filipinos use the spoon both for liquids and solids. This got a Filipino child in a foreign school into trouble because his teacher insisted that a spoon is only for liquids and that he had to learn how to use his fork to put solids in his mouth. This reminded me of Victorian England, where they used a bewildering array of utensils: a spoon, knife, or fork differed in size depending on its use for lunch, dinner, or dessert; a knife and a fork differed in shape according to fish or meat; a soup spoon was round and differed from the normal oval spoon; there were specific spoons for ice cream, coffee, tea, strawberry, melons, etc. The Victorians also came up with special utensils to hold corn on the cob, snails, or a bone that had to be picked for marrow. They even crafted tongs for ice and scissors to cut grapes off the stem. Those were definitely the days before tablets, cell phones, Internet games and porn.
undefined

In the 1850s Filipino artist Jose Honorato Lozano painted scenes from daily life with a number of examples showing how our ancestors ate. Most of them ate from a low table around which they squatted on their haunches or used a stool. When were tables introduced in our eating habits? People then ate with their hands or with a spoon. When they ate from the wares of an itinerant pancit or lugao vendor, they used chopsticks and what appear to be Chinese porcelain soup spoons that are still in use today. When Filipinos started using a spoon and a fork is another question I am looking into.

Table etiquette in the late 19th century can be learned from the famous book of manners “Pagsusulatan ng dalauang binibini na si Urbana at Feliza na nagtuturo ng mabuting kaugalian. Kinatha nang Presbitero D. Modesto de Castro.” (Correspondence of two young ladies Urbana and Feliza that teaches good manners. By Fr. Modesto de Castro.) The book is divided into chapters that contain letters from the city girl, Urbana, instructing the country girl, Feliza, on how she and a little boy named Honesto are to act in different social situations. The chapter “Sa piguing” outlines what Honesto is to do and not to do during a party. Children are to be seen and not heard, they should not talk unless spoken to, they should not look around, cough, spit, yawn, or make unnecessary noise or movements. Urbana instructs them on the use of napkins, how to drink from a glass, etc.

These rules originated from European books of manners, but what about other ways of eating? What are the rules about kamayan or eating with the hands aside from washing before and after eating? What are the rules about eating with chopsticks? For example, when picking or serving food, did they use serving chopsticks that have a different color, or did they use the pointed part for eating and the opposite end, the rounded or square part, for picking and serving?

Table rules are often unwritten and we learn as we grow up. Thus, knowing how and why says a lot about who and how Pinoy we are.

Sam Miguel
10-23-2013, 08:11 AM
Pampanga’s most famous baked mac–and hundred-plus treats–in food fest

By Vangie Baga-Reyes

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:18 am | Thursday, October 17th, 2013

For over 25 years now, Toll House and its beefy Baked Macaroni have been one of Pampanga’s best-kept secrets.

The velvety baked mac uses long macaroni pasta blended with real ground beef, topped with melted cheese and smothered with extra-creamy white sauce. It is rich, filling and yummy.

30-year-old recipe

Based on a 30-year-old family recipe of siblings Josephine Concepcion-Mendoza, Remedios Concepcion-Romero, Rachela Concepcion and Rose Concepcion from Angeles City, the baked mac was initially a hit only among relatives and friends on special occasions. Soon, orders for the dish started pouring in, followed by orders for more of their creations such as clubhouse sandwich, fried chicken, palabok, arroz caldo, roast beef, pandan cake, Black Forest cake, pistachio cake, apple pie.

It was only a matter of time before the sisters put up their own restaurant so they could cater to their growing clientele.

“We opened Toll House in 1988 in Angeles City,” says Concepcion-Mendoza. “Since then, we’ve never stopped serving our baked mac which many people, especially tourists, keep looking for. Because of this, we’ve never dared tweak or change the recipe. It’s still all made from scratch.”

Toll House has become Pampanga’s pride, a must-stop restaurant for travelers.

Featured specialties

Toll House’s baked mac will be among the 100-plus specialties in the first ever gathering of foodies in the north. “Big Bite! The Northern Food Festival” will be held at Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga, Oct. 18-20.

Marquee Mall, Ayala Land’s first dining, shopping and entertainment destination north of Manila, will spruce up its huge outdoor park to accommodate food stalls of the best products from Pampanga, Bulacan, Ilocos, Baguio, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bataan, Pangasinan, Cagayan and La Union.

Everything, from cooked Filipino favorites to famous native delicacies and baked goodies, fresh fruits and vegetables, will be sold.

“Big Bite! at Marquee Mall aims to be the go-to food gathering in the country,” says Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Land vice president and head of operations for commercial business group. “For us, there’s no other location to hold such a huge food affair than in Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines. In this event, we take the food fest to another level by inviting homegrown food retailers, chefs and cooks all the way from Bulacan to Ilocos—all the popular ones from the northern Philippines in one destination for three days.”

Kapampangan fare

Pampanga alone offers a lot of famous fare, among them: Nathaniel’s Buko-Pandan Salad and Puto Pao; Kabigting’s Halo-Halo (pure carabao’s milk with ground kidney beans, sweet cream corn and carabao milk pastillas); Kuliat’s Empanada; Bella’s Puto Calasiao; Susie’s Tibok-Tibok (creamy coconut and carabao milk pudding topped with fried coconut bits) and Palabok; Pampanga’s Best Tocino; and Apag Marangle’s Sisig Wrap.

Kapampangan delicacies include betute (stuffed frog), camaru (crispy crickets) and pindang damulag (carabao tocino).

There’ll also be Bulacan’s special chicharon, Ilocos empanada and Nueva Ecija’s leche flan.

To add excitement to the biggest food event in Luzon, Big Bite! will also hold cooking demos, a cooking competition among culinary schools, a contest for the best heirloom recipes, food-eating games and food samplings.

Heirloom recipes

Families from across the north are invited to share their heirloom recipes and show how their special dishes have continued to be family favorites through generations. The contest is open to legal residents of Cordillera Administrative Region, Region I, Region II and Region III. The best recipe wins P20,000.

Battling it out for kitchen supremacy are students from The Philippine Women’s University, Systems Plus College, Angeles University Foundation, NorthPoint Culinary Academy and Bulacan State University.

The cooking demonstrations will feature celebrity chefs like Rolando Laudico on Oct. 18; Sabrina Artadi on Oct. 19; and Sau del Rosario on Oct. 20.

Food historian and Pampanga’s very own Lillian Borromeo, or Atching Lillian, who opened her ancestral home in Mexico, Pampanga, for visitors to experience authentic Kapampangan cuisine, will also share her popular recipes, including Pandecillo de San Nicolas paired with chocolate de batirol.

Marquee Mall’s shoppers and patrons will get to taste the food specialties for free with every P500 receipt from any Marquee Mall shops.

Opened in 2009, Marquee Mall is Ayala Land’s first mall north of Manila. The mall, just an hour’s drive from the metro and strategically adjacent to the Angeles exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), has over 400 shops, exclusive boutiques, restaurants and cinemas.

Marquee Mall’s Big Bite! The Northern Food Festival is organized with the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Manila North Tollways Corp., Asian Food Channel, Cignal Digital TV and Mercato Centrale Group.

Sam Miguel
11-07-2013, 08:14 AM
The flavors of Quiapo

By Reggie Aspiras

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:04 am | Thursday, November 7th, 2013

All my life, I have been in awe of Quiapo and its sights, sounds, flavors… To me, Quiapo best exemplifies who we are—blessed with a glorious past, culturally rich, colorful, diverse, timeless.

Yearning to revisit Quiapo, I called a dear friend, Carlos Celdran, to show me around. Together with a bunch of my students, we walked, shopped, cooked and ate our way through the district which, Carlos said, is the heart and soul of Manila.

The Nakpil-Bautista house at 432 A. Bautista (formerly Barbosa Street) was our meeting place where we were welcomed by Bobbi Nakpil Santos-Viola, president of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation Inc., and her nephew Dominic.

Bobbi said the house, a landmark in Quiapo, was built by Dr. Ariston Bautista and his wife Petrona Nakpil. The childless couple invited Petrona’s brothers and sisters to live with them.

One of her brothers was Julio Nakpil, a Katipunero and musical composer who was commissioned by supremo Andres Bonifacio to write a draft for the Philippine national anthem. Nakpil eventually married Andres Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus.

We learned that Dr. Bautista loved to entertain. It was said the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista was constantly alive with parties—opera music played by an orchestra, and delicious food served on fine china and crystal.

From Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, we set out to explore Quiapo by foot. Passing through candle vendors, Carlos took us to the side entrance of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, more famous as Quiapo Church, where we paid our respects and prayed to the Nazareno.

Cheaper by the ‘tumpok’

From there we experienced Quiapo from a foodie perspective—filling our bayong with items like there’s no tomorrow. Everything here was cheaper by the tumpok: the colorful peppers, the huge kalamansi, the vegetables, the dried fish, everything was laid out beautifully for the picking.

We also sampled its yummy delights, served in locations that are landmarks themselves:

Globe Lumpia House

Opened in 1953 along Quezon Boulevard, the place moved three years later to Raon (now Gonzalo Puyat Street) at the old Globe Theater, thus the name Globe Lumpia House.

According to its proprietor, Reynaldo Lantin, the recipe for the lumpia was taught to his grandfather by his great grandmother in China. As tradition would have it, the recipe is handed down only to the sons, since the daughters will eventually leave to be with their husbands.

Lantin attributes the lumpia’s popularity to the freshest ingredients and selling it at the lowest possible price (as his lolo often reminded the clan). From 20 centavos in 1953, it now costs P16, still cheap.

Excelente Ham

Opened in 1963, its one and only store is still at 155-157 Carlos Palanca Street (formerly Echague). Needless to say, its ham still reigns supreme! Its delectable pineapple ham, eaten as palaman in Vienna Bakery pan de sal, makes the perfect Quiapo merienda experience.

Kim Chong Tin Hopia Factory

Located right beside Excelente Ham, it is home to the best hopia in town, still made by hand and baked in pugon.

The story goes that Ong Pei Pee, an orphan, migrated to the Philippines from China and worked as a houseboy for a family that sold hopia. He learned how to make the pastry himself and, after saving enough money from his salary, opened his own hopia store in 1927.

His grandson Kiko Ong, who is now in charge of the store, said perseverance, luck and devotion to the Nazareno are the reasons why the family business continues to flourish.

My personal favorites are hopiang mongo with salted egg, condol with bacon, and condol with pork. I’ve been back to Quiapo three times since, because I’ve been craving for this hopia—flaky with smooth and creamy centers that are really tasty.

We dared not miss the specialties of Muslim Quiapo such as Arab Spice Chicken at Moud Halal Restaurant (829 Globo de Oro St.); Pater Rice (flaked flavorful chicken over rice for P10) and fish eggs and balbacua (bulalo cooked with turmeric) at Junairah Halal Restaurant also at Globo de Oro Street.

Two hours later we went back to Bahay Nakpil-Bautista where I cooked a couple of dishes from ingredients we found during our stroll—tinola made with turmeric and palapa (spice paste from the Muslim market) and fried rice scented with dried tuna, which I bought beside the palapa vendor.

Pinatisang Alimango

The culinary treat was made complete by an heirloom recipe from the Nakpil family: Lola’s Pinatisang Alimango cooked by Dominic Faustino. He said the dish was Gregoria de Jesus’ favorite, the recipe handed down to him by Mercedez Nakpil-Zialcita and her mayordoma Manang Lucha.

PINATISANG Alimango

Ingredients:

3 live alimango (1 female, 2 male crabs)
Dayap/calamansi/lemon
3 segments of macerated garlic
¼ c patis

1. Remove the crab shells covering the back; with your fingers, scoop out the aligue, and let it out into a clean bowl.

2. Scoop out the aligue from the bodies, but discard the black gelatinous substance. Wash each piece very well.

3. Cut each half into three between the appendages.

4. You may cut the tips of the appendages and discard them if you wish. Break the shells of the claws. Set aside all these pieces.

5. Strain the aligue, add 1½ cup water and keep on straining. Season with dayap juice and patis.

Cooking:

Heat a kawali, pour ½ cup cooking oil. When warm enough, put in all the alimango pieces.

Turn off the heat when the pieces are red. Remove all the pieces, set aside. Allow the oil to cool.

Then warm the oil again, fry the garlic and pour in the previously prepared aligue sauce. Keep on stirring until it is cooked, then put in all the alimango pieces.

Let simmer for about 30 minutes, and adjust the seasoning by adding either dayap juice or patis.

The Nakpil-Bautista kitchen needs to be restored. For those who have extra tiles, cement, wood, wires, etc. and wish to donate them to keep the grandeur of this heritage house of Quiapo alive, contact Bobbi Nakpil Santos-Viola at 0917-8517455 or 7319305.

Sam Miguel
08-06-2014, 08:01 AM
Grab a Seat, Prepare for the Sizzle

Hungry City: Lumpia Shack Snackbar in the West Village

By LIGAYA MISHAN

JULY 31, 2014

Ears, jowls, belly. They come brined, blanched, shattered and fried, each tip blackened and alchemized, each pocket of fat approaching liquefaction. A raw yolk idles on top. Stab it and churn. This is sisig, the greatest pork hash — arguably greatest pork dish — on earth. Say the name with two flicks of the tongue, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss.

In Filipino restaurants, sisig is usually prefaced by the adjective “sizzling” and presented on a snapping-hot skillet. At Lumpia Shack Snackbar, a counter-seating-only storefront in the West Village, the meat is thrown over rice and crowded around by achara (pickled vegetables) and herbs, among them pink-stained baby radishes and oversize basil leaves poised like butterfly wings. It’s pretty but still rowdy, the bowl ticking with vinegar, sambal and calamansi.

Sisig is a muscle car in the world of Filipino cuisine, along with crispy pata, nearly half a pig’s leg deep-fried whole and served with a knife plunged in, Excalibur-style. Lumpia Shack Snackbar turns this behemoth into fries, which is sacrilege but canny: It pre-empts squeamishness and, more important, multiplies the surface area of crackling crust. The chef, Neil Syham, uses only the suppler shank meat, and purists will miss tussling with the trotter’s cartilage. But there is plenty of gooey fat to go around, to be leavened by the accompanying suka, coconut vinegar shocked with pickled red chiles.

Mr. Syham and his wife, Angie Roca, started Lumpia Shack as a Smorgasburg stall two years ago and opened the Snackbar in May. They were born in Manila a few years apart — in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor — to families of Chinese descent. A few of the dishes here speak to that heritage, like the excellent pancit bihon, based on a recipe from Ms. Roca’s lolo (grandfather). Filipino noodle dishes have never received the same adulation as their Southeast Asian peers, but this could be the breakthrough, skinny rice noodles mussed in vegetable stock and mushroom soy sauce, with hot-bright interstices of citrus and chile.

The space is minimalist, with paint purposefully chipped, and corrugated steel for a ceiling, in keeping with the shack theme. A skeletal wooden star around the central light invokes the parol, a traditional Filipino Christmas lantern. There are just a few stools along the counter, which is too bad, because this is food best eaten on the spot.

The menu revolves around mix-and-match rice bowls: Choose a protein (chicken slow-poached, then seared to order; pork belly, judiciously fatty) then a sauce. Tomato-based afritada skews Spanish but is enflamed with Korean gochujang; Bicol Express, from the Filipino South, is more like curry, melding coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut yogurt with more of those dangerous pickled jalapeños.

I was less persuaded by Mr. Syham’s take on adobo, in which soy gets the better of vinegar. Then again, there are as many arguments over (and recipes for) adobo as there are over American barbecue. And a pork belly adobo “burger,” pressed between two cakes of coiled ramen noodles (courtesy of Keizo Shimamoto of Ramen Burger), makes a worthy combatant in the city’s pork-belly-bun wars.

There is bangus (baby milkfish), too, fried whole, nose and tail curling toward each other, as if attempting a bow pose. It gets only a splash of calamansi dressing; it needs nothing more.

Oddly, the title attraction, lumpia, is the least compelling: fried cigarillos of soy-glazed ground pork in crepe-thin wrappers, daubed with a too-sweet chile sauce. Better, and more maverick, is a version packed with mushrooms braised in adobo, striped with aioli perfumed by pulverized black summer truffles.

The lone dessert is a knockout: halo-halo (which is pronounced “hollow-hollow” and means “mix-mix” in Tagalog) is a funnel of shaved ice — not a powdery snow but coarse, so it knocks against the teeth — with aerated milk percolating down strata of fresh young coconut and coconut jelly; bananas sticky from simple syrup; spongy see-through palm seeds; and whatever berries are in season. At the top is a hunk of leche flan under an up-do of lavender-hued whipped cream, infused with ube (purple yam) and studded with popcorn.

It is over the top yet somehow demure, Audrey Hepburn hiding the heart of Anna Nicole. When it was handed to me, everyone in the room hushed.

Sam Miguel
08-06-2014, 08:01 AM
New York Times review calls sisig 'arguably greatest pork dish on earth'

August 4, 2014 10:21pm

Most Filipinos are already familiar with the wonders of the pork sisig. Thanks to the Grey Lady, discerning New Yorkers might just give the sizzling Pinoy appetizer a try.

In a piece on the New York Times last week, food columnist Ligaya Mishan sang the praises of the sisig while reviewing Lumpia Shack Snackbar, a Filipino restaurant in West Village.

"This is sisig, the greatest pork hash — arguably greatest pork dish — on earth. Say the name with two flicks of the tongue, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss," wrote Mishan.

She added that the sisig was "a muscle car in the world of Filipino cuisine" along with the crispy pata, which are served like fries at Lumpia Shack Snackbar.

It's not the first time a food critic from the New York Times has raved about Filipino food. Last year, writer Pete Wells wrote glowing reviews about a pair of restaurants that served Pinoy fare in the Big Apple. — JST, GMA News

Sam Miguel
08-06-2014, 08:01 AM
New York Times review calls sisig 'arguably greatest pork dish on earth'

August 4, 2014 10:21pm

Most Filipinos are already familiar with the wonders of the pork sisig. Thanks to the Grey Lady, discerning New Yorkers might just give the sizzling Pinoy appetizer a try.

In a piece on the New York Times last week, food columnist Ligaya Mishan sang the praises of the sisig while reviewing Lumpia Shack Snackbar, a Filipino restaurant in West Village.

"This is sisig, the greatest pork hash — arguably greatest pork dish — on earth. Say the name with two flicks of the tongue, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss," wrote Mishan.

She added that the sisig was "a muscle car in the world of Filipino cuisine" along with the crispy pata, which are served like fries at Lumpia Shack Snackbar.

It's not the first time a food critic from the New York Times has raved about Filipino food. Last year, writer Pete Wells wrote glowing reviews about a pair of restaurants that served Pinoy fare in the Big Apple. — JST, GMA News

Sam Miguel
08-06-2014, 08:08 AM
An American coworker and friend once told me sisig reminded him of something his granny used to make in Indiana.

She'd get whole pig's brain, boil it, squeeze the juice of a whole lemon onto it, season it with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, toss in some minced onions, then kind of mash it all together. This was served at breakfast by his granny.

Small wonder he loved the hell out of our sisig. He apparently had its essence for breakfast quite a lot growing up.

Sam Miguel
08-06-2014, 08:08 AM
An American coworker and friend once told me sisig reminded him of something his granny used to make in Indiana.

She'd get whole pig's brain, boil it, squeeze the juice of a whole lemon onto it, season it with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, toss in some minced onions, then kind of mash it all together. This was served at breakfast by his granny.

Small wonder he loved the hell out of our sisig. He apparently had its essence for breakfast quite a lot growing up.

Joescoundrel
08-07-2014, 02:13 PM
Duck from Cagayan, honey from Sorsogon, salt from Guimaras

By Micky Fenix |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:26 am |

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

This time it was Machiko Chiba, Japanese cooking specialist and a guest of Maritess Lopez, wife of Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manolo Lopez, who enjoyed Glenda Barretto’s version of the traditional Filipino chicken soup.

Another “aha” moment for Chiba: when the lumpiang ubod was served, the coconut heart in pouches rather than the usual spring roll, accompanying black tiger prawns and crab claws in coconut cream.

Chiba was here to demonstrate her recipes for a culinary school, similar to what she has done abroad, notably at Le Cordon Bleu in London.

‘Adobo’ sauce

She is the author of several books, and you can determine by their titles that she writes for the modern kitchen and eater: “Japanese Dishes for Wine Lovers,” for instance; and for microwave users, “The Cook-Zen Cookbook,” which uses her patented cooking pot.
Present at the dinner were the chefs of the book “Kulinarya” (Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Myrna Segismundo and Jessie Sincioco); and writers Felice Sta. Maria, Nana Ozaeta and myself.

Adobo was Chiba’s favorite; it was the sauce that evening for the Bistek Batangueño. Chiba was told stories of how the cutout of the pastillas wrappers used to be so long it reached the floor when laid out on the table, and how “latik” used as the sauce for the baked squash is made by cooking coconut milk with panocha (cooked brown sugar).

The setting for serving Filipino food can be on a formal dining table like that evening, the crystal glassware filled with well-chosen wines, the dishes on porcelain and silverware, with fresh roses as centerpiece.

But it can also be an informal table such as what we had at Purple Yam in Malate.

This restaurant owned by Romy Dorotan and Amy Besa has been creating such a buzz, mainly because Purple Yam is the couple’s Manila branch of its main site in Brooklyn, New York.

We arrived for Sunday brunch at 3 p.m., quite American in schedule; so before then I had to look as if I was having my fill of the Sunday lunch at home, our usual family time.

Yet there was family at Purple Yam, too—the Dorotans and the couple’s friends. Its location on Nakpil Street is Amy Besa’s family home; outside you can imagine that it was what most of the houses in the area must have looked like in the 1950s, before Malate became a honky-tonk town.

Local ingredients

When the menu was shown, it made me smile because the sources of ingredients were listed as well. Amy and Romy want to bring home the point that we have so many ingredients that need to be discovered, cooked and appreciated.

There was duck from Amancio Farm in Cagayan, which was salt-roasted and placed into pan de sal made by a young baker from Staple and Perk Bakery.

The Ligwan honey from Castilla in Sorsogon sweetened the pancake made with squash, Greek yogurt and sour cream.

The soft-boiled organic duck egg was from Victoria, Laguna, and topped the salad of greens, green mango and santol with cured tuna that looked and tasted like ham.

Salt for grating on the salad was tultul from Guimaras, a salt block that has a whole story on how it’s made and why it became plentiful in the place.

Rice that was perfect for the beef tapa and pork tocino with omelette came from the Cordilleras, said Amy. It moved the guests to enumerate their own favorite organic colored rice (black, red, yellow, brown) and the names and places where they were grown. Foodies always do that, though I hope we never get to the point where the information becomes more important than tasting the food.

‘Kinagang’

Off the menu, Romy presented what he called kinagang from his home province, Sorsogon. Shrimps and scallops rested on a bed of grated buko (young coconut) and lukadon, that stage of the coconut before it becomes the mature niyog, favored for many Bicolano dishes.

The kinagang was steamed in banana leaf, though Romy said that the hagikhik leaf (Phrynium fasciculatum) is traditionally used. He was surprised when told that hagikhik is the wrapper of the suman latik (rice cake with sweetened coco milk) in Leyte, the leaf shaped into triangles.

Cochinillo was also served, already chopped, the meat in long strips with the crisp skin shorn of fat and served as is—crunchy and heavenly.

Celebratory

The roasted pig made the brunch celebratory, but conversation around the table between old friends and newfound friends also helped.

The talk ranged from exceptional Cinemalaya movies to scandals in high places. We remembered those who could no longer share the food with us but are still top of mind.

Time passed quickly. It was sundown when we left. By the staircase that led down from the dining area, Amy reiterated what she and Romy are aiming for: support for local suppliers; for the true flavors of the food’s ingredients to come through without the aid of taste enhancers like MSG; to show foreigners and Filipinos themselves how varied and rich our cuisine is.

Because Purple Yam in Brooklyn is still open, Romy’s schedule will have him shuttling between the US and Manila. Managing both kitchens is a big task.

But then again, Amy and Romy must have planned it well, just like when they opened Cendrillon in New York, a pan-Asian restaurant that ran for 14 years.

The couple has also published the award-winning book “Memories of Philippine Kitchens” (Stewart, Tabouri and Chang, 2006).

danny
08-22-2014, 12:36 PM
Just met fellow Bedan and part owner of Itallianis-Greenbelt. According to him, the Philippines now serves the best Japanese food outside Japan.

Any comment on this?

Joescoundrel
08-22-2014, 01:57 PM
Just met fellow Bedan and part owner of Itallianis-Greenbelt. According to him, the Philippines now serves the best Japanese food outside Japan.

Any comment on this?

Danny, is there a particular restaurant he cited as the best example of this phenomenon? Or did he mean our country in general is now serving the best Japanese food outside Japan? And is it for all Japanese food or do we excel in a particular type?

danny
08-23-2014, 04:33 AM
Danny, is there a particular restaurant he cited as the best example of this phenomenon? Or did he mean our country in general is now serving the best Japanese food outside Japan? And is it for all Japanese food or do we excel in a particular type?

He mentioned a restaurant near Don Bosco Makati though, just across The Columns. Tuna sashimi of course I would agree, especially down south.

It was more of a general comment though.

cheeze
08-23-2014, 02:56 PM
He mentioned a restaurant near Don Bosco Makati though, just across The Columns. Tuna sashimi of course I would agree, especially down south.

It was more of a general comment though.

if it's near Don Bosco Makati, he may be referring to Little Tokyo. Lots of Japanese restaurants there and, yes, they are good and reasonably priced.

danny
08-24-2014, 12:22 AM
It`s Nihonbashi Tei. Just across The Columns. Has anyone tried this resto?

Sam Miguel
08-28-2014, 10:14 AM
‘Lechon kawali sa gata,’ ‘adobong hito’–historic Bistro Remedios marks milestone with new dishes

By Joy Rojas |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:30 am |

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Bistro Remedios opened in 1984 at the corner of Remedios and Adriatico Streets, the third of Larry Cruz’s bistros and the fifth of the LJC Group’s growing chain of restaurants.

Cruz acquired the lease to the corner property: a two-story mid-20th-century ilustrado home formerly occupied by the flamboyant genius of style, Ernest Santiago. Santiago had his atelier on the upper floor and his Zee Zee Bar on the ground floor.
Originally known as Ang Bistro Sa Remedios, it was the purveyor of traditional Kapampangan cuisine, heirloom recipes from the Cruz family.

It didn’t take long before young professionals, called “yuppies” then, made it their regular stop for lunch or dinner. Word spread quickly and soon celebrities, fashion designers, foreign correspondents, pundits and politicians delighted in ordering the signature dishes like Betute, Bringhe and Bopis.

Those were the days when no one else, except perhaps Everybody’s Café in San Fernando, Pampanga, served authentic Kapampangan dishes.

Ang Bistro sa Remedios, with a sense of regional pride and flair, served dishes in a setting so inspiring and conducive to dining and conversation. Small and cozy, it had a service bar at the center that was a replica of a banggerahan (the vernacular for the kitchen section of a Filipino home where dishes and utensils are left on a rack to air and dry). The banggerahan gained understated elegance in its new place.

Such touches and details became the hallmark of other restaurants that Cruz opened over the years. He believed that creating ambiance was always part of a good dining experience.

This was the place where one could eat Bamboo Rice, a flavorful version of mountain rice combined with shrimps, chicken, wood ear mushrooms and bamboo shoots steamed in bamboo; Binukadkad na Crispy Pla Pla, fried fish cut butterfly-style and served with balo-balo (fermented shrimp) and fresh mustard leaves; Gule Magalang, stewed farm-fresh vegetables from Cruz’s hometown; Paco Fern and Tomato Salad, a crunchy, refreshing mix of young rainforest fern, tomato and salted egg drizzled with a light salad dressing; Crispy Tadyang “D Original,” marinated beef ribs deep-fried to a delicious crispiness; and Knockout Knuckles, a whole leg of pork deep-fried in garlic and chili, cited by noted food writer Madhur Jaffrey in her book, “Far Eastern Cookery,” as the best she’s ever had.

For adventurous eaters, there were two Kapampangan specialties to try: Betute (stuffed and fried river frogs) and the seasonal Crispy Spiced Camaru, rice field crickets sautéed in tomatoes and onions.

Foreigners who wanted to experience authentic Filipino dishes weren’t its only loyal patrons; locals also brought balikbayan family and friends to get their Pinoy food fix. Even the late king of comedy, Dolphy, went there so many times that his go-to dish, Adobong Palos, was renamed in his honor.

“This is my favorite of the fast-expanding chain of Larry Cruz’s restaurants,” once declared the celebrated food writer Doreen Fernandez in her column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

She wrote: “The Kapampangan food is well-chosen as being both representative of the region and compatible with alien palates; it is cooked with authenticity and served with elegance; the quality has been consistent in spite of success, expansion and the temptation of media hype; and the pleasant ambiance is well in tune with the concept of the restaurant.”

Thirty years later, and even with the influx of dining destinations and variety of cuisines, Bistro Remedios continues to be relevant to its patrons and the times. Relocated since 1998 to its present location on Adriatico Street, just steps away from Remedios Circle, the restaurant is accredited with the Department of Tourism (DOT), making it one of the recommended places for foreign guests to dine.

For its ongoing “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, the DOT also chose Bistro Remedios as a venue for its restaurant scene.

“Our hope for Bistro Remedios is to bring it to where it can reach more people,” says Lorna Cruz-Ambas, president and CEO of the LJC Restaurant Group, and Cruz’s daughter. “Bistro Remedios’ only branch is in the Old Manila area, and perhaps by taking it to the malls where it can reach a wider market, it can attain success similar to (sister restaurant) Abe. After all, before Abe, there was Bistro Remedios.”

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Bistro Remedios introduces five new regional dishes in its menu.

Lechon Kawali sa Gata features everybody’s favorite fried pork belly simmering in coconut cream.

Sinugbang Manok, grilled Cebuano-style with soy, vinegar and spices, is a half chicken that can either be shared or enjoyed solo.
Adobong Hito is stewed in adobo seasoning and finished with coconut cream.

Piniñahang Baboy, also with coconut milk, is stewed pork belly with pineapple and vegetables.

Sinugba Platter is a generous spread of prawns, pork belly and Cebuano-style grilled chicken with achara and spicy vinegar.

Its first slogan, “Freshest is Best,” was, and is, no empty boast. Thirty years is a long time in the restaurant business and it only goes to show that good, honest Filipino food is still unbeatable and will last long after the fads have gone.

After all these years, Bistro Remedios has become an icon, a destination, and a tradition where old regulars still come and new ones who savor its signature dishes for the first time, vow to return.

Bistro Remedios is on Adriatico St., Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Sunday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 12 mn on Friday and Saturday.

Sam Miguel
08-28-2014, 10:19 AM
It`s Nihonbashi Tei. Just across The Columns. Has anyone tried this resto?

This is the one along Arnaiz right?

I've been there twice, it is indeed very good, reasonably priced, fresh ingredients, particularly loved the gindara teriyaki.

Sam Miguel
08-29-2014, 09:53 AM
‘Bibingka,’ ‘monay,’ ‘escandaloza’ and other curious names of Philippine baked goodies

By Micky Fenix |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:00 am |

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The bibingka set before me at Medina in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, looked just like most Visayan bibingka I’ve seen.

Made of rice flour, the cake took on the color of rice rather than the rich yellow of bibingka with egg and was quite simple, because it had no topping of kesong puti (white cheese) or itlog na maalat (salted egg) pieces. It looked like the salvaro of Dapitan in Zamboanga del Norte, a bread made with rice flour and coconut milk. But the salvaro had a slash in the middle, to make it easy to break the pieces apart. The Medina bibingka had none and its complete name is “bibingka walay liki.”

When the Cebuano term was translated, I laughed. You will only appreciate the humor if you know that bibingka is also how a woman’s private part is called and walay liki means without a slit or narrow crack.

In the bread world, monay has the same feminine allusion, and if you’ve ever seen how Iloilo bakers fashion the bread, you’ll understand why it was named so.

At Dizon’s Bakery in Cavite City, the owner renamed the monay to pan de racion because she couldn’t stand male buyers snickering while asking for “monay ni Maria.” How the bread changed from being called pan de monja (cloistered nun’s bread) to monay hasn’t been explained.

Most of the names given breads and biscuits are in a book called “Panaderia: Philippine Breads, Biscuits and Bakery Traditions” which took two years of research and writing all over the country by Amy Uy and Jenny Orillos, and photographed by Pie David.

It documents traditional breads, biscuits and cakes, as well as the local bakeries or panaderia that make them.

I traveled with the authors as guide and editor. Many names of the breads entertained us; some were quite easy to discern why they were called so; others puzzling.

‘Scandalous’

For instance, it was understandable why a small biscuit shaped like a bracelet at El Ideal Bakery of Silay City in Negros Occidental is called pulseras, the Spanish word for it. But no one could explain why a similar one, though covered in brown sugar, is called escandaloza (scandalous) at a bakeshop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

“Smoking” was the name for a spiral stick cookie in Pagsanjan, Laguna, because the boys in the town pretended that it was a cigarette, according to Gilda Cordero Fernando in her book “Philippine Food and Life” (Anvil Publishing, 1992).

We were to learn that pionono (also pianono), our local jelly roll with a creamy filling, was named after Pope Pius IX because his Italian name was Pio Nono. The roll is also made in Spain and in most South American countries.

Balat lechon is supposed to mimic the lechon skin (pork crackling), but the appearance doesn’t exactly justify the name. At Merco’s in Davao City, it’s a five-layer rectangular cookie, while at the Casa Moderna in Naga City, it only has one layer with zigzag edges and is red in color.

At least the bread roll in Iloilo known as teren-teren approximates how train coaches look. The train was an important mode of transportation for people and sugar cane in the province a long time ago. But at the Aklan Filipino Bakery, the baker decided to be more trendy and renamed it LRT, after the Light Railway Transit in Manila.

Customers sometimes like to give their own nicknames to their favorite breads or biscuits. In Maasin, Southern Leyte, Lilith’s salvaro is a coconut-flavored biscuit that is flat and oval, and so is called tsinelas (slippers) by locals.

At La Moderna Bakery in Pampanga, the pan de citos is better known to buyers as monay tigas (hard), which describes aptly the the bread’s density and texture.

There is also a hard monay at Los Filipinos Bakery in Iloilo called Biak na Bato. But it has nothing to do with the pact signed by General Emilio Aguinaldo and Spanish Governor-General Primo de Rivera to end the revolution in 1897. A literal translation should be “cracked stone.” To call it after the pact and the place in Bulacan where Aguinaldo had his headquarters is rather imaginative of whoever christened it.

Celebrities

Breads were also named after celebrities and fictional characters. In many Cebu bakeries, Elorde is a monay that looks like two boxing gloves pressed together, named after Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who was a Filipino world boxing champion in the 1960s. Pan de Nora was created in Bicol for superstar Nora Aunor who hails from that province. Dabiana is named after a komiks character who was big and overweight; and so the bread measures about 10 inches in diameter. The actress who played the movie character is a relative of the owners of Panaderia Pantoja in Batangas.

Kenkoy was another popular komiks character in the ’50s and his name is etched on a crisp, rectangular yellow cookie at Dizon’s Bakery in Cavite.

A cookie sandwich with two pieces held together by a filling is called by different names in different places—double body at the Breadcart Breadshoppe in Kidapawan City, Cotabato; lambingan (romantic) at the Virtucio’s Bakery; and bolero (deceiver) at the Candon Bakery in Ilocos Sur.

There were names that intrigued us. At the Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City, the owners didn’t know why the round compact Rizal bread (my favorite merienda as a child) is called such, but surmise that it must have been the national hero’s favorite.

At the Panaderia Dimas-Alang in Pasig, a round cookie with several layers puffed up is called Aglipay, while the square sugar-coated cracker is Di Ko Akalain (I didn’t realize). Third-generation owner Manolo Lozada said he has no idea why they were called such, but he knew of one bakery in Quiapo that had breads named Inakupo! (Oh, my mother!) and Diyos Ko Po! (Oh, my Lord!).

I hope all those names will make you curious about “Panaderia: Philippine Breads, Biscuits and Bakery Traditions,” which will be launched this year.

Sam Miguel
08-29-2014, 09:53 AM
‘Bibingka,’ ‘monay,’ ‘escandaloza’ and other curious names of Philippine baked goodies

By Micky Fenix |

Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:00 am |

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The bibingka set before me at Medina in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, looked just like most Visayan bibingka I’ve seen.

Made of rice flour, the cake took on the color of rice rather than the rich yellow of bibingka with egg and was quite simple, because it had no topping of kesong puti (white cheese) or itlog na maalat (salted egg) pieces. It looked like the salvaro of Dapitan in Zamboanga del Norte, a bread made with rice flour and coconut milk. But the salvaro had a slash in the middle, to make it easy to break the pieces apart. The Medina bibingka had none and its complete name is “bibingka walay liki.”

When the Cebuano term was translated, I laughed. You will only appreciate the humor if you know that bibingka is also how a woman’s private part is called and walay liki means without a slit or narrow crack.

In the bread world, monay has the same feminine allusion, and if you’ve ever seen how Iloilo bakers fashion the bread, you’ll understand why it was named so.

At Dizon’s Bakery in Cavite City, the owner renamed the monay to pan de racion because she couldn’t stand male buyers snickering while asking for “monay ni Maria.” How the bread changed from being called pan de monja (cloistered nun’s bread) to monay hasn’t been explained.

Most of the names given breads and biscuits are in a book called “Panaderia: Philippine Breads, Biscuits and Bakery Traditions” which took two years of research and writing all over the country by Amy Uy and Jenny Orillos, and photographed by Pie David.

It documents traditional breads, biscuits and cakes, as well as the local bakeries or panaderia that make them.

I traveled with the authors as guide and editor. Many names of the breads entertained us; some were quite easy to discern why they were called so; others puzzling.

‘Scandalous’

For instance, it was understandable why a small biscuit shaped like a bracelet at El Ideal Bakery of Silay City in Negros Occidental is called pulseras, the Spanish word for it. But no one could explain why a similar one, though covered in brown sugar, is called escandaloza (scandalous) at a bakeshop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

“Smoking” was the name for a spiral stick cookie in Pagsanjan, Laguna, because the boys in the town pretended that it was a cigarette, according to Gilda Cordero Fernando in her book “Philippine Food and Life” (Anvil Publishing, 1992).

We were to learn that pionono (also pianono), our local jelly roll with a creamy filling, was named after Pope Pius IX because his Italian name was Pio Nono. The roll is also made in Spain and in most South American countries.

Balat lechon is supposed to mimic the lechon skin (pork crackling), but the appearance doesn’t exactly justify the name. At Merco’s in Davao City, it’s a five-layer rectangular cookie, while at the Casa Moderna in Naga City, it only has one layer with zigzag edges and is red in color.

At least the bread roll in Iloilo known as teren-teren approximates how train coaches look. The train was an important mode of transportation for people and sugar cane in the province a long time ago. But at the Aklan Filipino Bakery, the baker decided to be more trendy and renamed it LRT, after the Light Railway Transit in Manila.

Customers sometimes like to give their own nicknames to their favorite breads or biscuits. In Maasin, Southern Leyte, Lilith’s salvaro is a coconut-flavored biscuit that is flat and oval, and so is called tsinelas (slippers) by locals.

At La Moderna Bakery in Pampanga, the pan de citos is better known to buyers as monay tigas (hard), which describes aptly the the bread’s density and texture.

There is also a hard monay at Los Filipinos Bakery in Iloilo called Biak na Bato. But it has nothing to do with the pact signed by General Emilio Aguinaldo and Spanish Governor-General Primo de Rivera to end the revolution in 1897. A literal translation should be “cracked stone.” To call it after the pact and the place in Bulacan where Aguinaldo had his headquarters is rather imaginative of whoever christened it.

Celebrities

Breads were also named after celebrities and fictional characters. In many Cebu bakeries, Elorde is a monay that looks like two boxing gloves pressed together, named after Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who was a Filipino world boxing champion in the 1960s. Pan de Nora was created in Bicol for superstar Nora Aunor who hails from that province. Dabiana is named after a komiks character who was big and overweight; and so the bread measures about 10 inches in diameter. The actress who played the movie character is a relative of the owners of Panaderia Pantoja in Batangas.

Kenkoy was another popular komiks character in the ’50s and his name is etched on a crisp, rectangular yellow cookie at Dizon’s Bakery in Cavite.

A cookie sandwich with two pieces held together by a filling is called by different names in different places—double body at the Breadcart Breadshoppe in Kidapawan City, Cotabato; lambingan (romantic) at the Virtucio’s Bakery; and bolero (deceiver) at the Candon Bakery in Ilocos Sur.

There were names that intrigued us. At the Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City, the owners didn’t know why the round compact Rizal bread (my favorite merienda as a child) is called such, but surmise that it must have been the national hero’s favorite.

At the Panaderia Dimas-Alang in Pasig, a round cookie with several layers puffed up is called Aglipay, while the square sugar-coated cracker is Di Ko Akalain (I didn’t realize). Third-generation owner Manolo Lozada said he has no idea why they were called such, but he knew of one bakery in Quiapo that had breads named Inakupo! (Oh, my mother!) and Diyos Ko Po! (Oh, my Lord!).

I hope all those names will make you curious about “Panaderia: Philippine Breads, Biscuits and Bakery Traditions,” which will be launched this year.

Sam Miguel
12-19-2014, 08:24 AM
Cooking ‘ng ina ko!’

Ambeth R. Ocampo

@inquirerdotnet

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:38 AM | Friday, December 19th, 2014

When I was interviewing cooks in Pampanga for my undergraduate thesis, culinary secrets and shortcuts that I could not understand were shared. For example, old folks would tell me things like “Nung buri meng palambutan ing carni dinan meng platu.” (Literal translation: If you want the meat you are cooking to become tender, put in a plate.) Another was “Nung buri meng masanting a color ing lulutuan mung matamis dinan meng pera.” (If you want the color of the fruit preserves you are cooking to look good, put in money.) Something was definitely lost in translation, and when I asked the cooks to explain, I realized what my modern urban cooking lacked.

Traditionally, women in Pampanga are taught how to cook early in life because the Kapampangan man is supposed to be served the best. Things are not the way they were these days, and women have been liberated from the kitchen by fast food and modern appliances. Many people have forgotten the days when sinigang had to be cooked from scratch, with fresh tamarind. Today you can order sinigang for take-out or have broth instantly from a sachet or a bouillon cube. And many people do not know how it was to prepare and cook rice before the coming of the rice cooker.

All these things have given women more time for themselves. Instead of staying in the kitchen all afternoon to cook dinner, they can now do other chores, play Candy Crush, or catch the latest telenovela.

But putting a plate in meat or money in fruit preserves is not so strange when you learn that broken pieces of china hasten the boiling of the water and the softening of the meat, or that someone stewing kamias in sugar, for example, would see its green skin discolor into an unsightly brown unless it is cooked in a tatso or copper pan. In the absence of the copper pan, old folks used to mix copper coins with the fruit being cooked. The coins were taken out when the cooking was over. This was the “pera” that old cooks were talking about, and the trick was just as effective as using a tatso. But then I don’t think the Bangko Sentral mints copper coins like it used to before and shortly after World War II.

The modern cook has no use or appreciation for these old tips because we have meat tenderizers and other sophisticated equipment to help soften tough meat. Artificial food coloring is readily available, and why bother with cooking your own fruit preserves and sweets when it is more convenient or even cheaper to buy these from the supermarket? When I look back on the cooks I interviewed for my thesis in the early 1980s, I realize they are a vanishing breed indeed, obsolete in a fast-food culture. But today we see a growing awareness for healthy eating and organic ingredients. We now see an appreciation for traditional culinary ways, in what is known as the Slow Food Movement to counter fast food.

Slow cooking is more convenient with a gas or electric range. No more trouble to gather wood and chop this into firewood, as they did in the old days—and if you live in a condo, as I do, the smoke from a wood fire will set off the alarm. Old cooks will say that the smoke adds to the flavor of a dish, in a way that roasting barbecue over wood or coal tastes different from cooking it in a turbo broiler. Hearty soups and stews are conveniently made in a crock pot, a complicated rice cooker, or in heavy cast iron Le Creuset pots and pans. But if my mother were still around and cooking, she would insist that the taste of nilaga or sinigang cooked in a clay pot over a wood fire is way better. My mother always waxed nostalgic about rice before the entry of the rice cooker simply because she liked the bangi or burned rice scraped from the bottom or sides of a cooking pot that her in-laws would never touch. I used to tell her that burned rice was possible in a rice cooker if one defied the instructions.

Two years in Tokyo with a very big freezer meant that I always kept fresh soup stock for days when I was too lazy to eat out. This meant browning the beef, chicken or pork bones in the oven before boiling them with leeks, onions, sea salt and fresh pepper. Sometimes I asked myself if making my own stock was worth the trouble because one could buy soup stock in cans or tetrapaks from the grocery. Or if I was really desperate for a quick substitute, wasn’t it simpler to make instant broth with a bouillon cube or a sachet of Magic Sarap?

I have never used instant Alsa Flan to make leche flan because it is quite easy to make a richer, better-tasting one with six egg yolks, a can of evaporated milk and a can of condensed milk. The only trouble was separating the egg white from the yolk (but you can use the whole egg if you want a different texture), and caramelizing the sugar in the llanera (or, as my Spanish-speaking friends would always correct me, the flanera).

In more health-conscious times, a leche flan with 36 egg yolks in a small flanera would raise eyebrows—and one’s cholesterol count. If I could, I would follow my mother’s leche flan recipe that called for duck eggs, carabao milk, and nipa or fresh nipa sugar. In my own lifetime I have seen how cooking and tastes have changed, and I hope that heritage preservation will go beyond protecting historic buildings, sites and sights and also cover the history that is contained in our palate, in our tastes, in our world.

A book I hope to write someday will be on recipes and memories called “Cooking ng Ina Ko.”

* * *

Sam Miguel
12-19-2014, 08:24 AM
Cooking ‘ng ina ko!’

Ambeth R. Ocampo

@inquirerdotnet

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:38 AM | Friday, December 19th, 2014

When I was interviewing cooks in Pampanga for my undergraduate thesis, culinary secrets and shortcuts that I could not understand were shared. For example, old folks would tell me things like “Nung buri meng palambutan ing carni dinan meng platu.” (Literal translation: If you want the meat you are cooking to become tender, put in a plate.) Another was “Nung buri meng masanting a color ing lulutuan mung matamis dinan meng pera.” (If you want the color of the fruit preserves you are cooking to look good, put in money.) Something was definitely lost in translation, and when I asked the cooks to explain, I realized what my modern urban cooking lacked.

Traditionally, women in Pampanga are taught how to cook early in life because the Kapampangan man is supposed to be served the best. Things are not the way they were these days, and women have been liberated from the kitchen by fast food and modern appliances. Many people have forgotten the days when sinigang had to be cooked from scratch, with fresh tamarind. Today you can order sinigang for take-out or have broth instantly from a sachet or a bouillon cube. And many people do not know how it was to prepare and cook rice before the coming of the rice cooker.

All these things have given women more time for themselves. Instead of staying in the kitchen all afternoon to cook dinner, they can now do other chores, play Candy Crush, or catch the latest telenovela.

But putting a plate in meat or money in fruit preserves is not so strange when you learn that broken pieces of china hasten the boiling of the water and the softening of the meat, or that someone stewing kamias in sugar, for example, would see its green skin discolor into an unsightly brown unless it is cooked in a tatso or copper pan. In the absence of the copper pan, old folks used to mix copper coins with the fruit being cooked. The coins were taken out when the cooking was over. This was the “pera” that old cooks were talking about, and the trick was just as effective as using a tatso. But then I don’t think the Bangko Sentral mints copper coins like it used to before and shortly after World War II.

The modern cook has no use or appreciation for these old tips because we have meat tenderizers and other sophisticated equipment to help soften tough meat. Artificial food coloring is readily available, and why bother with cooking your own fruit preserves and sweets when it is more convenient or even cheaper to buy these from the supermarket? When I look back on the cooks I interviewed for my thesis in the early 1980s, I realize they are a vanishing breed indeed, obsolete in a fast-food culture. But today we see a growing awareness for healthy eating and organic ingredients. We now see an appreciation for traditional culinary ways, in what is known as the Slow Food Movement to counter fast food.

Slow cooking is more convenient with a gas or electric range. No more trouble to gather wood and chop this into firewood, as they did in the old days—and if you live in a condo, as I do, the smoke from a wood fire will set off the alarm. Old cooks will say that the smoke adds to the flavor of a dish, in a way that roasting barbecue over wood or coal tastes different from cooking it in a turbo broiler. Hearty soups and stews are conveniently made in a crock pot, a complicated rice cooker, or in heavy cast iron Le Creuset pots and pans. But if my mother were still around and cooking, she would insist that the taste of nilaga or sinigang cooked in a clay pot over a wood fire is way better. My mother always waxed nostalgic about rice before the entry of the rice cooker simply because she liked the bangi or burned rice scraped from the bottom or sides of a cooking pot that her in-laws would never touch. I used to tell her that burned rice was possible in a rice cooker if one defied the instructions.

Two years in Tokyo with a very big freezer meant that I always kept fresh soup stock for days when I was too lazy to eat out. This meant browning the beef, chicken or pork bones in the oven before boiling them with leeks, onions, sea salt and fresh pepper. Sometimes I asked myself if making my own stock was worth the trouble because one could buy soup stock in cans or tetrapaks from the grocery. Or if I was really desperate for a quick substitute, wasn’t it simpler to make instant broth with a bouillon cube or a sachet of Magic Sarap?

I have never used instant Alsa Flan to make leche flan because it is quite easy to make a richer, better-tasting one with six egg yolks, a can of evaporated milk and a can of condensed milk. The only trouble was separating the egg white from the yolk (but you can use the whole egg if you want a different texture), and caramelizing the sugar in the llanera (or, as my Spanish-speaking friends would always correct me, the flanera).

In more health-conscious times, a leche flan with 36 egg yolks in a small flanera would raise eyebrows—and one’s cholesterol count. If I could, I would follow my mother’s leche flan recipe that called for duck eggs, carabao milk, and nipa or fresh nipa sugar. In my own lifetime I have seen how cooking and tastes have changed, and I hope that heritage preservation will go beyond protecting historic buildings, sites and sights and also cover the history that is contained in our palate, in our tastes, in our world.

A book I hope to write someday will be on recipes and memories called “Cooking ng Ina Ko.”

* * *

Joescoundrel
03-06-2015, 08:18 AM
The problem with unlimited rice

BY JODESZ GAVILAN

POSTED ON 06/27/2014 10:11 PM | UPDATED 06/29/2014 7:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Considered a food staple, there is no denying that Filipinos love rice.

Most have it at least 3 times a day. A plate with no mound of steaming rice in sight is considered incomplete. If the Americans have their mashed potato with their roasted meat, Filipino households have rice for their adobo, sinigang or simply tuyo. (Read: How much rice do Filipinos consume?)

The country’s rice "addiction" is seen as an opportunity in the business sector as more restaurants have been offering the unlimited rice option in their menu. From big restaurants in malls to small neighborhood carinderias (eateries), the option has been a good marketing ploy for customers.

But did you know that despite the full stomach you’ll get after getting the most out of the usually P99-unlimited rice meal, your health might be put at risk?

A bad habit

Dr Cecilia Acuin of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) advised against unlimited rice as it does not promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Unlimited rice is not healthy,” she said at the launch of the 8th National Nutrition Survey results on June 26. “You can already tell that when you're getting most from one food group, you do not have a good diet.”

Any food that belongs to the same food group also has the same nutritional value. This means that your body might miss out on more important nutrients if you eat the same thing every meal.

“It's not the quantity that matters, but also the quality and diversity,” she said.

A diverse diet, according to Acuin, is consuming food from different groups, not having the same type of meal in a time period or over-consuming.

As each food group boasts of a unique micronutrient, consequences due to lack of vitamins and minerals can be prevented. This is called hidden hunger and it affects close to 2 billion people worldwide. (Read: Nutrition facts: Hidden hunger)

“Isa sa mga indicators ng magandang diet at pagiging healthy ay ang diverse diet,” she explained. (One indicator of a great and healthy diet is having a diverse one.)

The Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture suggest that rice should take up only one-fourth of a regular-sized plate.

Filipinos tend to overeat rice by consuming half a regular-sized plate. Because of this, carbohydrates in the body reach dangerous levels that may result to diseases.

Meanwhile, Director Mario Capanzano of the FNRI said that the institute is looking into the possible correlation between the rise of diabetes cases in the country and the unlimited rice trend.

Extra rice despite high price

The price of uncooked rice shot up in recent years. Despite the agricultural nature of the country, we still import our rice. (Read: PH road to rice self-sufficiency)

Low-income communities are considered the driving force behind the high consumption of rice in the country. Long lines can be seen in any place selling NFA rice, a cheaper alternative for those belonging to poor communities to get their meal staple. It even led to the phrase "Parang pila ng NFA rice (It's like a line for NFA rice)" to describe long queues. (READ: Filipinos’ high rice consumption fueled by the poor)

Capanzano advices Filipinos against cooking too much rice per meal as it leads to food wastage. (READ: PH food wastage: Think twice before wasting your meal)

In the Philippines, a person wastes an average of 3.29 kilograms of rice a year or almost 9 grams a day.

“Sa bahay pa lang, malaki na ang nasasayang kaya dapat itong iwasan (At home, we already waste a lot so it’s best to avoid this),” he said. – Rappler.com

Joescoundrel
03-30-2015, 07:56 AM
The Filipino Food Wave Is Coming

by April Fulton

Three years ago, T.V. chef Andrew Zimmern proclaimed Filipino food to be the next big thing–but how come it hasn’t really happened yet?

While Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants can be found in any respectable-sized U.S. city and many random shopping malls in the suburbs, it’s just not the case with Filipino food. It’s a little hard to pin down something that originates from somewhere among 7,100 islands hugging a low corner of the South China Sea known as the Philippines. One challenge is, it’s very hard to describe.

Chef Yana Gilbuena is trying. She has a wide smile and a half-shaved head topped by spiky blonde or green hair, depending on the day. She moved to California from the Philippines over a decade ago, at the age of 20, which she admits was a bit traumatic.

“In L.A. I was trying to get on a bus. I thought it was like in Iloilo. You raise your hand and the bus will stop, but no, the bus didn’t stop. My friends told me I had to go to a bus stop. I had the hardest time getting that,” she remembers.

She dreamed of being an interior designer with her own firm in New York, but her first job wasn’t how she imagined it. She couldn’t find good Filipino food anywhere—it was either “high-end fusion or mom-and-pop stuff that wasn’t so fresh”–so she started cooking her own, at first to relieve stress. Later, gaining confidence, she invited friends for dinner parties.

She gained so much confidence, in fact, that she’s on the verge of wrapping up a tour of the U.S., offering pop-up Filipino dinners in every state. Hawaii is her final stop next month. She calls it The SALO Project. SALO is a derivative of the word “Salu-salo” in her native Tagalog language, meaning big party. “I bring people together over food who otherwise wouldn’t have met,” she says in her video.

She plans the meals and shops in the cities where she creates the dinners, swapping local ingredients for traditional ones in the country’s famous stews. The peanut curry known as kare-kare normally includes oxtail, but she has used shrimp or beef. You can add any vegetable to the spicy coconut stew known as ginataan, she says. “I am trying to preach the gospel of Filipino food,” Gilbuena says.

Chef Cathal Armstrong takes a different route at a white tablecloth restaurant just outside of Washington, D.C. at Restaurant Eve. Armstrong spent a month in Thailand as a U.S. culinary ambassador and fell in love with the Asian style of cooking. Since January, the Irish chef-owner and his Filipino wife, Meshelle, have been offering patrons monthly tastings of his interpretation of Filipino fusion food.

A recent sampling included a Filipino raw fish salad known as kinilaw, Filipino barbecued pork, complete with a runny egg on vinegared rice and several kinds of curries.

Flavor is not the problem with Filipino food. “The problem is that it’s really hard to describe,” says Joanne Boston, a writer turned advocate for the Filipino Food Movement, which promotes Filipino festivals. Basically, you’ve got to know your geography. And you’ve got to get over the potential “ick factor” because yes, there is a duck fetus delicacy that once appeared on the show Fear Factor.

More commonly, she says, “It’s a cuisine that is first Malay. That means lots of tropical fruits, coconut and seafood.”

Then the Spanish came and stuck around for a few hundred years, introducing garlic, onions, spices and adobo–a specific way of preserving meat in vinegar and spices that came in handy in the Philippines’ tropical climate. They also brought wheat, so there are European pastries, sausage and meatloaf, Boston says.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Japanese traders came and went, bringing dumplings and eggrolls (hence the springroll-like Filipino lumpia,) stir-fried noodles (which became Filipino pancit,) tofu and soy sauce. From American G.I.’s, Filipinos discovered the joy of SPAM.

It’s further hard to categorize the food because each region puts its own spin on a dish. “There are 100 million people in the Philippines now, and guaranteed, they each have their own recipe for adobo,” Boston says.

There are pockets of Filipino restaurants in areas where Filipino-Americans are concentrated – New York and San Francisco mainly, but there are a handful of restaurants cropping up in Chicago and others coming soon to Washington, D.C.

But one of the challenges in building a dynamic new restaurant culture in the U.S. is changing Filipino attitudes. “Many will go to another type of restaurant, when given a choice, because they say, ‘”Why should I go out for Filipino food when I can get it at home and it’s probably better?’” says Boston.

April Fulton is the senior blogger for The Plate. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sam Miguel
01-29-2017, 08:42 AM
We don't own Filipino food anymore

People will interpret our cuisine the way they like. We wanted this so we have no choice but to deal with it.

By SASHA LIM UY | Nov 18, 2016

It was in 2012 when Andrew Zimmern boldly declared that Filipino food was going to be the next big thing. He went on the record on TODAY.com, predicting, ?Two years from now, Filipino food will be what we will have been talking about for six months? I think it?s going to be the next big thing.?

It is now 2016, the Bizarre Foods host?s deadline has been given sufficient leeway. Since then, Anthony Bourdain has made a return trip, Adam Richman has taken a giant bite of Pepita?s Lechon, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold raved about Max?s Fried Chicken, Margarita Fores has been voted as Asia?s Best Female Chef, Your Local has been featured on Conde Nast Traveler, Mecha Uma has become a Southeast Asia must-try. Zagat included our humble cookery as one of their nine emerging cuisines. Local establishments Antonio?s, Rural Kitchen, Bale Dutung, and Vask have been selected for world?s best lists.

Romulo?s has expanded to London; Jollibee has opened in Queens. The Filipino Restaurant Week in New York is now on its second year. Pinoy chefs like Dale Talde, Paul Qui, and Leah Cohen, as well as restaurants like Maharlika, Purple Yam, Lasa, Manila Social Club, and Bad Saint (and more) have been tastefully brandishing the Filipino flag on their menus. Ube (known to the rest of the world as "oo-bae") is a shining star.

The Migrant Kitchen, a documentary series produced by Life & Thyme, has unofficially established Los Angeles as the hotbed for Filipino food 101. Its second episode, ?Barkada,? which highlights Chef Charles Olalia?s Ricebar and Chef Alvin Cailin?s Unit 120, led Eater to conclude: ?In Los Angeles, the conversation surrounding the flavors and dishes of the Philippines knows almost no bounds.?

It would appear that Filipino fare has been trailblazing through the ranks. Have we, to paraphrase a Washington Post headline in 2015, at long last, arrived?

Sam Miguel
01-29-2017, 08:43 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

Ask us early this year and we would’ve ended the discussion with a safe almost, but yes. In fact, Filipino food has made it. If anything good came out of Bon Appetit magazine’s controversial halo-halo recipe this August, it is the confirmation that we have indeed arrived; we’ve gotten big enough for the world to assume they understand us—enough to freely interpret our flavors and intentions as they wish. We have become public domain.

Becoming a free-for-all is a notorious part of success. Like every other "it" thing, we will be scrutinized, ripped apart, but at least, the goal has been achieved. The world is ready for our cuisine. But there lies a more important question: are we ready for the world? Are we ready for people to put popcorn in our halo-halo?

***

The same month that Bon Appetit published their loose interpretation of a revered Filipino dessert, they also hailed Washington-based Pinoy haunt Bad Saint as the second-best restaurant of the year. With a menu that the magazine described as “one of the country’s most exciting,” Bad Saint features chicken inasal, ampalaya, ukoy, bilo-bilo. It sounds like a table at your tita’s piyesta, but the young visionaries behind this gem are peddlers of more modern tastes. Their ensalada comes as a vibrant plate speckled with dragon fruit, the lumpiang shanghai is boosted with cornichons, the adobo is bright yellow and heavy on the turmeric.

On the opposite coast is Maharlika, the restaurant that Conde Nast Traveler declared as a New York can't-miss. There are the usual suspects: beautifully fried butterflied daing, sunshiny longsilogs, kare-kare with vibrant bokchoy. It is, however, the ube waffles with fried chicken that have garnered serious fans; the pancit palabok made extra special with a dollop of uni; the creamy laing replacing spinach in the Eggs Benedict; the balut in aluminum pails presented with the servers shouting as if they were on the street. What’s tradition back home has turned into an effective kitsch in a setting like New York.

Sam Miguel
01-29-2017, 08:44 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

When Gold wrote about Lasa, a pop-up Filipino joint, for the Los Angeles Times, he sang praises for the way it captured the spirit of modern Filipino cooking. “[Chef Chad] Valencia’s cooking captures not just the joy of delicious, super-fatty party eats, but the extreme regionality of the dishes in the Philippines’ zillion islands,” he notes, commending the lightness and the balance in both composing the menu and the actual dishes. Blazing examples of such skill include a Caesar salad spiked with patis instead of anchovies; a pinakbet-bagnet with smoky pur?ed eggplant, bagoong, and powder made from dried ampalaya; a cassava cake version of tres leches.

There are much more shocking endings than Chef Laudico’s though. Early this year, Chef JP Anglo quietly turned his edgier Rockwell haunt, Kafe Batwan, into another branch of his crowd-pleasing Negrense-Filipino eatery Sarsa, trading his honeyed, ramen-inspired, Madrid Fusion-approved batchoy for something more traditional and less sweet. While Kafe Batwan had its own cultish following, more of the guests who stepped inside the Anglo-marked premises were in search for the chef’s straight-up specialties.

Chef JP is hardly conservative when it comes to cooking Filipino food. He fried some chicken, served it with a tart sauce, then rechristened it into a version of sinigang. He wrapped up his famous chicken inasal and rice in a sheet of tortilla then called it a burrito. Capitalizing on that effect, he then came up with bite-sized spring rolls on Sarsa’s third birthday. Tender beef ribs are served with a savory cream, like a non-sizzling but true-to-flavor play on sizzling bulalo. It isn’t orthodox, but the chef knows how to tread the line between practical alterations and established flavors.

Sam Miguel
01-29-2017, 08:45 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

It is difficult to talk about elevation and progression without touching on authenticity. But Chef Myke Tatung Sarthou, at his new Filipino restaurant, Agos, sums it up pretty well for us.

"What is authentic anyway? Filipino cuisine is made up of influences. Kamoteng kahoy, those other root crops that take up a chunk of Filipino food came from the Galleon Trade. If it’s grown here, then that should be Filipino enough." Perhaps this obsession with authenticity should be redirected to integrity instead.

It’s tough to “elevate” any cuisine that is rooted in tradition, but TMG’s Abba Napa reminded her chefs to never lose sight of the fundamentals of Filipino flavor. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Every liberty we took with a traditional Filipino dish wasn’t to change it that it becomes unrecognizable. It’s to enhance what makes it so good to begin with. She tells us about their best-selling watermelon sinigang, conceptualized by co-founder Eli Antonino. “It doesn’t change the DNA of what a sinigang is. It still satisfies everything you look for in the soup.”

Not everyone has the skill to do this—to look forward but still be anchored in the past. Certainly, there’s no condoning a halo-halo with gummi bears, but there are other, more acceptable ways to update Filipino food.

Consider it an improvement not an amendment. “French techniques involve serving hot food hot, cold food cold, soft meat soft, crispy skin crispy…," explains Zaguirre. Consider the beef pares in front of you. It looks like what you’re used to, tastes even better than what you’re used to. Does it really matter if it's confit?

***

Sam Miguel
01-29-2017, 08:47 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

This snobbery for revisions feels unwarranted. On the one hand, we’ve accepted that difference is what binds Filipino cooking together. We can’t unite and support one kind of adobo because we have unconditional loyalty for whatever kind is stewing in our personal kitchen. We know the cooking at one friend’s house will be different from our own. Ironically though, when a restaurant comes up with something slightly different, we turn up our noses.

“All Filipino households have their own ‘best’ recipes from titas, lolos, lolas. My concern at that time was how we would entice our guests to come back,” says Zaguirre. Locavore understood that they had to exercise caution in navigating through a clientele that already harbors “homegrown” favorites, impressing them enough to want to eat Filipino food from beyond their own kitchens. The solution was to come up with a characterful menu, make it something distinctly Locavore.

“It’s like when you have guests in your house, you make your own version of pasta or roast chicken.” Put that way, it’s hard to be argumentative.

Napa looks for balance. Old school will always be craved, but novelty is what makes us turn to look. She inputs, “Modern interpretations are exciting and fun and they showcase talents, but it may not necessarily be an everyday dining experience.” Manam may very well be on their way; their crispy sisig is already the stuff of habits.

***

Geography is why our bloods boil when someone tries to play with Filipino food. We’re too close to home—heck, we are at home. It’s understandable that we shake our heads at a brand new way of presenting pinangat. We know it well and we can detect an impostor as quickly as we can sense something is out of place in our bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with it, which is why we don’t believe “improvements” are necessary.

But nobody said anything was wrong. We wanted Filipino food to make it big. We clapped our hands whenever a major critic or international publication gives us a rave review; we fed it to every international influencer that we thought could spread our flavors. Finally, we’ve stopped being dare food, we’re no longer the cuisine for thrill-seekers who can stomach bird embryos, congealed pork blood, and ox brains (it sounds very French when we say it like that). Wake up. The lines of locale, color, and culture are being blurred everywhere else. Food, included. Right now, the world is looking at in-your-face flavors: fermented, pickled, fiery-hot, and Filipino cuisine is stepping up to fill the need. Elevated Filipino food is happening—and killing overseas.

This global triumph that we patiently craved is leading to that turning point: when chefs who didn’t grow up with lolas cooking tinola will attempt their own version. We’re protective. We get it. It’s as if we’re safeguarding our family values. But the person who invented the milkshake isn’t rolling around in his grave with the gaudy fashions we’ve been bestowed upon the humble drink. Who are we to wage a war against some gummi bears? Filipino food will evolve. We've given it away and we can't take it back anymore. It will acclimatize to the palates of wherever it goes next. As other cooks try to decipher it or, we daresay, appropriate it, it will develop a new kind of history. We just have to deal with it. Let them cook whatever we want because no matter what the rest of the world does, everyone knows the best Filipino food is still the ones at home. So pat yourselves on the back. Relax. We've made it.

(From Esquire Philippines online)

Joescoundrel
04-05-2017, 08:16 AM
From Hong Kong Tatler ___

In The Philippines, An Evolving Cuisine Of Optimism And Pride

Thanks to a charge of fiercely proud Pinoys, a thriving agriculture and a return to age-old food traditions, the Philippines is no longer simply on the sidelines in the story of its culinary identity

By Charmaine Mok

To understand a culture is to taste it.

Over the course of four days it would become clear to us - a ragtag assortment of greedy food writers with varying experience of Filipino flavours - that the food culture of the Philippines is being excavated as much as it is undergoing an evolution. Thrillingly, there is a generation of chefs who are simultaneously redefining and rediscovering the pillars of the country's culinary identity, channeling their curiosity and creativity into a vibrant dining scene where fermentation, organic farming and hip bars hidden behind convenience stores are just small parts of the whole.

Thrillingly, there is a generation of chefs who are simultaneously redefining and rediscovering the pillars of the country's culinary identity, channeling their curiosity and creativity into a vibrant dining scene.

Reflecting on my time in the Philippines, attempting to neatly wrap up my experience was futile. Yet there was one thought that would resurface time and time again: there is an infectious and overwhelming sense of optimism and pride, that surges forward despite whatever else may be stacked against the Philippines - socially, culturally or politically. It's embodied through everyone we meet, from Raphael Teraoka Dacones, who left a steady job in Tokyo to promote organic farming in Pangasinan, to Mecha Uma's Bruce Ricketts, the 27-year-old chef and martial artist who weaves seasonal Filipino produce into his interpretation of Japanese traditions - including sushi - through the lens of a Californian upbringing. We understand what's at stake through the eyes of food writer JJ Yulo, who invites us to a potluck lunch where an Avengers-worthy line-up of young, passionate chefs such as Edward Bugia and Him Uy de Baron add freshness and innovation to their dishes.

It's experienced through an energetic gastronomic gathering of up-and-coming young chefs and the Philippines' cohort of farmers at the triumphant Tagaytay estate that is Antonio's, where we witness firsthand the alchemy that occurs when talented cooks are supported by exceptional local produce, harvested in Silang a few short hours prior. I still remember Gerardo "Gejo" Jimenez, the former fencer and now owner of Malipayon Farms - supplier to many of Metro Manila's top restaurants - who still refers to himself modestly as a gardener, using the medium of free-flowing watercolours to illustrate his approach to biodynamic farming and permaculture.

At mealtimes, we tuck into freshly shucked oysters from Negros that are judiciously sprinkled with tart tuba, a lip-smacking vinegar fermented from coconut sap (the Filipinos are obsessed with vinegars, or suka) while deeply coloured wild raspberries called sampinit are the crown jewels of pastry chef Michael "Miko" Aspiras' dessert of cashew nut tart with rosella cream. We're enamoured by the yin-and-yang energy of Quenee Villar and Nicco Santos, who bring fun and finesse to the tables at Hey Handsome and Your Local respectively. Josh Boutwood, a rising star of the Manila food scene and alumnus of Raymond Blanc's Le Manor Aux Quat' Saisons, nonchalantly offers us lamb prosciutto - cured for four months until the rich gamey flavour is rounded out with a salty nuttiness.

We experience whimsy at Gallery Vask, where Spanish chef Chele Gonzales is pushing the traditions of the Filipino culinary canon into new realms. Our culinary crash course on Manila and its surrounding regions was intense, gut-busting and enlightening; and while the locations and cast of characters are diverse, our taster is perhaps best understood through three distinct acts.

"Breakfast is probably the only unifying tradition among all Filipinos," says Cathy Feliciano-Chon, the Managing Director of marketing consultancy CatchOn, co-organisers of this particular Filipino food odyssey. And so we begin our education at breakfast, at the decades old Asiong in Cavite, a province on the southern shores of Manila Bay. Located on a small patch of isolated farmland, the carinderia (a kind of Filipino diner) is cooled by a light breeze, which on this particular morning carries with it the gentle tinkle of wind chimes - and the off-pitch warbling of Asiong's karaoke-loving neighbours. We're joined by Sonny Lua, the interior designer-turned-restaurant manager and chef, plus Ige Ramos, food writer and historian with an unparalleled knowledge of the foodways of the Philippines.

Over the best part of two hours, Ramos and Lua would give a comprehensive account of the Philippines' food evolution over the centuries, from the pre-Hispanic era to the growth of rice, coconut and sugar crops under the order of the Catholic church.

A traditional breakfast is set among cups of strong, murky coffee where the beans have been roasted with rice - the original way of 'extending' the drink when the coffee supply was scarce. To start, we spread snowy quesillo (as dubbed by the Mexicans), a raw cheese made from carabao milk, onto toasted rounds of pan de troso flavoured with garlic, rosemary and basil that are eaten between bites of immensely garlicky longganisa - the sausage based on Spanish chorizo.

The smell of garlic permeates the air as a plate of sinangag (garlic fried rice) arrives at the table. "That's our version of bacon frying in the morning to get you out of bed," jokes Ramos. We feast on tamales that are strikingly similar to Chinese zhong, or rice dumplings, and scrambled egg omelettes speckled with burong mustasa, pickled mustard greens.

As it's not strictly a breakfast dish, we make a special request for Asiong's most famous creation. Pancit pusit is a dish dreamed up by Lua, and consists of thin glass noodles flavoured with squid ink, their sultry saltiness brightened with slices of astringent kamias and topped with a flurry of crisp chicharron. As it's served, Ramos drops a bombshell: in his ten years of researching and travels to Europe, he is ready to posit the theory that it was the Filipinos, and not the Italians, who discovered the use of squid ink.

It's backed up by Dr Fernando Zialcita, an anthropologist who shared his research during the 2016 edition of Madrid Fusion Manila, a festival celebrating the shared foodways of Spain and the Philippines. According to Ramos, the first record of squid ink being used in Spain did not occur until around 1750 - well after the movement of Spanish galleons - and that in Italy, squid ink was once considered toxic. Zialcita and Ramos pinpoint the Jesuits, who were expelled from the Philippines to Italy and Spain in the 18th century.

"It's controversial, and suggests that we did not just receive influences from the outside," says Ramos, who also ticks off tuba (fermented coconut sap) and kinilaw (ceviche) as original gifts from the Philippines. "We also gave something to the world."

Joescoundrel
04-05-2017, 08:19 AM
(Continued from above ^ )

Chef Margarita Fores apologises to the squirming shrimp in her hand as she quickly dispatches it, pulling off its head and deshelling it in quick succession. The flesh is roughly chopped up, and dunked into a bowl that houses a mixture of coconut vinegar, brown sugar, green chilli and slices of kamias. We’re in the Farmers Market in Cubao, Quezon City, which is Fores' home base just a short drive from the centre of Manila.

The kinilaw that Fores creates on the spot, barely a step away from the fishmonger herself, is an exclamation point of flavour. She smiles as we dig in, greedily. "I’d love to open a kinilaw bar right here in the market one day," she says. She then proceeds to create more variations: with slipper lobster, fresh Filipino uni, and gurnard, which heeds the call for more vinegar. Then it’s back to zipping around the market, where this 'daughter of Cubao' is recognised at every turn. When we leave, it takes an entire supermarket trolley to ferry back the heaving bounty of fresh produce to Fores' ancestral home 10 minutes away on foot.

Soon after, lunch is served. We bite into the pale, soft sugar-laced lumpiang ubod filled with fresh, young palm hearts—bought just hours earlier—the delicate sweetness enveloped by paper-thin rice wrappers. We take slow sips of velvety pancit molo, flavoured with chicken and coloured golden—not by saffron, but the far more economical annatto seed. The broth swaddles an assortment of tiny dumplings, strikingly similar to our Chinese wonton. Both dishes may not be widely known outside of Filipino communities, but they speak clearly about the role of foreign influence—from Chinese traders to the colonial Spaniards—in the culinary history of the Philippines. Over many dishes in Fores’ family dining room, we discuss the recent rise of Filipino cuisine, including the challenges that are yet to come.

"Right now, there is this wealth of regional cuisines that are still undiscovered," says Fores. The increased interest in Filipino cuisine over the past few years may have experienced starts and stops, but the momentum is building, she adds."I think that we've come in at a good time and at least after the world discovers the adobo and the sinigang and the kinilaw, there is a lot more we can show the world. And there is a collaborative community that is reviving the food industry."

"I think we ourselves have to continue to be in love with our own cuisine. That's what started it all. It has a lot to do with our national identity and how we became who we are. In the end, it comes full circle."

The spirit of collaboration and that feeling of deep respect for the roots of Filipino cooking couldn’t be better encapsulated than at Toyo Eatery, a contemporary restaurant helmed by chef Jordy Navarra. The venue is named after the word for soy sauce in Tagalog; but it's also a slang for being a little bit crazy, and perfectly describes Navarra's undefinable way of cooking, which extracts the essence of Filipino flavours, techniques and traditions which are then interpreted with locally sourced ingredients and Navarra's personal point of view. The chef, who has worked in the kitchens of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck in Bray, returned to Manila in 2014 to work as head chef for the restaurant Black Sheep before opening Toyo in early 2016 in order to dedicate himself fully to the exploration of Filipino food culture.

The references run deep in the 12-course meal, which we seek to understand every time the Filipino guests on the table - including Feliciano-Chon, acclaimed photographer George Tapan, and food consultant Joey Suarez - raise their voices in excitement. "The Filipinos love their bottled iced tea!" exclaims Feliciano-Chon, as a dish of lightly-grilled mackerel with semi-ripe guava and kamias is paired with a chilled oolong tea that has been steeped for 24 hours. In another photogenic dish, young saltwater sardines are fried and served atop a puree of young corn and deep, grassy moringa oil - an elevated take on the pairing of fish and moringa (malunggay in Tagalog) broth.

"I’m taken by old techniques," says Navarra, who makes his own patis (the Filipino answer to fish sauce). "They inspire us to try and understand how Filipino cuisine started, and how it evolved." He explains that he had wanted to start a restaurant like Toyo for a long time, but that his only setback was whether he thought he truly understood the cuisine. "The flavours were things I grew up with and felt connected to, but to break that down and try to understand technique was a whole process that was jumbled together. Now, we're still trying to understand things every day. There's always something new, something we don't know yet."

The commitment to preserving and promoting Filipino food culture is the main driving force among Navarra's brigade, and we experience a beautiful moment in the meal where a young staff member arrives at our table as the seventh course is served. Titled simply as "Salad", we're served wooden bowls that appear topped with soil. Then the man begins to sing, his voice reverberating gently across the room.

"Bahay kubo, kahit munti
Ang halaman doon ay sari-sari.
Singkamas at talong, sigarilyas at mani
Sitaw, bataw, patani.
Kundol, patola, upo’t kalabasa
At saka mayroon pang labanos, mustasa,
sibuyas, kamatis, bawang at luya
sa paligid-ligid ay puro linga."


It's Bahay Kubo, a folk song that is traditionally sung by children to welcome the harvest, and tells the modest tale of a small nipa hut with a garden full of vegetables. The lyrics reference the very ingredients that we uncover under the aubergine and peanut 'soil': jicama, winged beans, radishes among them. Navarra sums up the direction of the dish simply. "It shows that we're small but humble, scrappy but resourceful."

On building the future of Filipino cuisine, he is determined. "In the Philippines, recipes just die with the people. They’re not written down, and they’re not something that is openly shared.” With Toyo, these ingredients, techniques and traditions will live on - in exciting forms that still manage to stay true to their roots.

As for what is next for this country of over 7,000 islands, where we have already witnessed an acceleration of newfound interest, of an optimism and hope for the visibility of their indigenous culture? Fores said it best. "Even we haven't discovered a fraction of what regional ingredients the Philippines has to offer. There are different tribes and religions, and each has their own way of doing things. I can’t even imagine what cuisines and ingredients they have to offer. There's so much to look forward to in the future."

Joescoundrel
04-06-2017, 08:20 AM
Two Filipino Chefs Reach Finals in Global Gourmet Awards

Chefs Gene Gonzalez and Tony boy Escalante were named finalists for Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year for 2017.

By TRIXIE ZABAL-MENDOZA FOR YUMMY.PH | 14 hours ago

Chefs Gene Gonzalez of Caf? Ysabel and Chef Tony boy Escalante of Antonio's made it as finalists in the recently concluded 21st World Gourmet Awards of Excellence. The awards night, held March 28 in Singapore, honored professionals and establishments from the F&B and hospitality industries across Asia.

Chef Gene Gonzalez told Yummy.ph: "Having been given this honor reinforces my commitment to putting Philippine cuisine and the Filipino chef on the world map of gastronomy.

I pose these nominations as a challenge and likewise a blessing to push on with the thought that one day, all our work will be put to good use by our budding culinarians."

Gonzalez has been nominated twice but this is the first year he made it as finalist. Escalante was also named finalist for Restaurateur of the Year for his popular Tagaytay resto, Antonio's.

Other Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year finalists include Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and Matt Abergel of Yardbird in Hong Kong. Tan Kim Weng of Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur took home the Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year award.

Gonzalez also shared that his school, Center for Asian Culinary Studies, is the first to include Philippine Cuisine in it modules. "It is now our mission to further the cause of Philippine cuisine."

This story originally appeared on Yummy.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

Joescoundrel
11-02-2017, 11:20 AM
Over 'kinilaw,' 'bulalo,' 'ukoy,' Kulinarya chefs reunite to mark book's 10th year

By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM November 02, 2017

No one was counting but it has been almost 10 years since "Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine" was published. And no one was as excited about the reunion of the chefs (Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Myrna Segismundo, Claude Tayag, Jessie Sincioco, Margarita Fores), the photographer (Neal Oshima), and the editor (yours truly) of the book than Doris Ho, chair of Asia Society Philippines, which published it.

Everyone made it, in spite of the constant traveling for work or leisure, the guest chef appearances in other countries, and new projects like television culinary shows.

The event was a dinner at the Rockwell Club, the first in the series of featured "Kulinarya" chefs. Barretto, the leader of the group and head of Via Mare, started the series. This in spite of her busy schedule in catering international conventions and conferences, including the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit and the coming Asean Summit.

Ho, in her welcome remarks, recounted that it was Washington SyCip who asked her to organize Asia Society Philippines that had, as its debut project, a Philippine fashion show in the United States.

Because of the huge expense involved, she said it was an event that could not be done easily.

More practical would be "Kulinarya," designed to showcase "classic Filipino dishes with the goal to have these known, recognized and loved around the world."

My task was to deliver a short talk on Filipino food. It might seem like preaching to believers because the majority of guests were Filipino foodies.

But I have always observed that while one may know about the cooking of the place where one was born, grew up and now live, he or she is ignorant of other kinds of cooking from other regions. And I would like to point them out.

It is also important to tell the story of how the national table has evolved, starting with prehistoric preparations, what our ancestors ate, and Ho?s advocacy to encourage proper cooking to produce malinamnam (tasty) dishes, and to show that part of Filipino culinary culture is to eat with sawsawan (condiments) and serve food family-style but with elegance.

It was heartening to know that not only the foreign diplomatic guests appreciated the talk, but also Filipino guests who said they themselves didn?t know that much about our food.

Barretto was supposed to talk about the menu, but when the waiters appeared with the soup course, there was such a buzz in the dining room that she could hardly be heard. I guess it was enough that her food did the talking. And it started with cocktails: three starters were brought to guests in an anteroom?kinilaw na tanguigue, sisig in cornets, and ukoy (vinegar-cured mackerel, thrice-cooked pork, and shrimp fritters)?eaten different ways with our local rum,

'Bulalo,' 'tinola'

The two kinds of soup were served very hot, a tribute to Via Mare's vast experience in catering. One was bulalo served in small, thin mugs, the little cubes of beef brisket and corn kernels skewered in bamboo sticks. The other was a cup of chicken tinola, its presentation as a light custard inspired by the Japanese chawan mushi.

The seafood course had Pacific bass with prawns cooked pinais-style or steamed in a banana leaf with buko (young coconut) juice and gata (coconut milk). An eggplant omelet and Miponica brown rice mixed with ube (purple yam) accompanied this course.

Three kinds of salad were served in individual containers?pako (fern) with shrimp, pomelo with radish and banana heart. These were really better palate cleansers than the usual sherbet.

Three deboned pugo (quails) seemed like a lot at first glance, but perfectly cooked as adobo, finishing them was easy. The other chefs at the table remembered how they hadn?t cooked pugo for some time and wanted to know Barretto's supplier.

The dessert had a sphere made of Malagos chocolate?the international award-winning chocolate from Davao?and in it was a mousse made of atis (custard apple). Holding the sphere in place was a mix of tapioca with coconut cream and providing sweetness and color were fruit balls of watermelon, mango and cantaloupe.

Because all the chefs were present, "Kulinarya" books were passed around for autographs. The question that evening: Is there is a second "Kulinarya" book in the works?

If yes, I hope it doesn't take as long as the three years it took to publish the first one, which won the National Book Award for Best Food Book and Design and the international Gourmand Awards Best Historical Cookbook in 2008.

Joescoundrel
11-23-2017, 10:17 AM
The best chili crispy pata in the country

By: Sandy Daza - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:35 AM November 23, 2017

There was only a handful of Pinoy restaurants in the '70s and '80s. We were teenagers then, and friends Jun and Jimmy Rodriguez would treat us to a restaurant around the Mabini area called Tipanan.

It was one of the first places where I really enjoyed Pinoy food. Of course, there was Barrio Fiesta whose crispy pata is still the best for me, even today.

I remember chatting once with Rod Ongpauco (inventor of the crispy pata) about how he, as a student, would drive to San Sebastian, pass by La Loma and buy the unsold left-over pata from the lechon, then season them and have them fried at Barrio Fiesta. He would give his waiters a commission for every pata they sold. And the rest is history.

Today, crispy pata is so popular, it is offered in almost all Pinoy restaurants.

A Quezon City resto claims to be able to cut its pata with a popsicle stick, Malabon has another version with a mildly sweet sauce, while independent stall Annalisa offers another delicious version of this dish.

Food lover

In the '80s, one of my favorite Pinoy restaurants was Tito Rey's. Rey Bautista was not only a food lover, he also knew how to cook good Pinoy food. He knew what we Pinoys enjoyed eating. Rey even opened in Daly City in California and ran a successful bar-restaurant there. Then he disappeared from the culinary scene.

Today, that food is back in his brother Chito's Kuya's restaurant. I know he has a branch in Bayani Road in Taguig. Recently, I was able to check out his place just across from ABS-CBN on Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City. I can now say this will be my new hangout.

The resto serves below-zero beer and every so often has live entertainment. But apart from those attractions, there's Chito's food that is worth looking into.

We started with ordinary cheese pizza, which was good. The secret to a good pizza is the crust, and this place makes a pretty good version.

Then came a different batchoy with just tender pork meat innards, unlike the Iloilo batchoy with noodles. The hot broth was very soothing.

Other dishes worth checking out are the dilis bagoong rice, simple yet delicious, the rice well-seasoned, with slight saltiness coming from the crispy dilis; and the kuripot rice: breakfast fried rice with chunks of tapa, tocino, longaniza, spam and salted egg, a dish that tells me Chito is an imaginative, creative eater and cook.

Roxas adobo

There's also Roxas adobo, a version of which I used to cook in Paris after long hours of fencing in the kitchen. This is crispy, dry, dark, oily, tender and sticky pork belly adobo, to me the best version there is. I like to fork out a piece, then bounce it on my rice to get some of that flavor all over, and then pig out.

But the dish that really jumped out at me was the TKO (Total Knockout Obsession), or Knockout Knuckles. Tito Rey's crispy pata resurrected! I tried it, and it is still the best-tasting chili crispy pata in the country - tender, crispy, spicy, oily chunks of crispy pata topped and loaded with crunchy garlic and swimming in olive oil and sauteed jalapeno chilis. With ice cold Light - patay! Calling my friends in ABS-CBN across the street!

Pinoy food is alive and kicking, and you'll find it at Kuya's in Quezon City.

But let's give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Rod Ongpauco of Barrio Fiesta, for inventing crispy pata. Salamat pare, mabuhay ka!

Happy eating!

Joescoundrel
11-27-2017, 10:18 AM
Filipino cuisine gains foothold in New York

07:20 AM November 27, 2017

NEW YORK - The tuna jaw is a great arc of meat, curved like a boomerang, its underside all bone and gleaming skin.

At Tito Rad's Grill in Woodside, Queens, tuna jaw is offered in three sizes, which increase in menace. Smoke from the grill burrows deep into the flesh, which diners peel off the bone in creamy strips.

In the Philippines, this is inihaw na panga, a specialty of the island of Mindanao. Mario Albenio (known as Boyet), the chef and owner of Tito Rad's, grew up there, on a farm in Tacurong City in the province of Sultan Kudarat, where his mother ran a carinderia, or small roadside restaurant.

Tuna jaw reminds him of "going to the beach, playing guitars, booze," Albenio said.

"I wanted to be a forester," he went on with a sigh. "Close to nature." Instead, he followed his mother's lead and cooked, in Manila and then New York, where he opened Tito Rad's in 2006 with his wife, Susan Albenio (known as Toti), close to the strip of Roosevelt Avenue called Little Manila.

Second-generation Fil-Ams

At the time, Filipino food was little known in America outside of immigrant enclaves. Only in recent years has it begun to move into the mainstream, at restaurants like Maharlika in Manhattan, Bad Saint in Washington and Lasa in Los Angeles, run by second-generation Filipino-Americans unbound by tradition.

Their approach to the cuisine of their childhoods is a mix of scholarship, invention and battle cry.

Tito Rad's is a reminder that fine Filipino cooking has been with us all along. For here, as for the last decade, is ukoy, fritters of shrimp ensnared in deep-fried tendrils of bean sprouts and carrots, with club soda in the batter to give it a lift.

And immaculate cylinders of lumpiang shanghai, often compared with Chinese spring rolls but more slender and delicate, their crispy skins like gilded air. And tortang talong, whole eggplant buried in an omelet with only the stem peeking out and the bronzed eggs disclosing seams of pork and shrimp.

'Sisig'

Sisig, typically a hash of pig face (snout, jowls, ears), is here all pliant pork belly, reduced to juicy rubble, baked and then half-charred on a hissing skillet in a lacework of onions, whose sweetness cuts the fat.

A rinse of lemon and the meat arrives still cooking and crackling as it lands on the table, smoke rolling off the hot plate and a raw yolk (on request) trembling at the center.

Alongside that daunting tuna jaw might be kalderetang kambing, goat braised in tomato pur?e, with green olives leaching brine and liver p?t? extending its dark mineral contour. More liver p?t? is loosened with vinegar as a dipping sauce for lechon kawali, hunks of pork belly that emerge from the fryer equal parts shatter, sink and chew.

Ampalaya, or bitter melon, is tossed into a pan of scrambled eggs at the last minute, so it loses none of its color or crunch. It's still defiantly bitter, but with a cooling freshness.

Langka, or jackfruit, is slowly undone by coconut milk, until its texture is somewhere between short rib and potato.

'Laing'

Best of all is laing, a tangle of taro leaves, flown in from Hawaii and carefully pruned of their stems, saturated with coconut milk and braised into a soupy, sublime mess. (Be warned: For most of the vegetable dishes here, pork and shrimp lie in the depths.)

A few years ago, Tito Rad's (the name means Uncle Rad's, short for Conrado) took over the storefront next to its original location. Now there?s a backroom for spillover and sprawling parties, outfitted with wooden slat windows and green wall panels, which Albenio wistfully said was meant to evoke outdoor dining.

Tables are covered in white paper, quickly stained by the procession of dishes. The front window is etched with the restaurant's logo, a man in a fedora, testament to Albenio's love of hats.

Dessert is another crowd of plates: airy turon, lumpia with oozy guts of caramelized banana; a threesome of dense cassava cake, jammy ube halaya and leche flan, akin to cr?me caramel; and langka ice cream, made by Nenette Albenio, the chef's sister, which tastes of sheer voluptuousness and, improbably, the scent of sampaguita, Philippine jasmine.

One night, there were slices of birthday cake, too, insistently shared by a 75th birthday party in raucous swing. With the cake came a story, of how the woman of honor had never married, how she had instead devoted her life to bringing her relatives to the United States, all of them now assembled here. The inscription in the icing read: Auntie. - NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Joescoundrel
12-28-2017, 09:13 AM
From Spain to the Philippines, a mutual love of pork

By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:15 AM December 28, 2017

Catalonian independence has been one of the key foreign events lately. We were thinking of it while attending an Interporc event at Raffles Makati.

Interporc is an organization that represents the white pork industry of Spain. The color distinction is necessary to distinguish it from black pig providers.

As with most food industry promotions, a chef is necessary to demonstrate how a particular ingredient can be cooked and presented. Kisco Garcia is the chef from Cordoba whose restaurant, Choco, has earned one Michelin star. But it is his restaurant in Malaga, KGB (Kisko Garcia Bar) that is well-known for its tapas.

The recipes were quite simple and doable. Croquetas (fritters) were made with chopped chorizo and bacalao (cod), then served covered with a slice of jamon Serrano. It reminded us of a cocktail called Pigs in a Blanket.

Garcia's take on beef Wellington was a great idea for those daunted by the complicated French recipe. Pork tenderloin was used, then wrapped in a puff pastry. His pork belly buns were like cuapao.

Asked after the demonstration if, indeed, he was inspired by the Chinese dim sum item, Garcia said he had previously visited Manila and had eaten cuapao.

Ham slicer

The other half of the program was spent watching a maestro cortador, or an expert ham slicer, do his work. Antonio Baena is a much-awarded cortador who cut thin slices of the ham leg in almost equal square pieces. Of course, everyone was eager to grab the first available slices, which quickly disappeared.

Baena didn't lose concentration even as he answered questions - about his knife (thin and flexible), his craft, and how he became a master (he trained under apprenticeship).

He smiled as we said that the ham bone would be used in many of our Spanish-influenced dishes. And to supplement the jamon, different kinds of chorizos were brought in.

Interporc's representatives informed the meat-business people at the event that the Philippines imports offal, fat back and skin from Spain for our chicharon.

Interporc hoped it could fill the gap created by the huge demand for pork here and the low supply of the local pig industry.

That was what the company last year told the media invited to its facilities in different parts of Spain. New information was that the Chinese market had grown.

I guess Interporc loves our country that loves pork.

'Chuletas'

Interporc has brought food writers around Spain, which was why Catalonia came to mind because we visited two places in that region. One was Girona, which was the focus of reports on the day of the outlawed referendum for Catalonian independence.

Girona seemed like a quiet town, but it was also the location of one of Spain?s most famous restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca. Two of three brothers who were chef-proprietors of that restaurant, Joan and Jordi, were speakers at Madrid Fusion Manila.

We were brought to Ca la Pilar, a more traditional restaurant owned by their relative. We were amazed at how families keep their restaurant traditions.

A picture at the entrance showed the original restaurant, called Casa Pila, established in the 1950s by the parents of the present owners.

Ca la Pilar is known for its chuletas, huge broiled steak, which was tender and had a wonderful taste.

In Barcelona, meanwhile, a must-visit place was St. Josep La Boqueria, the best place for seafood like sardines cooked simply - grilled, then showered with olive oil and lemon.

But since our host is a pork company, we were steered to a place where a pink papier-mach? pork head didn?t have to announce the house specialty.

Joescoundrel
12-28-2017, 09:31 AM
2017?the last hurrah for independent restaurants

You can?t just cook well; you need either extraordinary talent or the backing of well-heeled investors

By: Clinton Palanca - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM December 28, 2017

There was a time when plucky, entrepreneurial people with a flair for cooking and a love for entertaining could round up a few of their friends to put down a million pesos or two each and go into the restaurant business.

I did something like that once, although I didn't take on any partners - I opted to have a small restaurant, rather than a big one that I'd have to share. (I'm an only child.)

In theory, you can still do that today, but I wouldn't advise it. The players in the field today are those who went down this route in the decades prior and opened branch after branch, like Pancake House, which is now owned by the Max's Group of restaurants, which itself started with good fried chicken but is now a huge, billion-peso operation.

Cibo started around the same time I put up my restaurant in the 1990s, but it has gone from strength to strength. Margarita Fores is a brand in herself, as Asia's Best Female Chef 2016, and a number of restaurants as well as the slickest catering operation in town, among her many endeavors.

But in 2017 the barrier to enter the playing field has become impossibly high, not just because of rising costs and competition, but due to increasing sophistication among diners. You can't just cook well and have a clean, well-lighted space. You need either extraordinary talent or the backing of some seriously well-heeled investors, and the one usually attracts the other.

Year 2017 was probably the last hurrah for the independent restaurant - not that there won?t be plucky little places that become neighborhood favorites, but little startups that make impossibly large ripples in the food world.

I haven't been able to explore the restaurant world as much as I would have wanted to in the last quarter of the year, and have missed a couple of important openings. So I can't really do a roundup of the year's new restaurants without being unfair to those that opened in the last few months.

Instead, I'll paint a few broad brushstrokes of the food scene as it stands at the end of 2017.

The Moment Group

The end of the independent restaurant is as much a consequence of economic conditions as it is a sign of a mature and saturated market.

But it is, nonetheless, a sad thing to come to an end; 2017 was also the year in which The Moment Group went from a growing restaurant group to a full-fledged force to be reckoned with. It has a killer combination of loads of capital, a finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, a sophisticated design team, and a dynamic marketing team.

As with any startup that becomes a well-entrenched player, people are rooting for The Moment Group, but also anxiously hoping that it doesn't become evil.

As a corporation, it is its nature to need to turn in a profit and expand, but I hope it does so in a way that gives young, promising chefs their due, that encourages diversity and promotes local produce, that builds a workforce that can be passionate about food and make a proper living off it.

Chinese food

Chinese food grew strongly on both ends: the high-end and the newcomers, while the middle sagged. The standard for a topnotch Chinese meal used to be Gloria Maris, but that's now considered middle of the market.

You can spend over P5,000 per head at Canton Road or Crystal Dragon or China Blue at the Conrad. It's no longer the case that, if someone took you out to a Chinese restaurant, you automatically assume that your host was trying to save money. At the same time, the new migrants have made Binondo interesting again, although much of the action tends to be in Makati, especially just outside the central business district where many of them live.

Many of them are businesses run out of the home to cater to the community, but some have begun to set up shop.

A lot of the action takes place on WeChat or over the phone, and it helps if you can speak, or at least type, in Chinese. But even if you don't, they can speak a few words of Tagalog (or pass the phone to someone who can).

I've had some excellent hand-pulled noodles and dumplings delivered to me, and this is just the few I've stumbled upon. It's a world I want to delve into, but I need to brush up on my Chinese.

Franchises

The prevailing food trend in 2017 was essentially the same as that at the end of last year: franchises, and yet more franchises. People go to Japan and have a good meal somewhere, and the next thing you know there's a branch in the nearest mall.

This is not necessarily a bad thing - although, when I finally got myself to Japan a few weeks ago, I was astonished to see many familiar brands from the local dining scene. This is the opposite of the old days when you'd encounter something abroad and then be delighted that you didn't have to go to, say, Paris for macaroons, or Shanghai or Taiwan for xiao long bao. In terms of soft power, Japan is winning the day - at least in the food world.

And what of the Great Filipino Restaurant, the way that people in the literary world still look for the great Filipino novel? It's a search that continues to drive the food world, that transcends industry caprices and the drives of profit.

We have a few contenders, and some say that it's already here.

If anything can make 2018 an exciting year for food that isn't just more foreign food franchises opening, and more of the big conglomerates solidifying their positions, it'll be the race to land in the exalted position of being at the forefront of Filipino cooking and eating.

Joescoundrel
01-04-2018, 10:13 AM
'Ngohiong,' 'mariscos,' 'lechon' belly?authentic Cebuano cooking in QC

By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:05 AM January 04, 2018

It was uncanny that, on the week before a visit to Cebu, I got an invitation to taste Cebuano cooking - but to be held in Manila. I had seen the signage to try the food at Hukad on the way to the TriNoma MRT station, my choice of transportation to points south such as Shaw and Makati. The name Hukad sounded curious, but not enough to make me stay and look for the place.

But then the opportunity presented itself when I was free, and the restaurant was near home in Quezon City. Of course, the first thing was to find out what Hukad means - it's Cebuano for ladle or sandok.

In the restaurant, it's used to ladle out "unlimited" rice, plain or fried. The night I went, Hukad was reintroducing itself. It belongs to a big, Cebu-based chain, the Golden Cowrie, which has been around since the 1980s, and is branching out. Hukad is the company's other brand.

Comfort cuisine

Part of Hukad's relaunch was to announce the actor Gerald Anderson as its brand ambassador. His mother is a Cebuano from General Santos City, and so the food of the region is Anderson's comfort cuisine.

He was introduced by general manager Kenneth Cokseng and his wife Kristine, who is also assistant general manager of the group of restaurants. Kristine explained that food with Cebuano flavor doesn't need dipping sauces or condiments, unlike the way people from Luzon, for instance, would have theirs.

Cebuano kare-kare doesn't need bagoong because the flavors are all in the dish.

But Kristine admitted that Cebu lechon is saltier than its counterparts in the country. The restaurant offers lechon belly as its signature dish stuffed with chopped aromatics and ordered by weight.

For people familiar with Cebuano cooking, what makes Hukad truly Cebuano is the ngohiong - lumpia (spring roll) with chopped ubod (coconut pith), though it can contain singkamas (jicama) or bamboo shoots.

For non-Cebuanos, the flavors are strange because of its mix of sour and salty with a whiff of five-spice powder, but Cebuanos grow up with this breakfast/snack food.

Even Tagalogs who have lived in Cebu for a time have made ngohiong a staple food. The way to eat this, said a waiter at Hukad, is to slit the ngohiong lengthwise, then dip in the sauce.

There is also the tinowa, the not-so-sour soup of the Cebuanos, which a Central Luzon native will find lacking in that mouth-puckering quality. But tinowa always works with really fresh seafood, so the sourness doesn't mask that quality.

When cooking chicken soup, Tagalogs love the tinola, a clear soup. But Cebuanos prefer the chicken halang halang with coconut milk, made spicy with siling labuyo (bird's eye chili).

Spanish-inspired dish

Scallops at Hukad come from Bantayan, an island off the Cebu mainland known for its seafood and once an exporter of soft-shell crabs (which has sadly been discontinued). The place is also bruited to have beaches even better than Boracay.

In Hukad's Spanish-inspired dish of mariscos, a seafood mix in tomato sauce, the halaan (saltwater clams) were so huge that we thought they were imbao (mangrove clams).

Like most Filipino restaurants, the food at Hukad is not limited to what Cebu offers. The Pampango sisig is as delicious cooked the Cebuano way. Crispy pata is done very well, the crunchy skin a contrast to its tender meat.

Modern touches are in the salad of pomelo with slices of buko (young coconut), and the dessert of ube halaya (purple yam jam) placed within a crisp pastry covering and served a la mode.

Joescoundrel
01-30-2018, 02:32 PM
10 More Must-try Regional Dishes In The Philippines

BY MARK GO ON JANUARY 17, 2018

The many islands of the Philippines have not only produced a diverse set of cultures but they have also introduced an array of dishes that are unique to the country. From the highlands, to the coastal areas, to the far flung towns, each one boasts of fresh ingredients as well as delicious dishes.

To give you an idea of what to try out the next time you travel, here are 10 must-try regional dishes in the Philippines.

1. Adobong Dilaw
Taal, Batangas

Adobo is typically brown in color because soy sauce is used as a main ingredient. But in the town of Taal in Batangas, they have their own version called the adobong dilaw because of the use of turmeric. It looks like it's curry because of its color but it is in fact, a different version of adobo.

2. Calamay
Bohol

Bohol's calamay is a delicious delicacy that needs some appreciation. Like many dishes, each province or town has their own version of it. In the town of Jagna in Bohol, calamay is made out of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Peanut is sometimes added in some versions of this delicacy. It takes several hours of laborious stirring for it to turn into the sweet and sticky Jagna calamay.

3. Pancit Batil-Patong
Tuguegarao, Cagayan

Jam-packed with ingredients, this kind of pancit gives you more reasons to devour it in one sitting.

A showcase of vibrant ingredients, Pancit Batil-Patong fills your plate with all kinds of yummy things, all aimed to please your craving to the fullest. It's traditionally served with minced carabao meat and chopped fresh vegetables and is then topped off with chicharon and egg. Derived from the local term 'batil patong' which means 'to beat the egg', it is definitely a must-try dish when visiting the province of Cagayan.

4. Tiniim na Manok
General Tinio, Nueva Ecija

This tasty looking chicken dish, marinated and simmered in pineapple juice, is served with a thick peanut-flavored sauce. Once you take a bite, your palate will instantly be treated to rich flavors brought to you by the dish's many seasonings like pepper, shallots, ginger and other spices.

5. Betute
Pampanga

Have you ever wondered which dish is most likely to stand out in the mind of a traveler who has visited all 81 provinces of the Philippines? For Mervin Marasigan, otherwise known as Pinoy Adventurista, the exotic Kapampangan specialty dish called Betute tops his list of must-eat regional dishes in the country.

Marasigan describes the Betute dish as "deep fried farm frogs stuffed with minced pork, garlic and spices. It tastes like chicken, smells clean and the stuffing is quite flavorful. This is definitely a must-try when dining in Pampanga. You really have to try it."

6. Sinantol
Quezon Province

A delicacy of Quezon province, sinantol is a blend of seafood and santol in gata (coconut milk). There are versions of this dish that substiture pork or fish instead of crabs and shrimps.

World wanderer Christine Rogador has traveled to many countries but still remembers this interesting dish fondly when asked about her list of favorite food. "The dish has the right combination of sour, salty, spicy and creamy flavors which makes it unique and appetizing. It is usually paired with fried fish or ginangang isda which is what Quezonians call 'paksiw'," describes Rogador.

7. Minaluto
Angono, Rizal

The province of Rizal is known as one of the leading culinary spots in the country, with many of its towns having perfected their own unique manner of preparing food. Angono resident poet and travel writer Celine Reyes recommends a certain dish called Minaluto.

According to Reyes, "Minaluto, a local take on the Spanish paella, is a blend of rice, and popular Filipino viands. Along with the variety of seafood and meat, the dish puts a highlight on Angono's prized kanduli - a fish with a tasty and versatile meat, caught in the Laguna Lake. It's definitely a hearty must-try dish!"

8. Pyanggang
Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao

Zamboanga City, a melting pot of culinary influences from the Moro, Spanish and other southern settlers, presents a long list of interesting dishes. Among those that stand out is the Pyanggang. It’s similar to the typical chicken inasal but it’s laden with rich sauce and it's black, thanks to the process of mixing it with burnt ground coconut meat. This dish's taste is made richer by other various spices.

9. Pastil
Maguindanao

This was my lifesaver during my backpacking trip to Maguindanao some years back. Why? It only costs ₱10-15 per order! Partner it with hot brewed coffee and you’ve got yourself the perfect breakfast to fuel up your day.

Fellow travel blogger Lai Ariel Samangka agrees as he also considers Pastil as go-to comfort food when traveling in this part of the Philippines. “Pastil is the most popular Maguindanaon delicacy in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. It is made of cooked rice, crowned with sauteed shredded meat of chicken, beef, or fish and perfectly wrapped with a heated banana leaf.”

10. Insarabasab
Ilocos Norte

Food blogger and most recently, newly-minted lawyer, Stacy Liong recommends the Ilocano dish called Insarabasab. "Insarabasab or Sarabasab directly means meat roasted is open fire. Thus, Insarabasab is pork (usually pork shoulder and pig face) roasted in wood fire or char grilled mixed with onions, ginger, vinegar, salt, pepper, siling labuyo, tomatoes, soy sauce, sukang Ilokos and kalamansi. This dish is the Ilocos Norte's favorite pulutan. Some versions add some mayonnaise making it appear similar to Pampanga's Sisig."

Joescoundrel
04-19-2018, 09:06 AM
The ‘carinderia’ takes center stage

An annual food fiesta in Metro Manila goes nationwide to recognize roadside eateries serving native Filipino fare in ‘Buhay Carinderia... Redefined’

By: Pocholo Concepcion -Desk Editor Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:00 AM April 19, 2018

First, a clarification from Erlinda Legaspi, whose company, Marylindbert International, is lead organizer of the “Buhay Carinderia…

Redefined” food event: It is not out to compete with Madrid Fusion Manila. In fact, there’s no truth to the rumor it will replace Madrid Fusion.

At the media launch held recently at Rizal Park Hotel (formerly the Army Navy Club), Legaspi pointed out that “Buhay Carinderia” started in 2011 dubbed “Carinderia Fiesta.”

“Marylindbert is a 37-year-old marketing communications firm that is also into advocacies,” she told Lifestyle. “I’m very passionate about Filipino food although I don’t cook. My family is from Bulacan and I grew up with farmers.”

She recalled that her father, whom she described as “a gentleman farmer who has a hacienda,” had explained to her when she was a child that the food the family eats comes from the farmers who till the soil.

“That’s how I got to love and appreciate Filipino food,” she said.

In 2011, “Carinderia Fiesta” was “a simple undertaking. We would gather carinderia owners but only in Metro Manila for a two-day event. We would ask the likes of Glenda Barretto of Via Mare to teach them best practices like hygiene and sanitation, portioning. I also tapped my friends in the banking sector to teach them financial literacy.”

Presentation

Legaspi said she herself discovered that the carinderia served delicious food, except that the owners didn’t bother about presentation.

But she’s proud to relate that one of these roadside eateries, Sisig Avenue, has started to franchise. Another has been contracted to supply crabs and other seafood to hotels.

This year, “Carinderia Fiesta” has been renamed “Buhay Carinderia,” with the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Promotions Board as event presenter.

This time, it will be held for nine months in Northern Luzon including the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Mindanao.

The best dishes, the people who prepared them, and the carinderia they work for will be recognized in a series of events, the first on June 28 and 29 at the Vigan Convention Center.

At the media launch, the kitchen staff of Rizal Park Hotel served its own takes on native Filipino fare including Tinolang Manok, whose soup came in a coconut shell; Kare-Kare, which had both ox tripe and sirloin beef; Chicken Inasal, Dilis, Chicharong Bulaklak, Balut, Kwek-Kwek, Arroz Caldo, Pancit Malabon and assorted Kakanin.

They were all delectable, especially the kare-kare. The pancit and kakanin brought back memories of our childhood in Malabon.

Celebrity restaurateur Erwan Heussaff, who also runs a popular blog, The Fat Kid Inside (thefatkidinside.com), has lent his presence by creating videos to promote “Buhay Carinderia.”

Sam Miguel
07-12-2018, 10:43 AM
‘Pedicured’ pig’s trotters, grilled bologna de San Pablo, and other reunion dishes

By: Micky Fenix - Columnist

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:15 AM July 12, 2018

Two lunches and a dinner became a reunion with friends who had been my guides and sources through provincial cooking.

Sonny (Martin) Imperial Tinio can tell you what’s cooking in many towns of the country just by looking inside pots in a carinderia, or roadside eatery. He guided me through the culinary traditions of Nueva Ecija and the Bicol region.

Recently he tried to experiment with old dishes, such as nilasing na mangga, which consisted of green mango slices pickled in beer, relished as appetizer and then eaten with the rest of the food as a condiment. The mangoes came from his farm in Nueva Ecija, some of which he would make into haleya (jam).

Most unusual was pig’s trotters in which nail-less hooves were used, so that was why it was christened “pedicure” that evening; they were boiled and then dressed with vinegar the way we do kilawin but which Tinio said he remembered he had in Portugal.

Over at the buffet, he pointed to the vegetable lumpia (spring roll) made two ways. One had the usual brown sauce called paalat, and the other had tahure (fermented soy bean curd) within the wrap, the old way, Tinio said, before the brown sauce was used.

The fish was a barramundi, steamed and then dressed with mayonesa (Tinio’s way of calling ingredients in the old manner). He would have preferred to use apahap, our sea bass, but he couldn’t find any at the market. (I told him that sometimes there are live apahap at the Fisher Mall in Quezon City.)

Meat was pata tim, braised pork leg with mushrooms. Dessert consisted of sweetened sliced orange slices. A few of us waited for the homemade buko (young coconut) sherbet with coconut milk to thaw, the perfect palate-cleansing ending.

‘Longganisa’

Lory Tan years ago brought me on my first food tour, passing through Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, La Union and then Baguio, where “Sarap,” the book by Doreen Gamboa Fernandez and Ed Alegre, was launched. After heading the family business, Bookmark, he became chair of World Wildlife Fund. But he has never let go of his culinary adventure spirit and been searching different kinds of longganisa (sausages) of Philippine provinces.

We were at Casa San Pablo where Tan said the innkeeper of the place and resident clay artist, An Mercado Alcantara, had researched on the longganisa to be served that brunch. She said she chose those that were sold at the market and made by families for generations: they were hamonado (sweetish), others were garlic-filled and still with skin, some were skinless, and the rest grilled bologna de San Pablo.

San Pablo specialties brought back memories of Lake Pandin where the women rowed the bamboo raft from one end to the other. Getting to the lake was quite a walk and was dangerously slippery during the rainy season. But one would be rewarded with a tranquil travel through the water and very good local cooking.

There was pinaete, small river shrimps that were pounded and then cooked with coconut milk. The local cooks said they now would use a blender instead of mortar and pestle, which Alcantara found funny, but then she decided to give them another blender so they could keep doing pinaete.

Somehow the pinaputok na tilapia (charcoal-broiled wrapped in banana leaves then fried) seemed better-tasting there. There was adobong manok sa gata (braised chicken in coconut milk), the pang-asim, or souring agent, being fresh kamias (bilimbi) and the southern Tagalog grilled eggplant salad called kulawo.

There were condiments, such as two kinds of bagoong alamang (fermented krill): one sauteed to go with the Indian mango halves and another cooked with coconut milk and chili that was used to top kamote chips.

There was perfect suwam na mais (corn chowder) that warmed the stomach and our spirits before partaking of the many food set to Lory Tan’s menu.

On a rainy Sunday, we set off for Batangas City, on the invitation of Marian Pastor Roces, to have lunch. Beforehand, it was more than hinted that she was serving beef caldereta, a family recipe.

Years ago, we had more than caldereta when she invited us to view the beginnings of Museo Puntong Batangan, a museum that uses the Batangueño way of speaking, accent and all, to show not only the history of the province but also of its food.

We arrived at the Pastor-Acosta ancestral house circa 1883 woefully late and could hear the voices of guests in the upstairs comedor (dining room) where we headed, climbing the escalera mayor (main staircase) to reach it. We, the latecomers, went straight to get our Batangas dishes, the caldereta and the ginataang tulingan (small tuna cooked in coconut milk).

The caldereta was shredded beef, tasting of cheese and the great flavors that grew out of the slow cooking one expected of a traditional dish. My sister, who was with me, said that her husband’s Batangas family would cook the caldereta with lots of onions, color it with achuete, and enrich it with grated cheese.

Those three reunions kept us abreast about each other’s lives while allowing us to share the respective cuisines of our families, provinces and regions.