Archive for the ‘cuisine’ Category

Kinunot—Bicol’s shark food & the way to environmental conservation

April 8, 2009

Bicolanos have a delicious way of cooking sharks.—fresh slices of the shark’s meat boiled with thick coconut milk, vinegar, chilies, and corns of black pepper. With a dash of salt, the native dish kinunot is accented with green pepper leaves or malunggay (Moringa.) They give the tropical cuisine its tasty flavor and smooth aroma when eaten with hot rice.

That’s what the fishermen of Donsol, Sorsogon did to a wayward rare megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) caught recently in the coast of Burias Island, a wildlife haven of whale sharks (Butanding,) dolphins. and giant manta rays. The sea hunters were out to fish for the usual bounty of the sea, but what they got last March 30, 2009 was an astounding surprise.

According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF,) the huge shark was the only one so far found in Sorsogon-Masbate, a fascinating area located in southern tip of Luzon in the Philippines. Measuring 4 meters long and weighing about 500-kg, the impressive fish with blue-gray exterior could be the 41st of its kind reported in the world.

“The first specimen was caught off Oahu, Hawaii in 1976. So different was it from all other sharks that it necessitated the creation of an entirely new family and genus – prompting the scientific community to hail it as the 20th century’s most significant marine find – rivaling the rediscovery of the coelacanth in 1938,” —WWF. Philstar (04/07/09 Andraneda, K)

Evidently, many people of Bicol didn’t know the significance of their unexpected catch which unfortunately ended up in the cooking pan. Kinunot is tasty and very nutritious. Other than being food in the dinner table, conservationists however were quick to educate the townspeople of megamouth shark’s bigger importance.

The WWF are working with Sorsogon and Masbate to protect the habitat of the endangered sharks and other precious treasures of the sea. At the same time the evnironmental group helps in developing eco-tourism which which is friendly to the animals and brings livelihood to the residents of the area.(Photo Credit: WWF/ Philstar) =0=

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Obama fried chicken for lunch

April 6, 2009

Although his approval rating isn’t as high as when he assumed the presidency, the first Afro-American US president is still very popular. Barack Obama mania still rages as one can see in a fried chicken store in New York City.

According to New York Daily News, at least two fried chicken joints have baptized themselves as Obama Fried Chicken. They are probably just riding on the popularity of the president and many are buying.

Obama’s remarkable following is part of what writer political commentator Bernard Goldman described as “a slobbering love affair” of the media that has seeped into the psyche of the ordinary American citizen. The ripple effect of this adulation will reverberate internationally and it will take some time before is stops to a halt. (Photo Credit: Rob Bennett, NY Times/Redux, New York Daily News) =0=

When “tuyo” is fried in a high-rise apartment, the smell of gas leak and cadaveric decomposition becomes a legal problem

January 15, 2009

Gloria Lim and her husband Michael are in trouble. They are being sued for $75,000 by the nuns of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart congregation for violating a building rule that prohibits the cooking of “smelly food.” —Philippine News / Philstar (01/15/08, Pastor, C)

The NY Fire Department was called by building residents because of stench which emanated from the Lim’s 16th floor Manhattan apartment. The awful smell alarmed neighbors who thought there was a decaying body in the building. The firemen broke the door and found that the odor came from “tuyo”—- fried dried fish (herring or anchovy) which is a common breakfast food in the Philippines.

Cooking “ethnic” flood is a common problem particularly during winter months in high-rise buildings when doors and windows are generally shut tight. Any smell from a housing unit can be magnified and bother a lot of neighbors. Though others can tolerate smells of certain food, it is better such malodorous food must be avoided.

Gloria Lim, the pissed Filipina who has been in the US for 30 years must know better. She must be considerate to her neighbors who can’t take the peculiar smell of “tuyo.” The strong fishy odor which sticks to clothes is cumbersome to remove—entailing more laundry or visits to professional apparel cleaners. It is understandable that residents who haven’t experienced such an olfactory oddity from a peculiar food may panic believing that it’s from a gas leak that’s ready to explode or from a dead human body or animal decaying in the building. That’s precisely why buildings have rules to protect the common interest of residents. Cultural sensitivity and respect must be observed in communal living where people of different races stay together. (Photo Credit: Mando Rukot) =0=

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"Asocena": more than 70 dogs for food

December 4, 2008

In cultures where dogs are celebrated as pets, security aids, rescue workers, guards, loyal companions, and friends, one can be horrified to know how they are slaughtered for food by humans. In spite of the risk of diseases like rabies, in many places in Asia like in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, dogs are raised and killed for food. Stray mongrels are snared and cooked as “delicacy” even if it’s against the law.

Every so often we hear of hapless dogs bound for slaughter. The horrendous plight of these animals before dying is appalling. This is exactly what is reported by Julie Aurelio of PDI (12/04/08) of more than 70 canines intercepted in a van in SM North Edsa Manila. It’s in the nick of time that the dogs have been rescued before they become “aso” which means dog and “cena,” supper.

The police arrested Ernesto Zapata and companion Jason Ortega who said the canines came from Laguna and are headed Baguio City for sale. The Philippine Society of Cruelty of Animals took custody of the confiscated dogs, 20 of which are pregnant. Let’s be kind to animals. (Photo Credits: Tibble) =0=

Kahit saan man, ang patis ay ‘di malimutan

November 29, 2008

kwento ni Raniela (Miles) Barbaza

May patis na kami!” Isang nakakatuwang kwento ng isang Ibalonian ng napunta siya at ang kanyang kapatid sa Gallup, New Mexico. Sa kalayu-layo ng Pilipinas, hanap-hanap pa rin nila sa dulo ng mundo ang patis na walang katulad.—mesiamd (11/29, 08)

Tatlong taon na ang orosipong ito pero tulad ng ibinubulong ng matandang salitang Bikolnon para sa kwento – ang orosipon, hindi natatapos. Patuloy ang masayang kwento: ang ating orosipon.” —RB, November 28, 2008, New York City

Hindi ko alam sa inyo pero para sa amin ng kapatid kong si Isang hindi maaaring walang patis ang nilaga o sinigang. Imajinin nga ninyo – nilagang walang patis? Pede ba iyon? Sinigang na walang patis? Mas lalong hindi pede.

Halos dalawang buwan na kami dito sa Gallup, New Mexico bago kami nagkaroon ng patis. Kaming dalawa ang tinatawag na mga bagong salta. Nitong nakaraang August 10 lamang nang dumating kami dito sa Gallup, isang bayan na may isa’t kalahati hangga’t dalawang oras na biyahe ang layo mula sa Albuquerque.

Noong unang linggo namin dito, sinubukan naming gawing Amerikano ang aming tiyan. Tutal, pagyayabang namin sa sarili namin, sanay naman tayong kumain ng Jollibee at Mcdonald’s sa Pilipinas. Sige, wheat bread at palaman. Pero hindi namin nakumbinsi ang aming mga tiyan. Sari-saring tunog ang nililikha ng mga tiyan namin. Brrrrrrrg. Mrrrrngk. Pop. Parang nagmumumog o kumukulog o pumuputok na mga tunog ang maya’t maya’y naririnig namin mula sa mga tiyan namin.

Nang maglaon, tiyan na namin ang hindi mapakanali. Okey. Suko na kami. Kailangan namin ng kanin at ulam! Sumugod kami sa nilalakad lang namin na supermarket (wala kaming kotse). Diretso sa aisle ng bigas. Ok. Hayun, rice. Isang maliit na supot lang? Di bale. Sige. Ano pa. Ulam.

Anong ulam natin? Nilagang baka para may mahigop na sabaw (nilalamig na agad kami kahit na summer pa daw dito). Ok. Beef stew cuts. Ito na siguro iyon. Tapos repolyo. Patatas. Carrots. Beans. Saging saba… walang saging na saba?! Ok, di bale. Sibuyas. Tsek. Patis na lang.

Ah, ok sa condiments na tayo. Wala. Fish sauce. Hanap tayo ng fish sauce. Saan? Baka kakaiba lang ang bote dito ng patis. Diyan sa shelf na iyan? Teka baka dito. Wala. Walaaaa.

Doon namin naalala na usapin rin ng identidad ang panlasa. Pero, siyempre pa, ang identidad ay likha ng taga-ngalan. Kailangang ikonteksto ang paghahanap ng patis sa pananaw ng mga tagarito sa New Mexico. Sa madaling salita, sino ba kami sa pananaw ng mga taga-rito?

Pinilit naming kalimutan na, basta tao kaming nagugutom. Alalahanin ang mga form na sinusulatan. Please check ethnicity (optional). Oriental. Asian. Minsan may tiyak na box para sa Filipino. O kaya, doon ka sa mga walang identitad: other. Ok, sikapin na alalahanin hanapin ang karatulang may tanda ng identidad.

Dahil iniisip namin tiyak na may patis dito, kailangan lang nating matuklasan kung nasaang aisle. May iba naman sigurong mga Pinoy dito. Siyempre mangangailangan din sila ng patis. Elementary economics ba iyon ? Ang alam ko, kung may demand, may supply. Natitiyak naman namin na magdedemand ang mga dila ng mga Pinoy dito ng patis, kaya mayroong magsu-supply. Luminga-linga kami. Binasa ang mga karatula sa itaas ng mga aisle. Talagang wala. Walang Oriental food. O Asian food. O International food. Ooops eto, Chinese food! Preno kami ng kapatid ko. Dalawang shelves na may habang tatlong piye siguro. Pero walang patis. Walaaang patis! Bumili na lang kami ng toyo sa isang kakaibang bote.

Kinabukasan, ibinalita sa akin ni Isang na ang sabi ng kaniyang katrabahong Chinese, sa Albuquerque pa raw sila namimili ng oriental food. Whooaah! Sa Alburqeurque pa? Para sa aming mga bagong saltang walang kotse, para na rin nilang sinabing sa Pilipinas pa makakabili ng patis.

Pero tulad ng iba pang malilit na bahagi ng buhay migranteng bagong salta, unti-unti nasanay na rin kaming magluto ng nilagang toyo ang pampaalat. Nasanay na rin kaming umasa sa microwave na nabili namin sa halagang $10 sa isang yard sale: pampainit ng tubig, ng kaning lamig at tirang ulam.

Nasanay na kaming gumamit ng mainit na tubig sa pagligo sa halip ng dati ay hinahanap-hanap na malamig na tubig na pampaalis ng banas sa Pilipinas. Nasanay na kaming ulit-ulitin ang aming sinasabi hanggang sa maintindihan ng kausap. Ng pagbigkas ng salitang bank na halos behnk. Ng pagdala ng jacket saan man pumunta dahil hindi nangangahulugang mainit ang panahon kahit na tirik na tirik ang araw. Ng pagbitbit ng tigalawang galon ng inuming tubig mula sa supermarket. Ng matitigan dahil sa kakaibang itsura o pananalita.

Naiintindihan siguro ng Diyos ang paghahanap namin sa patis. Isang araw, tumawag ang Uncle Romy namin mula sa Norwalk, California. Oy, mga bagong saltang dalaga. May pupunta diyan na mga Pinoy na madre. Pitong taon na sila diyan sa Gallup. Ipinagbilin ko kayo.

Mga madreng misyonero na nagtuturo sa Catholic School dito sa Gallup. Na tulad ng ibang migrante dito, natutong mag-drive! Dinala nila kaming magkapatid sa Philippine Cuisine, isang bagong Pilipinong restaurant daw na may ilang bilihing Pilipino.

Ah! Para kaming mga batang nakakita ng mga kendi. Bumili kami ng patis, toyo, suka (hindi distilled ha!), balat ng lumpiang shanghai, tumigas na sa lamig na tilapia, tinapa at bihon!

Sa katunayan, hindi naman pala kami nag-iisa sa pananatiling Pinoy ng panlasa. Sinubukan kong i-Google minsan ang humba dahil naalala ko ang masarap na pork humba sa Rodic’s sa eskwelahang pinangungulilahan ko.

Aba! Sandamakmak na blogs at sites ang umapir! Pinoy. Pinay. Kung saan-saan. Nananatiling Pinoy at Pinay nasaan man sila ngayon. Nagpapayabangan ng mga alam na nilang lutuing Pinoy na dati-rati’y hindi pinapansin ang pagluluto at basta na lamang kinakain sa kusina ng kanilang lola/lolo o nanay/tatay o sa kalapit na karinderia.

Kaya ngayong tanghalian, habang balot ng medyas, pajama at sweater, hinihigop namin ang mainit na sinigang na mayroon nang patis. Ang tanong naming dalawang bagong migrante ngayon: anong bahagi ang hindi matitinag sa pagiibang bayan? (Photo Credits: Chboogs; nikita2471; Chotda; Jab58; http://www.tastingmenu.com; chotda; nikita2471; knottypine)=0=

Feeling the loss of Maogmang Lugar’s market fire

November 14, 2008

by Pitoy Moreno

The big fire that gutted Naga City Supermarket has been quickly extinguished but the magnitude of the loss is incalculable. Those who shop in the market now find the vendors displaced, selling their goods in Igualdad and General Luna Streets. There is confusion— something that’s expected when a calamity gets into the lives of the people. For having a “super” market, Naga suffers a “super” loss.

Fondly referred to as “Satuyang Sa’od,” the Naga Supermarket was at one point the largest public market in Asia. It had been a source of pride of the Bicolanos. During its construction in the early 1970’s, the impressive concrete edifice rose with two large covered floors and an open roof deck, occupying two city blocks. The supermarket was one of its kind until the mega Malls became popular.

Two underpasses cross the belly of the building assuring easy mobility of pedestrians and tricyles. At the center, a spiral ramp was designed to allow wooden carts and vehicles to bring merchandise directly to the top. Huge stairways service the commercial edifice for the convenience of sellers and shoppers alike. Natural breeze aerates the sturdy building.

The supermarket is a major hub of activity in Naga City. At the break of dawn people flock to the place to start the busy day. Early “birds” in search for the proverbial “fat worm” are drawn in the commercial paradise where an eclectic mix of merchandise and service thrive. Off-school children and teenagers eager to earn cash help moms and pops tend their store. The market isn’t just a place to buy and sell, it’s also an interesting place where people congregate and socialize in Maogmang Lugar.

In specified sections of the supermarket, fresh fruits, organic vegetables, choice meat, and an array of farm harvests are sold hand-in-hand with locally made home furnishings and native products. There are carenderias, flower stores, beauty shops, and bakeries that keep business at fever pitch all throughout the seasons.

Known for its plebeian openness and domesticity, the supermarket is never short of exciting activity. Seafood are hauled from places like Calabanga, Pasacao, and Cabusao and sold in the market at mark down prices. Farmers from Pacol and Carolina bring baskets of balatong harvested from their gardens. Those from Panicuason and neighboring towns bring sacks of freshly harvested corn, talong, coconuts, and edible greens to the delight of shoppers. As far as Tinangis at the foot of Mount Isarog, they come with their fresh produce to sell. That’s why as a matter of habit, store-owners in the city and neighboring towns rely on the supermarket to keep their trade going.

Shoppers love the market for the tuyo, badi, tocino and longaniza they buy for their families, but it is also a place where they meet their friends and relatives. Pili sweets are mainstay favorites enjoyed by their visitors. Young and old, they enjoy the ukay-ukay and the ready-to-wear clothes stalls which sell copies of big name brands of fashionable apparels at low prices.

Newpapers and magazines are sold in the first floor. In the market’s upper levels, vendors offer familiar Bicolano foodstuffs— red hot sili, bawang, kangkong, petchay, sibulyas, laya, and kamatis. The tempting aroma of Bicol cuisine fills the air. Rows of eateries serve ice-cold fruit juices and halo-halo to banish the tropical heat of summer. Native calamay sweets, balisoso, dila-dila, and ibos are available for hungry shoppers. Puto, bokayo, latik, pinuyos and baduya never frustrate the taste of those who seek them in the market.

It’s no wonder why Naga sorely misses the market that has been razed by fire. Many ask how long it will take the government to restore the place to its original ambience. As one can imagine, the supermarket is the truly the heart of a vibrant city where businesses flourish and the soul of the people dwells. (Photo Credits: bingbing; hellochris; hellochris) =0=

Mayor Jess Robredo Meets Naga Fire Victims

In a gathering at the site of the fire that gutted the Naga Supermarket, Mayor Jesse Robredo explains to his constituents the measures he will take to tackle the problems that follow the displacement of vendors and shoppers of the market. According to Bicol Mail, an estimated P70 million worth of goods and property were lost. (Photo Credit: Bicol Mail, Movember 13, 2008)

RELATED BLOGS: “Naga Public Market (Supermarket) Burns Down” Posted by myty555 at 11/07/2008; “Huge Loss in Naga Supermarket Fire” Posted by mesiamd at 11/09/2008;”Fire brings woes to Naga City market vendors” Posted by mesiamd at 11/07/2008

UPDATE: Inquirer (11/17/08, Escandor J.) Announced by Sen. Joker Arroyo and Budget Sec. Rolando Andaya, the national government will release P70 million to finance the reconstruction of the city’s three-story public market. Fire damage assessment was upped to P100 million from the earlier reported P70 million reported.

Balls as food & the bizarre cremasteric reflex from down under

October 7, 2008

Ouch! Guys, see how the bizarre food makes your teeth grind, the cremaster muscles twitch and the balls recoil after a shiver. Serbian chef Ljudomir Erovic has come up with a new pizza dish prepared from intimate animal parts featured in an e-book entitled “The Testicle Cookbook: Cooking with Balls.”

Erovic, 45, who organizes the World Testicle Cooking Championships held annually in Serbia since 2004 and attracts chef-participants from Australia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway and Serbia has this to say:

“The tastiest testicles in my opinion probably come from bulls, stallions or ostriches, although other people have their own favorites,” Daily Telegraph (10/02/080) (Photo Credit: YUDU/AFP/HO)=0=