Longganisa Lucban is a garlicky slightly sour sausage that is quite similar to chorizo de Bilbao, the famous garlic sausage from Spain.
The sausage’s main ingredients are medium ground pork, rock salt, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, sugar, Filipino (white) vinegar, pork back fat, and sausage casings. The sausage is made in the towns of Sariaya, Tayabas, Lucena and Lucban in Quezon province either by backyard industries or medium scale operations. Some recipes omit the vinegar, making the Lucban sausages less sour than the Vigan longganisa. But the distinctive flavours are the garlic and oregano.
Ampao (pronounced as AM-PAW) is a rice ball puff lightly coated with sugar syrup. A favorite snack ampao has several varieties and in the Visayas, Central Philippines, ampao is made of rice that are crispier but less light or puffy than those found in Luzon island.
Ampao is also shaped or formed in various ways; flat and rectangular, round, squares, thin slabs and the more common ball-shaped rice puffs. Ball-shaped ampao also comes in various colours, obviously as come-on to kids. From green, red, rose pink, yellow to blue, these colored rice puffs are often sold in small sari-sari stores (Mom & Pop stores).
Carcar in Cebu is known to produce the best rice puffs or crispies in the Visayas. Carcar’s ampao makers used cooked rice that are sun-dried to make it crispier. Rectangular in shape, Carcar ampao has peanuts embedded in the rice puff as an added treat.
Long live Pinoy-made snacks!
Not the sport shoe maker, but a popular street food often found sold by food and snack vendors right on busy sidewalks. Adidias is chicken feet or claws that are grilled and sold cheaply as ‘snack-on-the-go.’
Although not all Pinoys are big fans of Adidas, this chicken delight has survived the years and remains a top money earner for small street vendors. With little capital, food vendors grill Adidas or chicken claws and topped it with sauce for a quick tummy filler. The name ‘Adidas’ is said to refer to “three toes, three stripes” (of the well-known shoe maker). Or could it be the leathery feel one gets when biting on the grilled chicken claws? Who knows… In any case, fastfood Pinoy style can be imaginative, cheap and available 24-7.
Mabuhay ang Pinoy street food!
Mangosteen, although available and grown throughout Southeast Asia, is one of the favorite fruits that one can find in the local market particularly in southern Philippines.
The fruit has a distinctive star shape and purplish fleshy skin or peel that enclosed a juicy white seeded flesh. Mangosteen of good quality is sweet and has a refreshing taste, making it a well-loved, popular tropical fruit. A tropical evergreen tree, mangosteen is believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. The tree grows from 7 to 25 m (20–80 ft) tall. The rind of the edible fruit is deep reddish purple when ripe. The fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture. (Source: Wikipedia and other sources).
Long live tropical fruits!
Piaya (pronounced as “Pee-A-YAH”) is a flat unleavened bread filled with mozcovado (raw) sugar. A product of the Negros provinces, sugar capital of the Philippines, it is now also produced by other regions in the Visayas.
Flaky on the outside, this thin crust pastry is a well-known souvenir for visitors and locals alike. The bread is flaky, just like hopia, and the filling is sweet. The dough is prepared then formed into small balls. The filling of mozcovado sugar is spooned at the center of each ball after which the ball is re-shaped. Rolling pins are used to flatten them. Ovens used for commercially produced piaya are not enclosed contraptions but more like huge open griddles. The flattened piaya are arranged in rows and columns, cooked until the underside is lightly browned then flipped over to brown the opposite side. Piaya is best when freshly baked.
Kare-kare (pronounced as “Kah-RE- Kah-RE”) is a Philippine stew. It is made from peanut sauce with a variety of vegetables, stewed oxtail, beef, and occasionally offal or tripe. Meat variants may include goat meat or (rarely) chicken. It is often eaten with bagoong (shrimp paste), sometimes spiced with chili, and sprinkled with calamansi juice.
Traditionally, any Filipino fiesta (particularly in Pampanga region) is not complete without kare-kare. In some Filipino-American versions of the dish, oxtail is exclusively used as the meat. There are several stories as to the origins of this rather unusual yet distinctly Filipino dish. The first one is that it came from Pampanga. Another, from the regal dishes of the Moro elite who once settled in Manila before the Spanish arrival (interestingly enough, in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, kare-kare also remains a popular dish).
It is a comfort food for Filipinos, and is a perennial family favorite in both local and overseas Filipino households. In some varieties, other types of meat are used, such as pork or (rarely) chicken.
When the meat is tender, the soup becomes gelatinous and to this is added ground roasted peanuts (or peanut butter), ground roasted glutinous rice to make the soup thicker. Atsuete (annatto) is added to give color. The basic vegetables for kare-kare include young banana flower bud or “heart” (puso ng saging), eggplant, string beans, and Chinese cabbage (pechay). (Source: Wikipedia)
Buchi (pronounced ‘BOO-CHEE) is a deep fried sticky dough filled with red bean paste or ube halaya (sweetened mashed purple yam).
A favorite snack or dessert on the Filipino table, the buchi balls are made of milled glutinous rice, shaped in small round balls, filled with the bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and then deep fried. The balls are often sold on the street with the buchi balls skewered on bamboo sticks.
Ube roll is a light sponge roll which is baked like any other sponge cake or roll. The difference is the use of ube or sweetened purple yam as flavoring for the sponge cake mix.
The ube or purple yam jam can also be used as filling for the roll, but since the ube paste is heavier in consistency than the fluffy sponge roll good baking skills must ensure that the roll do not break during or after the baking process.
The Filipinos sweeth tooth is evidenced in this fluffy ube roll, which is a popular dessert in birthday parties, social gatherings or any festive Filipino table. Popular bakery and pastry chains or stores in the Philippines also sell ube roll with a variety of toppings such as icing and macapuno (glutinous coconut) strips.
Photo by Sidney Snoek
Chicharon bulaklak are pork rinds that have been salted, dried, then fried. Chicharon bulaklak are popular pulutan or appetizers, often paired with a glass of beer. Other variations are chicharong bituka or chibab, which are pig intestines that have been deep fried to a crisp.
Chicharong bulaklak or chilak is similar to chicharong bituka and is often made from mesenteries of pig intestines and has a bulaklak or flowery appearance. Chicharong manok or chink is chicken skin that has been deep fried until crispy (Excerpted from WikiPedia).
Mabuhay ang Philippine pulutan!
Duhat is cultivated throughout the Philippines. Also known as Java plum, the fruit may have been introduced in the Philippine from the Malayan peninsula. The fruit also grows in Indo-Malayan regions and was introduced into other tropical countries.
The fruit is oval to elliptic, around 1.5 to 3.5 centimetres long, dark-purple or nearly black, luscious, fleshy and edible. It contains a single large seed and the juice of the fruit stains the tongue and mouth a garish purple pink. The fruit is seasonal and often comes with the first monsoon rains in August and September. A popular fruit in the Philippines, the ripe ones are eaten outright or with a pinch of salt. Duhat juice is considered as tasty as grape juice. The juice is delicious and is often used as basis or substitute for grapes in local red wine. Analyses of the fruit show that it is a good source of calcium and iron.
Interest in duhat has been revived in recent years on account of their suggested value in the treatment of diabetes. Studies, however, remain inconclusive. No matter, for the true-blue Pinoy a bowl of duhat is a source of pleasure, reminding one of the cool monsoon rains, breezy winds and the end of a hot, long summer.
Mabuhay ang duhat!