• My boyfriend brought home some nori (seaweed wrapper) from his trip to Korea and I thought the only thing I could do with it was to make sushi. I don't know how to make sushi, nor have I watched anyone assemble the Japanese delicacy. And so relying on recipes found in the internet, I dub my California roll version "Anything Goes Sushi."

  • In Spanish, the word taste (‘sabor’) etymologically derives from the word knowledge (‘saber’): to taste is to know. Bolivia is a poor country with little access to material goods, but its close relationship to the land creates a strong relationship with food. - Fernando Martinez, creator of Fastfood Off the Shelf (a documentary on why McDonald's failed in Bolivia)

    A couple of hours ago, news that McDonald's had totally shut down in Bolivia circulated the Internet. Well, it wasn't entirely true. McDonald's did shut down but it was back in 2002. But that's not the point of this entry. Apparently, the world is being reminded of the historic event because of the recent release of "Fastfood off the Shelf," a documentary on why McDonald's failed in Bolivia.

  • Besides fruit cake, another Western Christmas dessert that has reached the country is rum cake. While not as popular as fruit cake, this bittersweet, alcohol-soaked cake remains a classic. I was still oblivious to the foodie scene years ago but I'm sure that for a time, rum cake trended in bazaars (think about the cupcake craze).

  • I've been out for a while (a really long while) since I decided to choose freedom and family time over blog hits. Anyway, I couldn't help but share this interesting bit of news. Apparently, Filipino food continues to be a success in the US, reinventing and evolving with the other international cuisines and eventually broadening its fan base.

    Sisig nachos from Senor Sisig

  • I spent my Saturday satisfying my taste buds with Indonesian cuisine. :)

    We all thought we'd be spending the morning talking about post-war Philippine politics when Prof. Dagdag announced that we'll be cutting the class short to attend the "Philippines-Indonesia Culinary Festival" organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and Sahabat Indonesia Club with the help of our UP Asian Center.

  • I am still partial to the indigenous Sinigang but I will post something on that some other day. As part of my graduate studies (Philippine studies), I am obligated to report on Adobo as a marker of the Filipino ethnicity. I stumbled upon this article while researching:

    ADOBO: A History of the Country’s National Dish

    By Cynthia De Castro & Rene Villaroman/AJPress
    The Filipinos imbibed, imitated and improved the cooking styles of their colonial masters. Thus, Filipino cuisine reflects its culture and history. As the local saying goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans.
    is the result of the eclectic influences, both regional and historical, that come together in many Filipino dishes. ‘’Philippine cooking probably reflects history more than a national cuisine,’’ says Cecilia Florencio, a nutrition professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila.
    Even before the Spaniards came, early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting, steaming or boiling. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in vinegar, which is the basic process in making adobo.
    From the Chinese traders came soy sauce and thus this ingredient found its way into the meat being cooked in vinegar. Salt was slowly taken out from the recipe and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are adobo purists who continue to use salt in their adobo marinade.
    The colonization of the Philippines had a big impact on the evolution of Philippine food, and adobo was one of those Spanish-inspired recipes, along with others like morcon, paella, embotido, pochero and caldereta, that have not only survived hundreds of years of popularity but have undergone infusions of other ingredients.
    The Spanish influenced our local cooking with their marinades and sauces. Some say that adobo is related, albeit distantly, to adobado, a tasty Spanish concoction that consists of pork loin cured for weeks in olive oil, vinegar and spices and simmered for several hours. But the recipe is quite different.
    The Spanish word adobo means seasoning or marinade, according to Wikipedia. The noun form is used to describe the actual marinade or seasoning mix, and the term used for meat or poultry that has been marinated or seasoned with theadobo marinade is referred to as having been adobada. For the grammarians, this is a first-person singular present indicative form of adobar, a verb meaning to marinate.
    The old Spanish word adobar could be where the early Filipinos got the word for their most famous dish. In Spanish cuisine, however, adobo refers to a pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and salt. The word adobo is also used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The Mexican adobo refers to a piquant red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar sold canned or jarred. The Caribbean adobo usually refers to a dry rub of garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.
    But the Filipinos’ adobo is the most famous the world over. Filipinos selected their favorite condiments and spices — vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves — used them to stew chicken and/or pork, and gave it a Spanish name.
    This just goes to show that no matter how many cultures may add to the Filipinos’ range of food cuisine, you can’t keep their culinary identity down.
  • Location: Trinoma Mall
    It's the month of sweets so I hope you don't mind if I write about satiating my sweet tooth. Last Saturday, we dropped by Conti's for a slice of my favorite Turtle Pie and Mango Bravo.

    Continue reading...
  • Look what the office received for Christmas!

    I love Christmas. Of course I don't receive gifts that much anymore (leave that to tweeners and below) but I always look forward to the food. Here in Congress, legislators often send out advance Christmas gifts in the form of local delicacies and knick knacks. Fortunately for us, one senator always sends a sans rival cake to his friend-colleagues. We wait for this special cake every year. :)
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