Friday, August 03, 2012

Famous Food from Different Places in the Philippines

The month of August is called "Buwan ng Wika" (National Language Month). It is celebrated in Philippine schools in different ways. One is through exhibits of the 'best' from the different provinces/regions in the country. Exhibit of this kind naturally has to have the best food from the place being showcased. To help you with that concern should your child ask you for stuff to bring in school here are some simple suggestions.

Lucban, Quezon. A Lucban exhibit will never be complete without 3 famous food from the place. It can never go without Lucban longganisa. Lucban longganisa is a favorite of many Filipinos. It is very different from the longganisa you usually see in public markets. Then you should also have Pancit Lucban or habhab. If you usually put calamansi in other types of noodles, with Pancit Lucban you use vinegar. It is called habhab in different towns in Quezon because of the way people used to eat it. In the past ambulant vendors put your Pancit Lucban in a small piece of banana leaf where you eat it directly with your mouth hence habhab. The last important part of your exhibit is the kiping. It is the colored leaf like designs people in Lucban hang in walls or windows during the San Isidro festival. Decorating your exhibit with kiping will really make it attractive. In Manila you  can buy Lucban longganisa and Pancit Lucban at Buddy's Pizza (Market Market and Kalayaan Ave. in Makati and Timog Ave. in Quezon City).

Vigan, Ilocos Sur. A must have for a Vigan exhibit is the Vigan Empanada. It is a turnover with filling composed of vegetables, egg and Vigan Longganisa wrapped in shell made of rice flour. It is deep fried instead of baked which is how your typical empanada is cooked. When you go around the main plaza in Vigan you will see several stalls selling Vigan empanada. Like in Lucban, Vigan also has their own special longganisa. The Vigan Longganisa also has its own fans all over the country. Then don't ever forget the Bagnet deep fried pork. It is like your usual Lechon Kawali cooked in a special way only true Ilocanos know how. There are several stores along Tomas Morato, Quezon City that sell Vigan Empanada. Bagnet on the other hand is available in restaurants like Stoops (Mayapis, Makati City) and a restaurant near La Salle and St. Scholastica's College (Leon Guinto, Manila). The latter is reportedly owned by Kitchie Nadal.

Pampanga. A Kapampangan exhibit is definitely not gonna be ok if there is no Sisig - sizzling or not but better sizzling for the complete experience. Sisig is made of grilled pig's head, liver and choice parts cooked with vinegar. It is touted as 'pambansang pulutan'. Then of course you have to have the Pampanga's best products like tocino and longganisa (yes longganisa again). They may not really have come from Pampanga from they are very much associated with the place because of the brand. Oh, for dessert, do not forget the Halo-halo. A famous resto that serves Halo-Halo is Razons. Their Halo-Halo has only three 'halo' - macapuno, saba and leche flan but it tastes great.

Bicol. First food that comes to mind is Bicol Express. It's made of garlic, onion, pork, coconut milk and siling labuyo. It's something that spicy food lovers will really like. Bicolanos say that Bicol Express we normally get to taste here in Manila is nothing compared to the real thing. Aside from Bicol Express you can also have laing and pinangat. Laing and pinangat are dishes made of taro (gabi) leaves, meat or seafoods as fillings, coconut milk, siling labuyo and onions. For dessert you must not forget candied pili nut. There are various kinds of this dessert so you have a lot of choices to add in your exhibit.

Iloilo. Who has not heard of La Paz Batchoy? Make sure to have this in your exhibit. La Paz Batchoy is noodle soup topped with pork meat, chicken strips, slices of beef, chicharon and pork innards. You can drop an egg to make it special. It looks like mami but it has distinct taste. In Manila you can buy this at Ted's (SM MOA) and Deco's. For dessert you can have biscocho. This  is toasted bread with butter and sugar.

Zamboanga. Seafoods. Seafoods. Seafoods. One must-have is curacha. They say it looks like a cross between a crab and lobster. Those who have tasted it says its more flavorful than any of the two. The problem is I cannot give you suggestion where you can get this is Manila. =(

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