Friday, June 20, 2008

I Eat Bone Marrow and Exotic Filipino Cuisine

Recently, I had dinner at the Spiral of Philippine Plaza Hotel as always they never fail to overwhelm me with the wide selection of International cuisine served on their buffet. Whatever your fancy, they have it. Indian, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and Western dishes, that is.
What’s mind-boggling though is that Filipino cuisine was not included on the menu! To think that the hotel is in the Philippines, it kind of disappoints me but I know that Filipino cuisine hasn’t penetrated the selection or line-up of International cuisines (yet!).

I had on my plate, for that dinner, steaks, mashed potato, kebabs, teriyaki, sashimi, mixed vegetables, and some I couldn’t name except for my culinary curiosity to taste them. The wide selection of deserts had me all gaga and didn’t bother of the calories it could add up to my weight (as if I care counting carbs!).
Despite the BIG dinner I had, I still wasn’t satisfied though. Why? I didn’t have my RICE! Don’t laugh I am dead serious.

Rice is one of the staples in Filipino smorgasbord!

Do you watch Fear Factor? I was watching a re-run about a challenge to eat gross things, included in the list was Balut (almost hatched duck egg). The white male appeared struggling and disgusted over what he was taking in his mouth, almost wanting to puke! It’s like it’s the worst he ever tasted compared to the maggots and other creepy crawlers he ate before that! Duh!

FYI for him I guess, and all non-Philippines native, balut is a favorite by a number of Filipinos specially paired with the ole reliable beer during a drinking session!. Because of this love for this peculiar chow we Filipino’s like a restaurant serving only balut cooked in different ways was established here in the Manila.

I just want to stress, different strokes for different folks. RESPECT I guess. People in the world have different ways, culture, beliefs and recipe and everyone should keep this in mind. If you don’t like what I put on my plate for all I care, just let me have my peace and satisfy myself.

I am very much annoyed when people, especially those who dine with me on the same table, but gross out over what I eat. Common courtesy and ethics! Besides, I am not feeding you this one so beat it!

I couldn’t agree more with Celine Lopez comment in her column at Philippine Star this weekend over her abhorrence over the claim made by a celebrity chef in GQ magazine claiming Crispy Pata (deep-fried pigs trotter) as his discovery and unexpected masterpiece! Mr. celebrity chef we had that over centuries in our fiesta foods!

I also remember an incident while I was devouring an order of Bulalo (beef bone-marrow soup), lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly with the skin and fat!) when this group of foreigners looks over glancing at my dish of bones and fats as if I am a sick person, probably I looked like Hannibal Lecter for them!

Well guess what? I LOVE salty, oily, fatty, sweet delicacies and most Filipino do!
Maybe I should make as my personal advocacy to campaign for Filipino dishes to penetrate the International cuisine line-up. If the Thais were able to make it why not us?

Filipinos in general, have an adventurous palate. We love dishes and foods that we can enjoy on the dinner table with our loved-ones without worrying over the calorie counts, fats, and cholesterol and sugar.

Filipino food is flat out strange and like foreigners usually utter “you will never know what you will get! Every dish is a surprise, like Sinigang, Laing, Adobo, Pinakbet, Bagoong, Pancit, Pinapaitan and the most loathe by non-Filipino Dinuguan (coagulated pig blood!). We only eat spaghetti, which is sweetened here in the Philippines, hamburgers, and fries as our snack. But we also have our versions of snaks (merienda) like bananacue, kamotecue (caramelized deep-fried banana and sweet potato) bibingka (rice cake), puto't kutsinta, palabok, etc.!

This is just among our famous recipe, a culinary selection and medley of acquired taste made with TLC! Chow!

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1 Happy Finders:

  • Don Dousharm said...


    I'm not understanding. Is this a bust on foreigners about being critical about what you eat?

    I am here to tell you that you are not unique in what you eat. Every country has their strange foods.

    What may be good to me may be gross to you.

    I grew up living off the land and have eaten things that most wouldn't ever consider. I would go hunting every week for small game and guess what? Have you ever tried coon meat, possum, squirrel, rabbit and any other creature that may happen by. Have you ever tried eel or snapping turtle? How about cow tongue, or even pig or cow balls? That was like a welcome into the club of your first complete butcher.

    I guess what I am trying to say is whatever you eat is up to you. I would like to try the beef bone-marrow soup though, It sounds really good.

    See ya

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