4 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. Please bear with me for using this space for a thank you comment on your piece on July 22nd about Augusto Barcelon.

    Gus, Barcy to many, was one of my most respected and admired bankers, a close close friend, during the ten years – 1955-1965 – that I lived and worked in the Philippines. We did so much together professionally, socially, and just plain getting to know each other. You are absolutely right about the qualities of his personality. What a marvelous man, banker, father, and friend.

    Rick Wheeler

  2. I noticed very few non-Filipinos raving about our most excellent dishes. Many know of lumpia and pancit but I imagine many would shy away from dinuguan and kare-kare.

    My theory is that the right packaging will attract more people to sample our delicacies.

    A handful of restaurants in So California have the ability to do so. One comes to mind. Salu-Salo along Gridley serves group platters of barbecued meat, seafood or whatever other combination makes sense.

    Other attempts in packaging have also been made in terms of “Americanizing” names. For example we’ve tried succesfully to encourage others to try our Sinigang na baboy just by showing them how it is prepared and calling it Filipino Sour Soup. See, they know what is sour and they know what soup is —but Sinigang?

  3. at last, something about our local kuhol and the chi-chi esKaHgoh.

    i read about the escargot a few year’s ago in an article written by an American who later regretted his culinary adventurousness in France.
    kuhol as a dish? i come from the boondocks where kuhol has become a blight to rice farmers (the ironic and tragic result of a failed government experiment?) The snails literally and figuratively lord over the ricefields and find their way even in water bodies in the urban areas. I’ve heard that some farmers have taken to cooking the kuhol in coconut milk. It goes without saying of course that the ginataang kuhol is up there with fried crickets and adobong daga, tasty and comparable to the more traditional meats. Leave it to the Pinoy to find a clever (and savory) way of getting rid of farm blights. But seeing the snails and their pink eggs in murky canals do not really make a visual appetizer. I never got myself to eating kuhol and actually I never saw the dish.

    Ironically, it was in Mandaluyong where I got to eat ginataang kuhol. I was staying at a cousin’s house and one night someone brought home a strange dish. It was, voila, ginataang kuhol. Not wanting to embarrass my hosts, I was forced to eat the brown shells I have come to hate. (I am a farmer’s daughter after all.)

    Too many people can’t be wrong. I hesitate calling the dish delicious but it tells more of my preconceived bias more than anything else. Snail actually tastes like seashells that happen to be a favorite. I doubt though if I would eat kuhol again. Maybe for a price. Like the balls of whoever came up with that kuhol experiment in the first place. Speaking of which, we do have another dish for that. My late father could cook a mean Soup no. 5.

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