Thursday, August 31, 2006

Italian Dude eats Filipino Food

Who said that the Filipinos are the only ones can make a health food even more healthy? Or was it, The Filipinos are the one only ones who can make an unhealthy food even more unhealthy. The oil. The lard. In Ilocano, it's manteka and taba. Then on top of that you have more fat and more oil. Pretty soon, everything is soaked in high cholesterol, heart attacking compounds. But you gotta love the food. It's freakin awesome. Adobo. Lechon. Menudo. Damn, I think I should go eat first before I finish this story. OK, I just got a writers block thinking of such food. And these pictures to the side don't help at all.

My parents can eat the most bitter bittermelon. My brothers dip their grilled tilapia in soy sauce and onions with a drip of tabasco for the added zing. My sister can slurp the vinegar after eating that crunchy chicharon. Me, I can do anything and everything. Giv
e me balot, sure. Feed me adidas, hell yeah! Show me Pinakbet, yum! My friend Jay's pinakbet is actually my new favorite. The sauce is made of coconut milk instead of the Ilocano or Tagalog style bagoong. Sorry grandma.

I was out marketing with one of my colleagues today, and he was asking me what my ethnicity was. He wasn't sure if I was Asian or Mexican. I told him I was Filipino, and he jumped at the discussion of Filipino food and how he loves it. Yes, my Italian friend here has a fascination with Filipino foodl. He started mentioning Adobo, Menudo, and that thing, that fish, that still has the eyes and head and everything on it, that thing thats looks gross...but hey, he said, it's really good.

There's this Filipino restaurant, he said, that is next to one of our offices. I've seen it before; I went in and decided to go somewhere else, because they didn't have many choices. On top of that, it didn't look appetizing because the presentation was horrible.

But my Itialian friend here was ecstatic about it. He said he goes there all the time, even when he's not working. Me, I love 'em too, except that I'm in sort of a diet to get some ads, so I've stayed away from Filipino food, including rice. I tell yeah, this diet is so bad, I miss my fatty food and my carbos. I miss going over to my parent's to eat their Adobo or the Lauya, that's Ilocano for chicken tinola, I think. I like it with either papaya or bittermelons. Oh yeah, now that you know I'm Ilocano, yes, I eat saluyot. It's not so much the flavor, but it really brings back nostalgic memories for me.

Taking things for granted. Yes, sometimes we take things for granted. I mean, look at me. I used to eat lots of Filipino foods. My parents used to make 'em for me. And I didn't even realize that what I was having was something really really good. So flavorful. And look at me, I didn't eat at that store because I wanted something more.

Sometimes, we go to fancy places, like at Greenbelt. Italianis. Nuvo. And pay hundreds, if not, thousands of pesos. And all along, here's the cheap but really really good and flavorful Filipino food. My Italian friend here, knew that this was his first time ever eating Filipino food. He has not tasted any, except from this store. But look, he enjoyed it. He savored it. He probably slurped it. And then there's people, like me sometimes, who know too much about other things, and tend to forget the goodness of my own culture. Someone like me, who's seen so much of the negativity, that I lose sight of what is beautiful about our culture.

Those who have lived in the US or abroad, I know some of them have tried denying their culture, because they too, have been so frustrated about the flaws and the negative things they see about our culture. It's important to recognize, that despite our misgivings, our flaws, our backwardness, there is something beautiful in there, ready to be revealed. It's just a matter of time now. Might be a long time. But it's there. I haven't given up hope.

8 comments:

CAMCURA said...

This entry makes me hungry. And let me just comment that our food is one of the best! Nothing can beat balot, isaw, pinakbet... Just thinking about it makes me drool. Anyway, nice entry. And I'm glad there's still Filipinos who actually are proud to be Pinoy. Some deny it, but hey, it's all a matter of choice. So kudos to you and this blog!

Anonymous said...

just wanna say that this entry made me even more hungry than the hungry-state that i am right now. . . hell yeah, i like filipino food! nothing complicated about it. ha ha ha ha. i guess you just have to use extra virgin oil but that would require a little more from your pocket...

myepinoy said...

Yes we are different. We are unique. Simply because we are Filipinos!

Mabuhay ka!

cyberpunk said...

it's flattering to find an italian guy who has never lived here buy enjoys our food anyway...

jhay said...

there's nothing like Pinoy cooking, inihaw na tilapia dipped in soy sauce with calamansi, yumm!

Just do some exercises regularly and worries about heart risks from fatty but oh-so delicious foods would be unecessary.

aurea said...

Filipino food seems so unhealthy, but my family gained weight when we moved to the US. Why is that?

And, I have the impression that people in the Philippines are thinner than people in America. I'm not sure if I'm right - do you agree?

I suspect that the fast food and processed food here in America is what's making us fat. I'd rather eat fatty Pinoy food if it's natural.

Anonymous said...

I have a very dear friend who is Pilipino. She took me to a Pilipino restaurant in Oxnard, CA this weekend. It looked like it used to be a burger joint. I hate to say it, but I got sick in the restaurant. The rice tasted like dish water. I was eating some type of pork dish and got a mouth full of fish liver. I had to run outside and try to get the taste out, without the convenience of a bathroom. I am truly amazed this place is able to stay in business. I have tried lots of different fares and liked them. My of my favorites are asada at an authentic taqueria restaurant or the sweet and sour soup in china town. This is the first that I couldn't get what I was eating down while trying to keep a smile on my face so as not to hurt my dear friend's feelings as she ate her white fish stew with the head still on it, staring at me the whole time. Sorry, but this is one type of food I will never eat again. Her eight-year son, who seemed to know the food, avoided the table all together.

Anonymous said...

im italian and i love philippino food! Be proud of your culture !
ps philippino here in italy all nearly all fat ... another proof that philippino food is better!