aloi means yummy

One treat that I'll be anticipating when we make our way into Asia once again. Royce chocolate.

 Nama chocolate bitter.
What was 2011 like for you? According to my blog, I was relatively silent. Then I realized that 2011 was my first visit back to the Philippines since coming to Canada. So naturally, my blog entries were about food that I had missed:

  • Fresh is best - check out our trip to Batangas, with lots and lot of fresh seafood!
  • Ode to the dalandan - do you even know what a dalandan is? :)
  • Highway Robbery at Mio Kusina - an overpriced eating experience. It wasn't all bad, it was just overpriced and I got quite a bit of flack for the negative review!

Three blog entries in the entire of the year, my little blog competing with a total of 156 million blogs. Its any wonder I got any readers, much less comments!

Fresh shrimp pig-out!

In this heat, it may run counter to east something many associate with cold weather. But I find a hot bowl of pho always refreshes me, and yes, actually cools me down.
I apologize for the silence on this blog! I am cross-posting from my reading blog because I just read this fun foodie book! Plus there's a giveaway of 1 copy to someone in US/Can!

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Hungry for honest food, hungry for some honest care.  

About Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love & the Power of Good Food: “Few sane cooks would take on the trials of cooking five days a week for a fraternity house. Unique, funny, touching.” —Booklist 
Newly arrived in Seattle, Darlene Barnes stumbles on a job ad for a cook at the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity on the University of Washington, Seattle, campus, a prospect most serious food professionals would automatically reject. But Barnes envisions something other than kegs and corn dogs; she sees an opportunity to bring fresh, real food to an audience accustomed to “Asian Surprise” and other unidentifiable casseroles dropped by a catering service. And she sees a chance to reinvent herself, by turning a maligned job into meaningful work of her own creation: “I was the new girl and didn’t know or care about the rules.”
This is difficult to watch but this is reality. GMA wins the 2013 Peabody Award for "Salat" (Bone Dry), a documentary about hunger, malnourishment and poverty in the Philippines.
Buko juice ... fresh from the buko (young coconut) ... sweet and thirst quenching.

The best drink on a lazy sweltering afternoon in the Philippines. 

Sometimes the simplest things are just the best, aren't they?

Alongside that deep-fried stuffed frog was yet another dish we wanted to try: adobong camaro (uh-DOH-bong CUH-muh-roh). I will put you out of translation hell and the stress of zooming in and simply say it is stir-fried cricket, mole cricket, to be really specific. Yes, those noisy little insects that come out in the evening in the rice fields which make they way to the dinner table owing those adventurous Kapampangan tastebuds!

I went off to the back tables and so chanced upon piles and piles (yes, I means piles like bucketfuls) of crickets were being "prepared" which apparently means removing the wings, feet and head (which probably explains why the dish is a little expensive).

This camaro was prepared adobo-style -- with soy sauce and vinegar. What does it taste like? I venture to say it's a little shrimp-like but meatier somehow, with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. This was nice and spicy, so I had a few sips of Y's beer ... perfect match!

Again, this is a dish we tried at Everybody's Cafe in San Fernando, Pampanga, a two-hour drive out of Manila.

Want the recipe? Here are some links:
Whoever said that frog tastes like chicken either has never eaten frog, has a limited palate experience (if there is ever a term like this), or is just at a loss for a comparison! This frog is so much more tastier, tender and moist than any chicken I've ever put into my mouth. It is stuffed with a spicy and rather tangy mixture of pork and spices and deep fried. Best eaten with a splash of spicy vinegar.

Sailor sardines
The beginnings of our assembly line ... fried sardines, and the softened onions in the background ...

We've had a streak of luck with fresh sardines - and I sort of felt bad that no one seemed to be taking notice of them! So the next time, we decided to take the matter into our hands and snatched up more than our usual one-meal pack. Of course, a recipe was needed and we decided upon a traditional Venetian recipe called Sarde in saor or sweet and sour sardines.

Know how those store-bought sticky buns are just drenched in sugar? I guess that is their charm. We decided to keep this still a sticky bun, but just a little less sticky :)

I guess they're not quite golden brown ...