If you think that your mustard and ketchup concoction is weird, wait till you hear about these dishes that are only found in the Philippines.
- Balut. Ah, the iconic world famous fertilized chick inside the egg. It looks disgusting, close to being inhumane actually, because you’d east something that looks like in the middle of preparing for its birth. But don’t worry about the taste; it really is delicious. However if texture is a big deal to you, I’d say skip it. It has slime, gum and roughness all in a bite.
- Sisig. Filipinos find use for every part of the pig. So the prime parts go the grocery and to the restaurants, while the other parts are bought by the creative minds who are limited by budget. Et voila! You have sisig – a sizzling dish that looks and smells appetizing, is very delicious, but will turn you off once you know which part of the pig it is: the head.
- Crispy pata. Speaking of using all parts, pata is the leg of the pig. It is chopped of as a huge chunk, and dip fried in high fire to make it crispy. The result? A hit among beer drinkers, family reunions and Christmas parties. Make sure you eat it with spicy soy sauce mixed with calamansi. And pass the steamed rice please.
- Isaw. It’s not pronounced as iSaw, like an Apple product, but as ee-saw, with a short “a” and pronounced “w”. Interesting name, and an even more interesting dish – intestines washed and grilled, slathered with sweet and salty sauce. Also great with spicy vinegar, and will cost you only about P5 per stick.
- Dinuguan. Have you ever thought about the taste of Bella Swan’s blood? Well, just order dinuguan in a Filipino restaurant and you’d have an idea, or at least, a feeling of being part of the Cullen clan. Dinuguan is made of chicken’s blood and some meat. And if you think you won’t be able to stomach eating blood red sauce, imagine eating a black sauce that is in actuality, blood. Filipinos are brave that way.
- Pinikpikang manok. This is as exotic as it can get. A manner of cooking that traces its roots to the indigenous tribes in the country, pinikpikan is a brutal yet effective way of making sure that the chicken tastes good. How? It is beaten to death so that the blood of the chicken travels near the surface as it tenderizes. Then, the dead body is rid of feathers and is then burned to cook.
So whether you’re traveling to the Philippines via Air Asia, or you’re a Filipino touring the country, trying out the food mentioned above is a must. That should make your trip more authentic. Plus, bragging rights!