#TheSustainableDiner: Eating Bizarre Filipino Food with Jomie Hospital
I am not a picky eater and I love eating local food even the bizarre ones. Bisaya YouTube sensation Jomie Hospital told me that we have to do a challenge as part of his 12 challenges of Christmas. I decided to make him eat some of the bizarre local foods that I enjoy eating. Jomie is quite picky and that is where all the fun began.
8 Bizarre Filipino Foods That You Should Try
It is hard to find a place that you can try several bizarre Filipino foods and be able to shoot a video peacefully. Luckily for us in Cebu, there is Cebu Parklane International Hotel. I have been touting this hotel for its commitment to promoting local food. So, Jomie Hospital and our vlog squad went to the hotel's Kan-anan restaurant and enjoyed a dinner buffet featuring the best of Cebu cuisine including "bizarre" dishes. Here are some of the dishes that we tried:
Well, the name sounds funny but this food does not have much scare factor. Kwek-Kwek is just boiled quail's egg fried with orange-colored batter. It is usually eaten with vinegar that has some chili, onions, and cucumber or a sweet and sour sauce. This street food is a favorite as an after class snack among students.
Proven is short for Fried Chicken Proventriculus. It is a part of a fowl's digestive system and it can be found near the gizzard. This chicken part is fried to a crisp and usually eaten with hanging rice. It is a cheap lunch/dinner for some but many also eat this for snacks. This street food is popular in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. It has made its way to Cebu and you can find a lot of proven stalls near Fuente Osmena and Cebu IT Park.
This dish is one of the most challenging to eat for some. Tuslob-Buwa is made of pork brains. Brains are actually delicious but a lot of people do not like the idea of eating it. Jomie Hospital really hard a time eating this. I called this dish as pork brain fondue because the traditional way of eating this is with puso (hanging rice) and you basically dip the hanging rice to the simmering sauteed brain. Tuslob buwa, when translated into English, is "dipping bubbles". The most popular place for this one is Pasil but tourists can go to Azul in Gorordo Avenue for a DIY Tuslob Buwa experience.
Ginabut or Fried Pork Intestines is the most popular dish in the local pungko-pungko stalls. For our friends from Luzon, it is basically Chicharong Bulaklak. This offal dish does not really pose a challenge among locals. In fact, Cebuanos would probably list this as one of the 10 dishes they would miss if they leave Cebu. The scare factor comes from the idea of eating innards. If prepared and cooked properly, there is no reason why you would not enjoy eating ginabut.
Just like Ginabut, tungol is another favorite in pungko-pungko stalls. It is the stomach of the pig fried to a crisp. For me, this is one is meatier than ginabut. I usually dip this in super spicy vinegar before eating. Yummy!!!
Atay or liver is a favorite of my mom when she was younger. It has a gamier taste than the other innards and the texture is different. Some people do not like eating liver because it is a bit bitter. I eat liver. How about you?
Paklay is a spicy stew made from innards. Jomie hates this but this one has been my favorite since I was a kid. When I go to a carenderia, I usually look for paklay because all the interesting innards are there like liver, tripe, kidney, heart, etc. I love the different textures and flavors when I eat this dish. I usually get mais (corn grits) instead of rice when I have this for lunch. For people who do not like offal, the scare factor is 5 times more than the other dishes because this is basically stewed mixed offal. ;)
Lansiao or Soup No.5
If you are a believer in the nose to tail eating movement then you have to enjoy lansiao. This soup is made with the bull's testicles and penis. It can be a horse, cow, or carabao. Some even think that this soup is more potent than Viagra. Just the thought of eating such weird body parts could make someone puke but we eat it in this part of the world and a lot of people look for lansiao every day. It is actually a fatty and rich soup and it is made with lots of peppers and spices. I actually love pouring a serving over mais. You can buy this is in some restaurants and specialty carenderias all over Cebu.
Bizarre Food and #TheSustainableDiner
Most of the bizarre foods are made from offal but these dishes are actually important in a sustainable dining framework. Having dishes like paklay, lansiao, proven, and ginabut prevent food wastage. Instead of just throwing these animal parts we convert it to delicious food. I actually want to promote eating these dishes. It might not be the most nutritious but these foods have some caloric and nutritional value.
The nose to tail eating movement has picked up a strong momentum in the recent years especially abroad. Well, I think Cebuanos and Filipinos, in general, are actually way ahead when it comes to Zero Waste dining. We have been so resourceful when it comes to food. We eat fish heads, chicken feet, animal heads, and innards. I think we should promote this kind of eating because we can educate the world about making the most out of the animals we catch and raise.
How about you? Do you eat these bizarre foods? Why or why not? Share your thoughts by making a comment.