, , , , , , ,

No, it’s not what you think it is (I’m thinking something gross, something that comes from the ‘other end’ LoL) Looks can be deceiving but once you get your teeth sink into it, paired with cooked rice and sunny-side eggs your eyes will roll.

No, I’m not Ilocano. But some of my relatives married into some Ilocanos and they are damn good cooks. I don’t eat vegetables much but when it is done in the Ilocano way, I’m sure I’m gonna try it. I discovered the Ilocano version of the longganisa early on in my life. My childhood was spent in a place where I have relatives as my neighbors so when I don’t like what our house help prepares either for breakfast, lunch or dinner you surely find me at our neighbors’ dining table. 😀

The Ilocano’s version of the longganisa is far different from other known longganisa in Luzon (Lucban’s or Pampanga’s) which is a bit sweet and sometimes colored. The Ilocano longganisa is garlicky (I believe they use the Tagalog garlic which has smaller cloves than the imported ones in the supermarket) with mix meats (beef and pork but sometimes pork only) and the secret to its pungent taste and smell is the Iloko vinegar used to marinade the meat. Describing it right now makes me want to eat again. LoL

There is similarity in other longganisa like the use of natural casings usually intestine linings of cows or pigs and the way it is cooked. Boil/simmer in water till it renders out fat/oil. It also helps out if you poke little holes and fry in its own fat. Delish right? But in my family, we make it extra special by cutting/opening up one or two longganisa exposing the meats and frying it crispy and reserving some rendered out fat to moisten the white rice. I know, its heart clogging. LoL We only do this once maybe twice A YEAR. Some like the longganisa intact while others like sans the casing. Every body wins with this extra procedure.

We have tried Ilocano longganisa made here in Manila but it doesn’t taste as good as the ones made in the North. The Ilocano longganisa is used in other Ilocano dishes like my cousin’s wife (she’s one of the best cook in the family) pinakbet – a variety of veggies usually bitter gourd (ampalaya), eggplants, okra and sitaw sauteed in garlic, onions and tomates with a couple of spoonfuls of the bagoong isda then topped with the longganisa. The famous Vigan empanada has pieces of longganisa in it too (I think only the special one get to have it).

Anyway, my point in this post is even if the food looks something gross or something unappetizing, give it a try. You might not know how good (or bad) it is.

Is there a food that looks odd or unappetizing that you really like? As for me, I used to have goosebumps when I see that slithery eels in Chinese restaurants but they are really delicious!