Pigging out in Ilocos–and everywhere elseBy Sandy Daza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
You can skip all the meals you want so you can control your weight gain, but once you hit the dessert section, your diet is doomed. That, at least, is true in my case. I am a sweet tooth. I love desserts.
Just last week, I was in Ilocos—Norte for a national shooting competition and Sur for a cooking demonstration. At the firing range, I immediately had a Gloris empanada, Batac version. Sarap!
In Laoag, I swooned as I ate Alicia’s Ilocos Empanada at the Dap Ayan Plaza. I had forgotten how this baby tastes like. Fantastic! The orange crust was thin, crunchy and sealed in the surprise well—finely chopped green papaya, mashed mongo, flaked Laoag longganisa and a malasado cooked egg.
One piece wasn’t enough for me, especially not with spicy Ilocos vinegar around. After my second piece, I drove around the city—and found myself back in the evening, to have my fourth piece of the day.
In my cooking demo at the University of Northern Philippines for the Beta Sigma fraternity, I shared the kind of work I do and my experiences. Truth is, I have never considered it work. I love what I do so much that it is like playing badminton.
In Ilocos Sur, a fellow judge in the cooking competition, Marcha Chua of Marsha’s Delicacies, gave me a box full of her creations. I love her version of hopia—totally different from what we’re used to but good nonetheless. It is like a sweet crunchy taco with a filling spread inside.
Her version of bibingka is also different from what we’re used to. It’s made of sticky rice with a custard coat on top. Very fattening but good.
From former Ateneo basketball standout Ricky Farinas of Laoag, I got delicious Laoag longganisa. This version is not sweet, but is certainly one of the best. He also sells it somewhere in Greenhills (tel. 0917-8108842).
How can one not have fun with perks like these? I love what I do.
One day a few weeks ago, I was also sent 12 different kinds of cake. All I had to do was rate each one, from 1-12. My pleasure! But it’s funny to discover how different our tastes are with those of other people. We were about 10, who were asked to do the cake-rating. My last choice was someone’s first, would you believe?
Even my sisters and I have different tastes. Just a few days ago, Stella told me she tried the cake I highly recommended and said she didn’t like it that much.
I have told my readers about the Valrhona Chocolate Cake of Dolchelatte (tel. 0915-9129038) and a recently discovered another called Blueberry Torte.
Dito, sira ang diet mo but well worth it. Both to-die-for, so do try both! If you like them, you and Stella have different tastes; if you don’t, I will never talk to you again. Kidding!
Well, among the 12 cakes I sampled, there were three I thought long and hard about, and one that really stood out. Plaisir Sucre is a French term that means “sugar pleasure,” and it’s the name of a rich, chocolaty, crunchy, not-too-sweet, moist and mousse-like cake that will give you incredible satisfaction.
The other cake I liked was the Turtle Pie.
With the coming pigging-out season, have all your excuses ready to break that diet. Happy eating!
Visit www.sandydaza.blogspot.com; follow on Twitter @sandydaza.