Monday, June 1, 2015

Are You Going to Eat That?

While watching TV one recent afternoon, I stumbled upon a culinary show dedicated to the subject of finding the world's weirdest cuisines. The host's job was to travel to some of the most remote places on the planet and convince the indigenous people to share their unique knowledge of food with him.

His trip to the Philippines was one in a series of journeys, and, after hiking into the rugged mountains of northern Luzon to visit an isolated tribe of former headhunters, he discovered that their culinary traditions have remained unchanged for over two thousand years. He learned about the bizarre flavor hiding in a chicken's bile sac and the distinctive taste of a bayawak (monitor lizard). Apart from its meat, the reptile was sought for a liquid from its body that was commonly thought of as an aphrodisiac. However, the alleged sexual effects of this so-called potion was based in folklore, not fact.

Some of the Philippines' delicacies range from the fairly plain to perhaps the somewhat disgusting for some. If you have an adventurous palate, you should try the adobong kamaru, tamilok, or the famous balut when visiting the country. These exotic cuisines may not be for the fainthearted, but lots of tourists have actually given these their thumbs-up.

The Urban Cafe in Quezon City is one of the few restaurants in the Philippines that offer crocodile dishes.
Crocodile meat is also increasingly appearing on restaurant menus. I never thought that I would appreciate croc, but its tender white meat and distinctive flavor and aroma are just too enticing. Some of the dishes that can be made from crocodile meat are sisig, burgers, Bicol express, tocino, sausages, and tapa. If you feel that your dinner choices are getting boring, then you may want to check some of the few restaurants in the Philippines that already serve these exotic gastronomical delights.

Every country has its fair share of bizarre and unusual cuisines, and one of the great joys of exploring other cultures is seeing how other people eat. Some will make you scratch your head, and some will make you want to vomit. When in Rome, do as the Romans. In the Philippines this means taking a bite of isaw – grilled chicken or pork intestines, served on a bamboo skewer.

No comments:

Post a Comment