food moment: NEW YEAR TABLE

New Year Table

New Year Fruits

Celebrating New Year with just delicious food isn’t enough if you’re not sharing and eating it with your loved ones. It’s really your family and friends that you’re dining with… on your New Year’s table that counts.

New Year Cake

Welcoming 2014 with a bang! Happy Bountiful New Year!

Photos by: Sukito San

food tool: LANSUNGAN

Puto Bumbong Steamer

“Lansungan” plays an important part in making “Puto Bumbong”, a famous pinoy violet or purple-colored rice cake delicacy which is commonly sold during Christmas season specifically every “Simbang Gabi” or “Misa De Gallo”. “Lansungan” is a cylindrical-shaped “puto bumbong” steamer made of stainless steel or tin sheets with three circular holes on top where bamboo tubes filled with glutinous rice will be inserted and then wrapped with cheesecloth for steaming. Other “lansungan” has one, two, and four vent holes depending on the size of the steamer.

Photo by: Sukito San

food tool: ULINGAN or LUTUANG DE ULING

metal ulingan

If “pugon” is the old-fashioned oven… “ulingan” is the classic version of stove.

clay ulingan

“Ulingan” or what others call as “Lutuang de Uling” or “Kalan de Uling” is an old and traditional model of a modern gas stove that was used by the Filipinos in cooking their meals during the olden times. Its name “ulingan” was derived from the Filipino term “uling” which means “charcoal”. It is commonly made of clay in a short cylindrical shape with a hole on its front side where the scrap wood and the charcoal will be placed and inserted. It also has another hole on top as its burner where the fire will come out and where the pot will be placed. Nowadays, you can also see an “ulingan” made out of cement, steel, metal, and even out of recycled tin cans. 

ulingan

Presently, even  gas stoves and electric stoves have already existed in a modern kitchen for a less smoky way of cooking… “pinoys” tend to go back to the basic by using the time-tested and money-saving “ulingan” for some reasons like being thrifty and avoiding the hazard of LPG gas leak explosion. Moreover, elders believe that cooking with the use of wood or charcoal through an “ulingan” can add a different smell and flavor to the food.

cooking with the use of ulingan

Other folks who already have their stoves in the kitchen still prefer to have their “ulingan” in the backyard as an alternative cooking place and for grilling purposes as well.

Photos by: Sukito San

food trivia: “TAGAY” and “PULUTAN”

tagay

Tagay” simply means “cheers” or “to have more shots” of liquor! It is also called sometimes as “Inuman” which is the another Filipino term for “drinking session”. In the Philippines, “tagay” became a traditional custom for the Filipinos especially among men. It is usually done with peer groups or welcoming new friends and most of the times in welcoming a man to be the newest member of the family as he will marry one of the family’s daughter which is commonly initiated by the father or the brothers of the soon to be bride.

beer

It is being practiced in a manner where the drinkers will sit around the table and take turns drinking the alcohol from only one glass or shot glass. The “tanggero” also seats among the drinkers within the circle, and is the one responsible for opening the bottle and pouring the alcohol in the glass for the drinkers… and that’s in circling order as well. The participant drinker can say “pass”, if he or she thinks that the alcohol is already taking effects on him or her. Effects such as dizziness, feels like puking, or simply not sober anymore in his or her behavior. While to lessen the effects of alcohol among the drinkers, they have “chasers” with them on the table. “Chasers” are anything liquid that can minimize the taste of alcohol in the mouth and was drunk after swallowing the liquor. Some of these chasers are juices, iced tea, sodas or softdrinks, or even plain cold water. Others prefer to have hot soup for comfort. Some folks wanted to have their own glass or bottle of light alcoholic drink or a simple “jack coke” cocktail which is a combination of cola and small amount of brandy if they already knew by themselves that they cannot handle heavy drinking and they just wanted to be in the circle of drinkers for companionship.

PULUTAN

sisig

“Sizzling Sisig”

mani

“Mani”

Of course, “tagayan sessions” wouldn’t be complete without the “pulutan” on the table.  “Pulutan” is any solid food served with the liquors on the table with the same purpose as the chaser’s. It is usually eaten once in a while and in between drinks just to lessen  and beat the taste and effects of alcohol in the mouth. Common “pulutans” usually tastes sweet, salty, chilli hot or flavorful. Examples are “mani” or nuts and “sizzling sisig”, to name a few.

Moreover, out of my curiosity, I’ve tried joining this drinking session though I really don’t drink. And I found out that its not really the taste of the beer or any alcohol that lures the drinker to always join the “tagay“… but, the sharing of life stories, jokes, good times, and companionship that goes along while drinking. Aside from the fact, that you’ll feel free to express what’s on your mind and that you’ll have an outlet on what you wanted to say without too much hesitation. To simplify it, it’s liberating to speak your mind when you’re drunk. Yet, still sober enough to handle yourself as the alcohol take its effect on you.

Actually, drinking is fun if done with good shares of talk and gaining new friends and not igniting fights and causing physical and emotional harm to anyone. Cheers… and drink moderately!

Photos by: Sukito San

food people: CHEF BOY LOGRO

Chef Boy Logro

Pablo Logro, who is well-known in Philippine television as Chef Boy Logro has an inspiring “rags-to-riches” life story to share. He came from a poor family and the second son among with his eight other siblings in Leyte. He lived by means of fishing particularly “muro-ami” in his younger years. When he went to Manila, he worked as a “siopao” mixer in one of the Chinese restaurants in Quiapo and worked as a dishwasher as well. His passion for cooking started out by learning the techniques in Asian cuisine through observing the chef and the assistant chef in the kitchen while doing the dough for “siopao“. And the rest is history…

Then, he became a chef in several restaurants in Manila as he later on completed his culinary training in Italy and United Kingdom to name a few. He also attained the position of becoming an executive chef in Manila Diamond Hotel and a sous chef in Qaboos_Bin_Said_al_Said’s Palace wherein he got exposed in international cuisine.

Chef Boy Logro turned out to be a household name when he entered the world of television by becoming a judge in a tv show, “Kitchen Superstar”. And became more popular when he started hosting his own cooking shows like “Idol Sa Kusina” in GMA News TV and “Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master” in GMA Network… aside from other tv guestings for interview, performance and for featuring his life story. He also showed his acting skills in movies like “Boy Pick-Up: The Movie” and “The Fighting Chefs” as a lead character together with actor Ronnie Ricketts. In addition to that, he appeared in a television series “Tweets For My Sweets” playing a main role with actress Marian Rivera.

Currently, despite from his celebrity status, he also owned “CLICKS“, short for “Chef Logro’s Institute of Culinary and Kitchen Services, Inc.” as its President/CEO and as a Master Trainer together with his family… which aims of providing quality culinary education to every individual with passion for cooking and leading them to the path of becoming a professional chef and entrepreneur. This institute offers training programs on culinary, bartending, food and beverages, etc.

I featured Chef Boy Logro on my food blog, not only because I watch his shows… but also, because of him as a source of inspiration of becoming what you can be in life as long as you have the drive and passion for what you do. Most of all, he doesn’t only share his life story… but also, passing on his knowledge in culinary to every Filipinos who have the same interest as him to learn in the field of cooking.

Kudos for you Chef Logro!

Photo by: Sukito San (tv screenshot from the show, “Tunay Na Buhay”)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Logro

http://www.pep.ph/spotlight/profiles/25161/chef-pablo-boy-logros-siopao-takes-him-on-a-rags-to-riches-journey

http://www.chefboylogro.com/

 

food moment: ICE SCRAMBLE a.k.a. “ISKRAMBOL”

iskrambol with chocolate syrup

When I was a kid during my elementary years… one of my favorite food that I usually buy after school that was sold in food carts placed in a styrobox along the street near the entrance of the campus is… the famous “iskrambol”.

“Iskrambol” is a slang term derived from the word “Ice Scramble”, a shortcut street call per sé. It is the Filipino version of slurpee or slushy made of shaved ice and which is usually in bright pink color. Sometimes, This sweet street food is commonly topped with chocolate syrup with sugar caramel and powdered milk.

iskrambol toppings

As time flies, “iskrambol” evolved into something classy and with many choices of toppings aside  from the said syrup. New toppings such as marshmallows, pinipig and colorful candy sprinklers. You can now enjoy it in different colors as well such as yellow, orange and green. Presently, it is already being sold in malls and open for franchising in many brand names to choose from. Definitely a yummy and an affordable treat to beat the heat of the sun.

iskrambol

Until now, eating it or just even looking at it reminds me of my foodtrippin’ fun childhood days!

Photos by: Sukito San

food trivia: “SAWSAW”… BREAD DIPPED IN COFFEE

bread dipping by sukito

If Americans dip their cookies in milk before they consume it like in an “oreo television commercial”… Filipinos have also their version of doing it, and that is “sawsaw ng tinapay sa mainit na kape” or bread dipped in hot coffee before eating it and drinking the coffee afterwards. Guilty as charged… I am doing it too!

When we were young, we usually see our elderly, our parents and grandparents dip their bread particularly “pandesal” in their hot coffee (with cream or black) every breakfast. They commonly call it as “sawsaw“, a Filipino term which means “to dip“. Traditionally, this manner of eating was passed on from many generations of our families and turned out to be a part of our culture by how Filipinos, wayback since the Spanish times until now consumes their bread and coffee every morning. Research also stated that it is the “aristocratic” way of how Spanish have their breakfast wherein they dip their “churros” which is a Spanish fried doughnut in hot chocolate or “café con leche“, which means “coffee with milk”… and that is why Filipinos tend to adopt it and apply it in the food they eat. With this way of eating for many years usually of common “pinoys“, dipping bread in coffee became one of the identity trademark of Filipinos when it comes to food consumption and also earned its spot to be a part of our “pinoy” culture and tradition as it was being adopted along the Philippines’ rich history up to the present day.

Another reason that can also be associated with “sawsaw” is that it adds flavor to the bread when dipped in coffee… especially when there’s no available  spread on the table. But nowadays, pinoy folks still dip their bread even with butter or margarine on it which makes it more tasteful. In fact, the bitterness of the coffee compliments the sweetness of the bread. In addition, the old ones, our grandparents, loves dipping their bread in hot coffee because it softens the bread and it does enable them to consume it easily because of the fact that elders have this difficulty in swallowing their food as they age or should I say… as we all are. Others say that its hard to drink their coffee while it’s still hot, so they dip in their bread to lessen the hotness of coffee as they consume it with a taste of their bread at the same time. Well, a good way of time management for busy people. In rural areas, the dipping of bread in hot coffee were usually done with some body formation or eating it accompanied with a habit which is bending your one leg up on the chair while your heel lays flat on the seater.

Anyway, it’s ironic how a simple habit that was imitated turned out to be a viral custom and became a part of one country’s culture even if it really wasn’t originated from that particular place. Actually, we have the freedom to eat anyway we want as long as it satisfy our hunger while sharing our food or eating it with someone whom we love or having a good company with while munching.

Enjoy eating and happy dipping!

Photo taken by: Sukito San

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