❤ Missing Iloilo ❤

How time really flies…few more days, February 2011 will be around the corner..when everything will be absolutely sooh Red! ❤ There’s so much fanfare awaiting February, there’s the Chines New Year and the similarly anticipated Valentine’s Day.  Before I let the month of January 2011 pass me by, I wanted to do some reminiscing…because for the past three years except this year, every January, we were actually going to Iloilo for our yearly vacation. Although we went there a month earlier (December 2010), I can’t help but feel a little bit sad, because we had to miss the Dinagyang Festival, and then of course the yummy but surprisingly cheap food that Iloilo has to offer. And so I say…Namit Gid! ♨ …in Hiligaynon means Really Delicious! 🙂

Iloilo Suman Latik

Suman Latik is a popular Filipino native delicacy made of glutinous rice (malagkit), coconut milk and brown sugar, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed over time for cooking. The Suman is actually one of the several variations of Kalamay or Calamay or Sweet Sticky Rice delicacy we Filipinos are known for. It looks like all over the Philippines, each region have their unique, often tradition-handed way of preparing this sweet delicacy, which ultimately became part of our traditions. The Latik is made from extracted coconut milk cooked over a period of time with brown sugar. Depending on the region, the Latik can be really without the feel of desiccated coconut chunks, like what I’m used to in Pampanga. Or it could be in more liquid form, much more like a caramel-feel or effect that is usually smothered on tops of our rice cakes. This Suman Latik from Iloilo, which I tried on my recent visit, was really a delicacy. Some parts of the desiccated coconut can still be tasted and seen, while the coconut milk is cooked with brown sugar just enough to taste like native Filipino caramel taste. 🙂

La Paz Batchoy

My husband’s family resides in La Paz, Iloilo. So I’m equally proud to be a part and to be somehow connected to where the popular and delectable dish originated. 🙂 The noodle soup is made from a mixture of broth (kaldo in Hiligaynon), pork, beef and noodles. The dish is made extra-special when other ingredients are added like pork organs, crushed pork cracklings (chicharon), bone marrow, onion leeks and garlic. A bowl with unlimited refills of broth is priced at Php 50 ++ ($1).  Don’t get confused they would normally asked you if if it’s Super, Extra or Extra Super. It’s just basically tells you how much additional ingredients you would put in your soup. You can actually eat it with Pandesal (Philippine’s version of Rolls) or manapla puto (steamed rice cake on banana leaf). A trip to the La Paz Public market, where it said the invention all began, is always a welcome treat for me, and an adventure for my 5 year old son. I specifically love to try Nitong’s version located inside the market. Although, I haven’t tried Decos’ but I tried Ted’s version, which is located within the mall area. I’m actually still confused which is the original, cause they all say they are! 🙂 Regardless, a taste of authentic La Paz Batchoy is always an affair to look forward to during our visit in Iloilo. 

Just in case you wanted to take La Paz Batchoy to your trip back to Manila, airport authorities will actually allow you to hand carry it, if the broth/soup is tightly packed inside a sealed container, and put inside a disposable styrofoam ice box, sealed tightly as well. 🙂

Iloilo’s Chicken Inasal

And then for the main course… Chicken Inasal (Barbecue)!  There are literally a lot of Chicken House in Iloilo. I can eat Chicken Inasal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if permitted. 🙂 Although, the health conscious would go for the breast (petcho) part, I  mine in thigh part  (paa). What makes Iloilo’s Inasal special and yummy is that you don’t actually need a barbecue sauce to make it more tastier. You can eat it by itself because it’s marinated with the right mixture of lime, soy sauce, lemon grass, pepper or what have you, most ingredients are actually native Filipino seasonings, herbs and spices. Or for a person like me who loves to dip everything with something else, a mixture of Filipino lime (calamansi), soy sauce, their native Sinamak Vinegar, and chili, will really make me eat not one, but two and even sometimes 2 and a half (when I eat my son’s left over 🙂 servings of chicken! One serving would cost around Php 70 ++ ($1.5) and they normally offer unlimited servings of rice! 🙂 We especially love going to Jo’s, Pecho Pak and then Mang Inasal for the mall-based Chicken house. 

Best Butterscotch Ever! 🙂

Saving the best for last…Rgies Butterscotch with Mango Chips! It actually offers the best of both worlds…sweet and chewy butterscotch + dried mangoes! I just ❤ desserts!  I can actually sell and ship this with payment via Paypal. Please message me for details. 🙂

Good Food, Good Life in Iloilo! We ❤ Iloilo! 🙂

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