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A Filipino Market Adventure

Recall the culinary challenge levied by my 10-year-old for the boys' school's Fall Festival: let's do the Philippines, Mom! So, while Jake had parked himself in front of the Sherman Quarters and the Larkin House for the Art in the Adobes Plein Air Festival, the boys and I headed to our local Filipino market yesterday to get some ideas.

All the years of training them to read labels was a definite hurdle for yesterday's project. "Mom, you always say that if we can't pronounce the ingredients, we shouldn't eat it, right?!" Right. "Well, can you pronounce this?" No, put it back.

And then there were the puzzling labels where the only thing you can think is: translation fail.


What is "gelatinous mutant coconut"? Anyone?! Well, we actually bought that jar, so I'll let you know how it is. Dylan wanted to serve mutant coconut. Great.





















Riley spotted "Filipino Sweet Spaghetti Sauce." Really. Yuck. Gawd. This is going to be more of a challenge than even I anticipated!

Finally I spied this box. No, not to purchase, but as inspiration. Puto is a steamed mini cake made with rice flour and served with coconut. So, we'll whip up a batch of puto topped with, you guessed it, gelatinous mutant coconut.

My next selection: bagoong, spelled bugguong in Ilocano. When I told my Filipino friend what I was going to do with it - I'll put a small dot of bagoong on top of fresh cherry tomatoes - she laughed. It was more like a guffaw. A full-belly laugh. She laughed so hard that tears were streaming from her eyes. "Only you would make Filipino amuse-bouche!"

Bagoong is a condiment made of fermented fish or shrimps along with lots of salt and two kinds of red dye. I guess one dye isn't enough to create that tell-tale magenta color.

Our other purchases included white rice, rice flour, peanuts - for niligang mani - and dried mangoes.

Then we headed to the craft store to pick up shells for our sungka board. And Riley insisted that we buy six-foot lengths of bamboo. He is determined to learn, and then teach, the tinikling, a traditional Filipino dance with bamboo sticks. Thank goodness for YouTube because, we all know that I don't know how to do the tinikling. Although I'm pretty sure Nonna said she would teach him before next weekend, too.

Comments

  1. What a fun adventure. I love exploring ethnic markets. Wish you had bought the mutant coconut strings and posted what was in the can!

    ReplyDelete

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