HomeArticlesDiscover CORDILLERA CUISINE in BAGUIO CITY – Lasa Explorations: Cordillera Ep 1
Discover CORDILLERA CUISINE in BAGUIO CITY – Lasa Explorations: Cordillera Ep 1
March 5, 2020
This is Lasa Explorations. Lasa means “taste” in Filipino. For us, Lasa is our gateway to learning more about our own culture and history because no matter where we’re from, meals bring us together and that’s how we’ll discover hidden gems of Filipino food: by being with the people who prepare and enjoy them every day. So come along with our band of chefs and food lovers on our first journey to the Cordilleras. I’m half Ibaloi and half from Mountain Province, I grew up in Baguio. I was raised by my grandparents and my mom. I was also taught especially by my grandmother how to cook while I was taught by my grandfather how to butcher. I own a restaurant, it’s called Farmer’s Daughter I do serve comfort food for the Cordillerans with that kind of cooking that my grandmother taught me. How will these people understand my culture? That’s the big question. So what I did was to put up a restaurant to answer those questions. I think I wouldn’t stop learning, I need to visit every place in the Cordilleras. I need to understand why, how they do it and then maybe introduce it more especially in Baguio City Metro Manila the entire Philippines even the entire world Why not?
We’re going to kill the pig as an offering for the host and for us for our safe travels. So today we’re doing this ritual for our safe journeys to the mountains with an extra prayer for the things, for the elements we do not see.
[chanting in background] Dreams and all that so we are in good vibrations with the universe. [chanting] We need to stay put in one place since we are praying for our safe travels so starting now since the prayer has started, as much as possible
all the members for whom the prayers were offered to we are not allowed to go beyond the compound so at least the prayers are still there. The ritual is preserved to pay respect with the tradition. Actually now we’re just dressing the pig. Up here in the mountains we don’t do the usual dressing where its boiled. Here we do it usually with wood [in an open fire] but to make it faster we use the blowtorch. It adds the smoky flavor. Is that okay? Is that piece okay with you?
– Yes Does it look good to you? It’s good. It’s good.
– Quite good. This is the Ang-er, Ang-er is straightforward, boiling the big chunks of meat with salt. What we really like are dishes with soup. You look at our climate, it’s quite cold. A typical Igorot [like us], we only have around three dishes. we have the boiled, we have the grilled and sometimes we do the smoking. That’s it. Take a bite, bro, sisters. Cheers! Mmmm! All we had was just salt. Isn’t it very juicy?
– So delicious! – What did you do?! We’re just overwhelmed at the sheer flavor of the food. What blew my mind was that simple technique of smoking the meat, burning it, and then cooking it very simply. And then just seasoning it with salt. Yet the taste is so profound, the meat is so succulent, I was like “Wow!” there is something out here more than the tomato sauce or the soy sauce. I can’t wait to explore more, to discover more, and to taste more. All the parts that weren’t immediately used, will be used for pinuneg. So there’s no waste?
– So there’s no waste. That’s our tradition. We do not leave a man behind
or a meat behind. [Laughter]
– No meat left behind!
No meat left. That’s freshly made. What do you think, Chef? My excess beans, I don’t want to throw them away. So what do I do? -Make something out of it.
Of course, make something out of it. It has mushrooms and tomatoes, it has a bit of the spicy flavor. But the beans I fermented that for a month already No, nothing goes to waste. The dish should be in restaurants in Manila. Why are you depriving us? I would buy a much larger jar than this for this kind of quality. Mmm, delicious This is the pig’s snout This is an unforgettable experience for my palate! It’s quite heavy. A lot of new dishes that we just learned today because of this But everything was good! I don’t know how you term it, “cuisine,” for it’s just “cooking”, right? Just meat and rice, always, right? The term we use is “ang-er.” Ang-er is a term that refers to all Cordillera-based cooking when it’s… Boiled.
– Boiled with salt which we actually did yesterday when they arrived. Whoaaaa. Smoking… Oh my God Oh my God! – Just put it on the table. – One two three! … (praying) make them be strong and healthy. Amen! – Amen! [Singing in local language] There! Let’s eat! – Attack! This is awesome, bro! (Laughs) Delicious, man (Singing) May we come together tonight on an unbound journey (Singing) An unbound journey Running, running….