Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Cup of Sinigang Tea

Ahhh, the wonderful Pork Sinigang, it's a culinary treat that can lead the world to peace and unity. I love the way how it mixes the saltiness of its pork broth, the spiciness of green chili and pepper, and the sour tang of tamarind. A wonderful cocktail that plays around your taste buds (oh, you wanna play too, come here you little puppy you...heeeeereee puppy puppy puppy).

Sorry, I got a little over poetic there. Thats how much I love that viand we refer to as 'Pork Sinigang'.

I was eating at a small karinderia along Arayat St. in Mandaluyong one day when an epiphany came to me. It came to me like a large metal safe falling down on a helpless coyote in one of those Saturday morning cartoons. It seems to me that, the hospitality food of choice in the Philippines is the humble Pork Sinigang soup.

Now before you send me off to be institutionalized, I would like you to see it from my perspective. While studying in Japan, I learned that the Japanese green tea (referred to as 'ocha') was their hospitality drink. Everytime there is a guest, whether it be social, educational or business, they always serve green tea. Its considered as a refreshing drink in Japan, and its anti-oxidants is like bidding good health to your guests.

Now imagine that, transpose a little, convert welcoming to eating, in a fiesta or a canteen, flush it through the magic-head-trip-trauma-o-meter, fast forward, add ketsup, some spices and vinegar, leave to simmer, then head to your nearest Mini-stop or 7-11 cuz I'm hungry...

Now, where were we? (wow...another meaning for triple 'W') When eating on karinderias, the server will always give you an extra serving of soup (its called soup here but its actually called broth), the most requested is...ding ding ding...Pork Sinigang. That is mostly given to warm our tummies as we wait for our food. 

But sometimes, eventhough they say that the soup they're serving is Sinigang, in reality its really Nilaga...

So does that mean that the Nilaga is the food of deception, atrocity and greed?


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