Friday, February 5, 2010

OSI 2010 Part 2: Cebuano Culinary Wonders

What’s travel without food? In fact, what’s life without food? Eating well is one of life’s greatest joy. People groups and different culture around the world express their heritage through good food and to me, last month’s trip to Cebu Island was truly memorable. Why? I love Cebuano food!

It’s actually a gastronomic melting pot, comprising of Filipino, Malay, Chinese and a few other minority groups’ style of cooking. What I remember most:

The mangoes here are so sinfully sweet that I felt diabetic just by looking at it. I am addicted to the mangoes here. Can someone please grow me a Filipino mango tree here in Singapore/Malaysia?

Well, this is a no-brainer. After all, Cebu is an island surrounded by very clean, deep ocean and so of course we were spoilt crazy by fresh seafood. I could still remember the savoury clams, huge crabs and giant prawns. This is one time I didn't care about iodine overdose!

So what’s up with fried banana fritters? Nothing if you are used to the ones they sell in school canteens but this is one special fried banana. The soft sweet banana is coated with the popiah-skin and dipped in a teriyaki-like sauce. Sounds like fusion food, numero uno. Finger-licking good.

I nicknamed this : ais kacang, turbo version. Pimped up and very impressive. I love the way the tapioca ice-cream (purple thing) , vanilla (white thing) and various fruits combined to create a wild explosion of tastes in your mouth. Aaaah…

Other fruits
This is one of the example of what a fruity wonderland Philippines is. Didn't have a chance to sample the extremely gigantic durians in Mindanao (because I wasn't there, duh!) but the other fruits like jackfruit, etc was equally cheap, huge and yummylicious! Btw, the tree was found outside my hotel room ok? Dun play, play...

And the highlight of it all....Lechan
This legendary food has taken the limelight in many international tv shows, i.e. mentioned by Anthony Bourdain, et al. The most special thing about this dish is the crunchy skin and soft, tender meat. Apparently, Cebu is well known for this dish. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive on sampling this cholesterol-laden, coronary artery bomb but upon tasting one bite, there is no turning back. However, I exercised some moderation but still, wow, this is good stuff.

Anyhow, I know that I will blog again about food in Cebu so I’ll keep this post short and the photographs speak for themselves. Till the next inspiration comes along, au revoir!

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