A visitor’s guide to Vigan eats
ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – Suppose you are one of the Palarong Pambansa athletes now in Vigan and decided that you’ve had enough of the usual fare being served you (Remember how Manny Pacquiao would gobble a caldero of nilagang baka before his fights).
If it’s early morning, your best is sinanglao. It is, after all, the Breakfast of Champions here.
Go to the empanadahan between Plaza Burgos and Plaza Salcedo and go to the booth nearest to the church. Or go to the Shell Station, and look for Gloria’s Sinanglaoan at the corner of Calle Liberation and Calle Gov. Reyes or at the Post Office.
Sinanglao is beef or carabao innards boiled in beef soup stock. The seller would then slice the innards and coagulated blood in your bowl and pour the boiling stock flavored with vinegar and kamias on it. You then add leaks and onion rings, according to your taste.
That bottle filled with what looks like milk chocolate? That's actually bile, which you splash on your sinanglao.
The sinanglao stalls usually fold up after lunch so, in the afternoon, your choices are lomo-lomo and imbaliktad. Lomo, of course, comes from the Spanish word for tenderloin. Repeat it and you get pork tenderloin, heart, liver and, sometimes, brains.
The meat and innards are sautéed and patis is added. Water is added and then liberally minced with kutsay. The brains and liver are brought in when the sliced pork is tender.
For imbaliktad, beef and innards are cooked in bile. The soup stock made of the bile and bulalo is brought to a boil before shallots are added. Beef, tripe and liver are added and quickly mixed. Imbaliktad means to turn over which meant that once the beef is turned over, the dish should be served.
Eggs are a favorite emergency food for athletes because they contain easily absorbable protein and iron. Poque-poque is eggplant (the native ones are slender) which is broiled and chopped roughly before it is sautéed quickly with tomatoes, onions and eggs.
Another favorite egg dish is the Vigan empanada. This streetfood is rice flour shell filled with shredded unripe papaya and a whole egg then deepfried to a crisp. The special includes minced Vigan longganisa. Dip this in sukang Iloko, chopped shallots and chili.
Carbohydrates is a must for athletes and the Vigan streetfood for you is Vigan miki filled with shredded chicken, pork, whole egg and various condiments and colored with annatto.
Other Ilocos snacks good for carbo-loading are tinubong (glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and shredded coconut cooked in a bamboo tube), Royal bibingka and the rare canutillos which is the Vigan cannoli filled instead with sweetened kondol.
If your here to play chess, then try the Vigan brain food called warek-warek. It is dinakdakan smothered with a sauce of pork brain boiled in vinegar and mashed. It makes the dinakdakan creamy and your arteries dreamy.
Since we're into that category of brain-clogging food, you can not leave Vigan without eating Vigan longganisa and bagnet.
Vigan longganisa (most natives pronounce it as langgonisa) is longganisa filled with chopped garlic. Bagnet is pork belly which is first boiled, then left to dry and deep-fried twice until the skin is puffed and golden. These two things you can bring home to your parents after the games. – Rappler.com
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