Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Homesick: A Food Post
You know what, no matter how fabulous the shopping here is in the US, where everything I want is just a click away, nothing beats living in Manila. Sure, Paris is just 7 hours away, and while Dear Hubby and I are planning to go there in a couple of months, I am sorely tempted to divert the flight path to the Philippines instead. Why? I blame it on Filipino food and Philippine food blogs like Market Manila!
I'm not really a foodie. Sure I love to eat, but I never really go out of my way to try new restaurants, new dishes and new cuisines. I kind of stick to the tried and tested dishes of my childhood. And these days, I'm having these cravings for familiar flavors that I can't seem to get rid off. It started innocently with manggang hilaw & bagoong. And while Mexican mangoes partially placated my taste buds, it never really hit the spot. Darn the East Coast! Why can't I live in Guam or Hawaii instead, where they import Philippine mangoes by the metric tons!
This morning I woke up craving for North's Park sweet and sour fish fillet. Now as much as Dear Hubby enjoyed eating in North Park back when we were in Manila, I never really had cravings for this dish ever. But now, wham bam! It's all I can think of!
So I called my friend and neighbor Paz, who has been homesick for Manila way before I realized I was too. And then we started thinking about the Mango Torte from Cuerva, Ineng's pork barbecue with steaming white rice and achara, indian mango with rock salt, guinataan, and biko.
Now I can't stop. I want Razon's Halo-Halo, my Lola Deling's paho salad paired with fried tambakol, served with a dip of soy sauce and calamansi! Inihaw na bangus, and oh! The seafood feast in Dampa! Gosh, Golly, Wow!
So this afternoon, I googled images of all these dishes and tortured myself with food that I can't have. When Dear Hubby asked me what I was up to, he laughed and said, we can always order something from Grill 21. But no, I have specific dishes from specific sources in mind!!! So I cruelly emailed Paz links to all these glorious photos of the goodies that I virtually sourced for us. She opens it and tells me over the phone, "I-tulog mo na lang yan!" ("Just sleep on it!")
Folks in Manila, you know you have it so good! Not even an invite to the Barneys Private Sale tomorrow, or the prospect of Ladurée macarons, cups of hot chocolate from Angelina, and rows of Isabel Marant boutiques can satiate this emptiness in my heart and stomach.
Sigh. No matter what people say, when food becomes part of the consideration, there's no place like home.
(Drooli-icious photo above from Market Manila.)