Posts Tagged ‘spicy’

Top 5 Foods to Try in the Philippines

In Exotic Foods, The Philippines on November 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Honestly, can you name any typically Filipino dish? Why does the mention of Asian food only brings to mind Kong Bao Chicken, Chinese Fried Rice and Pad Thai?

Filipino dishes have been under the shadows of its Asian cousins for way too long. Thanks to Anthony Bourdain, they are gaining some well-deserved attention of their own these days.

Barbecued meat - Photo by petitochips.

The Philippines undoubtedly has the best barbecued street food and satiable meat. At every corner of the Philippines, you will find locals gathered around a barbecue grill, enjoying skewered meat with a San Miguel beer in hand. These are 5 of the best Filipino foods to dip your hands in to taste culture at its best.

1. Isaw Manok

One of the most popular local favs is the unique Isaw Manok (grilled chicken intestines on a skewer)- grilled to crispy perfection and glazed with sweet and spicy sauce. Besides the Isaw, there are many other barbecued organs you can choose from – chicken gizzards, liver and goose tongue. They might sound exotic, but give it go and you’ll find them better than any other grilled foods around.

Isaw Manok

2. Tapsilog

A typical Filipino breakfast, this platter is made up of rice with dried cured meat and a fried egg cooked sunnyside up. Simple as it is,  the Filipinos can’t live without it. Despite its huge portion, especially for a breakfast, you’ll be asking for more.

Tapsilog - Photo by Miggy

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Mayan traditional dish, Kak-ik

In Guatemala, Spicy Foods on October 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Guatemala's kak-ik

If there was a Guatemalan national dish, this would be it. A fat turkey stewed in a clay pot for hours, spiced up with Cobanero chilli, coriander, achiote and herbs. It is usually accompanied by steamed rice and tamales (corn mash).

During a recent writing stint in the Central Highlands region of Guatemala,  I researched on the origins and history of this particular culturally-rich dish, and found a different side to it.

The red color of the dish evokes memories of blood used during rituals and sacrifices. The Q’eqchi Mayans live in Central Guatemala, and is the biggest Mayan ethnic group in the country. From its pre-Hispanic origins to this day, the Mayans continue to kill and cook the turkey the way their ancestors did.

Check out James Rodriguez’ visual report of the traditional process of preparing kak-ik.

The best place to try kak-ik is Cobán, the capital of Alta Verapaz region. Visit el Peñascal to get a taste of the traditional Mayan dish.