Sunday, February 19, 2006

Kerrazy Filos.

I hang on to my cultural heritage purely for comic value. I don't at all identify with it, and sometimes I resent it. That said though, it'd be a shame that when my parents die, the rich and often amusing culture, as far as my connection to it is concerned, would die with them.

I guess it's all a part of that ethnic humour schtick. Especially where food is concerned, things that appear normal or even valued in Filipino cuisine would sound absolutley vile to the palates of Australian-born children of Filo parents - and well, anyone else, really.

I mention Filo food because that's where I ended up after surfing the interwebs, looking for guidance on choosing or restructuring my name. I decided to look to my nomenclatural roots (more on that... eventually). See, even when I'm not doing anything academically or work related, I still procrastinate.

So I find a littany of Wikipedia articles on Filipino food. One of my favourite dishes features in amongst them: adobo. It's "pork or chicken, slow-cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns" and apparently it's "widely known that as adobo ages, its flavour becomes more potent". And I thought it's only attribute was that it was yummy.

But amongst the less palatable aspects of Filipino cuisine (cue to put down any food you may be eating) are:-
  • balut - boiled duck egg with a fetus inside that was almost carried to term. I've watched older relatives feasting upon the unborn, and it involves a lot of sucking and slurping. I don't know why they can't just peel the shell away. Maybe they derive some sort of enjoyment from hoovering the bastard out. Oh wait, I almost forgot, there's baby duck juice, ergo the sucking/slurping. Maybe it's just me, but I can't bring myself to consume anything like this. I like to make sure that anything I eat has at least seen the light of glorious day.
  • dinuguan - pork stew made with entrails in a broth of pigs blood. Again, I haven't had the pleasure of tasting this, erm, delectable dish.
  • pinapaitan - by far the most stomach churning of the lot: beef or goat heart, lung, stomachs (three of the four that exist in a cow), intestines and liver, drenched in a soup of the animal's own bile. Yep bile, which can be bought from your local Asian butcher in its own convenient packaging, a cow's gall bladder. Le gag. Every Christmas, one of my relatives has the honour of whipping up their own interpretation of this dish, but I so don't understand why. It's Christmas for fuck's sake. You're meant to use the best cuts of meat, not offal!
I looked for a wiki article on pinapaitan, but all I could find was the one in Ilokano. Rightly so, I mean, if it were in English it'd probably be banned for being both visually and culinarily offensive.

I did, however, find a pinapaitan fan's journal entry. Interesting read, but I'm not converted. "Given a choice between a girl and this pinapaitan", he says, "I'd seriously have to think about it first". Well, given the choice between offal cooked in bile and a person with an axewound for genitalia, I'd reluctantly choose the girl.

Listening to:
Title: Debaser
Artist: The Pixies
Album/station: Doolittle (1989)
Length: 2.52