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Famous Filipino dish, the Chicharon Camiling (deep-fried pork belly of Camiling town)
The yummy Chicharon Camiling
Camiling is one of 17 towns of Tarlac province located in the western section of the Philippines’ biggest island of Luzon. Chicharon is how people of Camiling town call fried pork belly, which is a specialty of the said town, hence the name of the dish, Chicharon Camiling.
Residents of this town pride themselves with the chicharon’s distinct crispiness and yummy taste reinforced by its mouth-watering aroma. Cut into bite-sized cubes and partly soaked in locally made fish sauce called “bagoong”, then mixed with fresh onion and tomatoes, the chicharon is an irresistible viand eaten alongside a plateful of native white rice. It may also be used as meat ingredient for certain indigenous vegetable dishes like “dinengdeng or pinakbet” (sautéed mixed native vegetables) and “munggo” (dried mongo beans).
Cooking the chicharon is as easy as deep frying pork until ready after boiling it in a large pot of water with salt, garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves for 45 minutes or until tender. Although locals of Camiling town swear to having at least 2 more secret ingredients and procedures known only to a few people, purportedly handed down to them by their forefathers who originally perfected this dish. Reports also have it that the Chicharon Camiling dish has been been around for over two centuries now.