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Humor - Foreign Food
What we think about food is one of the most deeply rooted idiocentric trees in our mental and emotional forests.
I was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (thus, the forest analogy). I have been raised on bacon and eggs, potatoes, corn on the cob, beef, and any other number of artery clogging yet great tasting foods you can think of.
I have never been averse to other cultures’ foods—tacos, sweet and sour pork, Big Macs—but I had never given any thought to some of the food to which I was introduced after my marriage to my beautiful, Filipina wife.
Sure, I had been ‘up river’ to visit our ‘country’ relatives and heard of some unique 'dishes' that would cross their table. If it were my table, they would cross it and be asked to immediately move on or have the police called on them. One dish that shed new, evil light on Dr. Seuss, was green eggs. After we slaughtered the chickens they had set aside for being fryers, they removed the immature eggs (which, of course are actually green in color!!!).
During my teens, when this happened, I thought I could never, ever, EVER try something that sounded so disgusting. But since getting married to my sweetie, I realize I probably should have stuck to that first instinct. “I will not eat them, Sam I Am! Now back off or get Maced!”
Not sticking with that first impulse led me to trying things which no one should ever eat.
I often wonder what kind of hunger would drive a person to look at a writhing, pinkish, squirmy thing from inside an already writhing, pinkish, squirmy thing and eat it. I probably would have starved or eaten rocks in stead.
But this is not a rant about how disgusting a food can be, but how deceptively good said food really is!
One item, the first squiggly food I tried, was Isaw. This is actually chicken intestines skewered in a repeated ‘s’ pattern on a piece of sharp bamboo and roasted over hot coals. Eating the tubes with which a chicken makes fertilizer seems a far cry from a French fry, but properly cleaned and cooked it actually tastes quite good!
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Think of all the people in the U.S. whom eat tripe. Okay, I don’t know anyone either, but you know there have to be some, the tripe section is constantly half full at my local supermarket.
Another interesting food (and by interesting I mean disgusting), is the salted shrimp which the fun loving island people call bagoong.
Now, when you first approach a bowl full of bagoong (whether in paste or whole shrimp form), you take a whiff and think to yourself, “Who ate a dozen rotten eggs, hot sauce, and broccoli and then farted?”
At least that was MY first impression.
I had smelled this aroma several times on my first trip to the Philippines and thought it was coming from the sewers. Ha! Silly me! What a total and complete American I was being! Anyone else would have realized it was actually one of the favorite foods of the Filipino.
I was actually able to get past the smell and try the shrimp and found it to be very tasty! I urge everyone to put a clothes pin on their nose and make their way to the dip.
The last two items I wish to mention today are—and this proves that the Filipino wastes nothing when it comes to food sources—Helmet and Adidas. These are cooked chicken heads on a stick and boiled, cooked chicken feet on a stick (including TOES), respectively.
It’s actually very hard to respect them until you actually taste them, but there is actually some nutritional value to what little amount of meat you can find on these unique foods.
Somewhere on Facebook, you can find pictures of me trying Adidas for the first time.
I wonder if the names were given as jokes. The words are certainly NOT Filipino in origin. Sigh.
In any case, that is my little donation to your knowledge of the world for today. I look forward to telling you about more, amazing (and most likely disgusting) facts about the world I’ve seen.
Will you read them on a boat? Will you read them with a goat? If so, you’ll probably love the cuisine.
Would you eat a chicken head, foot or intestine?
Well, here I am again with a Hub that is apparently too short for its own good. So, like the proud writing person I am, I am here to pad the content with fluff which has no bearing upon the title or the original body of the piece.
Below, you will find pictures from the Philippines.
I was marred in the Philippines (oops, that should have been married, but marred also works since I had some of the worst stomach trouble there (due to the water)).
I had a lovely wedding. The food was great! (At least, that's what I am told. I didn't actually get a chance to eat any of it. It's amazing how, on your own wedding day, you have to do all the work--picture taking, attendee thanking, etc.)
On a serious note: Although the wedding itself was marvelous, one of the highlights to me was when my father turned to me during our family photo and said, "I'm proud of you, son." It may be the only time he ever said that to me and I cherish it.
Now, the next picture is of my father, mother, wife, friends and me on one of the islands at 100 Islands near Alaminos.
The last one is of a group of my friends at a great water fall called Sangbay. It's quite the hike out there along a dry stream bed.
I recall nearly dying out there. Did you know that they actually have vines on which you can swing in the Philippine jungle? Weeeeeeell, I got talked into swinging on one and got some good air! On the arc back into the cliff, I saw a fallen tree with a very NASTY and SHARP, broken branch pointing its nasty sharpness right at me.
I pulled myself up as far as I could, but the vine was bringing me down in its arc as I was raising up myself. There was more arc than there was possible space for me to raise myself.
At first, I thought, well, I'm either dead or never going to have children. As I got closer, I thought, okay, I'm dead AND I'll never have children. When I got to the nasty, sharp branch, I braced myself for impact. I saw the branch hit my inner thigh and...
You know, I've been impaled on nasty, sharp wood before (for real). This, however, was NOT to be a repeat of that awesomely painful event.
As the branch hit my inner thigh (a kill shot had it punctured my skin and sunk into the artery which lies within) I saw it break into multiple pieces.
The tree had been there so long in the humid Philippine sun that it was all bark and no bite (actually, no bark either--hee-hee! Yeah, I mean it was bare wood. Don't make me explain the joke, it ruins it)
Needless to say, I did not swing on any more vines without first observing the full surrounding area for things that could kill me given the slightest chance.
I'm happy to say that I survived the trip and made it back to have a soda with ice at the local Jollybee's. And that's how I got explosive diarrhea (from the water in the ice cubes, not from the nasty, sharp branch encounter) Duh.