What is it about the smell of grilled pinoy pork chops, redolent with soy sauce, garlic, pepper and something sweet like sugar or 7up, still oozing fat that is packed with flavor, and begs for vinegar to cut the richness of the meat? And why does my crew always prefer their barbecued pork chops almost singed to the consistency of charcoal, eliminating almost all of the meatâ€™s moisture? Hmmm, this stack of pork chops was dinner for the crew one night at the beach and I thought of a brilliant business idea while photographing the chops. I would bottle the essence of key Filipino dishes and give them names like â€œEau de Baboyâ€ or â€œSmokey Tinapaâ€ then sell these to dieters or even Pinoys abroad in some far-flung lean pork (or no pork) nation so they can close their eyes and get a whiff of all their pinoy favoritesâ€¦literally.
Now, if only I could figure out a way to have smell on my blogâ€¦can you imagine logging on in Canberra, Calgary or Cork and smelling the lechon paksiw, binagoongang baboy or fried danggit on the screen??? Then we could have special buttons for burps and toots tooâ€¦heeheehee. The brilliance of local inihaw na baboy probably lies in the pork itself. It has fat and it is mighty proud of that. Then we soak it in lots of soy sauce, smashed garlic, spices, and a touch of sugar. Another key is the local charcoalâ€¦somehow it yields a different (I think better) flavor from say charcoal briquettes or worse, a gas flame. Once it is off the flame, the pork is best when dipped into a sawsawan of your choiceâ€¦some like vinegar and chilies, or others like patis and kalamansi, or any one of dozens of dipping sauces. Served with boiled rice and a nice vegetable side dish or a tart/sweet condiment like acharra, and it is one of the most satisfying meals I can think of that seems quintessentially pinoyâ€¦