10 Apr2011

I was at the Salcedo market early yesterday morning, despite the light rainshowers, intent on being one of the first to hit the table of a new supplier who has organically raised beef and pork, animals roaming an idyllic farm in Mindanao, but I couldn’t locate his table. Or maybe he hasn’t started selling his goods yet. So I wandered and foraged in an urban kind of way. I scored this wonderfully pungent portion of guinamos from Iloilo for PHP100. Guinamos is made with all kinds of tiny to small fish or krill or shrimp, fermented in salt, and this type from Iloilo or Negros has a distinctive putrifying aroma… :) This one is made of the tiniest of shrimp with salt, presumably with no food coloring at all and no other kind of preservatives, according to the vendor. I had an earlier post with guinamos/binayo at a market in Bacolod, here.

I stopped in my tracks when I spied these spectacular shallots or sibuyas tagalog (shouldn’t they be ilocano instead?) at another stall. At PHP120 a kilo, far more expensive than other onions (particularly the imported ones that I avoid buying whenever possible) but they were still a wonderful find. You can tell from the sheen of the onion skins that they are fresh and extremely appealing. I am partial to buying things with their leaves or stems or straw attached.

Finally, Gil Carandang of Herbana Farms encouraged me try some lagtikan “LAGKITAN” or honey bananas and they were delicious. But they looked like “latundan” bananas to me. I bought some ripe ones and several more unripe ones, with another experiment in mind. It’s amazing that there are dozens and dozens of bananas in the Philippines and I suspect 98% of people buy and eat the lacatan, saba, latundan and senorita varieties only… Gil said these were also known as “honey bananas” but I can’t find anything on them in my reference materials or on the net. Do you guys have a better idea what the name of this banana is? Latundan, Lagtikan Lagkitan, some other nomenclature? Thanks.



  1. bearhug0127 says:

    This is my kind of guinamos! I so miss it!

    Apr 10, 2011 | 6:35 am


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  3. linda says:

    The bananas looks like what we call here “lady fingers”.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:01 am

  4. Marnie says:

    The honey bananas look like the sugar bananas we have here in Australia.
    I miss the wide variety of bananas found in the Philippines specially the lakatan and latundan.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:03 am

  5. nina says:

    we call them ‘uyap’ – ginamus nga shrimp gagmay.. Most markets would sell them with bright pink coloring.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:18 am

  6. Marianne says:

    Oh my goodness, I’ve never seen a slab of guinamos like that — almost looks like Spam! Or Hormel Corned Beef (the kind you can slice with a knife)

    I adore all food Bacolod, my Dad’s hometown … and I adore Salcedo Market.

    Now I’m going to explore your link to your earlier post to guinamos at a Bacolod market!

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:35 am

  7. Footloose says:

    …and this type (of ginamos) from Iloilo or Negros has a distinctive putrifying aroma…Probably due to difference in the stage of controlled decomposition or even different strains of flora acting on the highly perishable krill. This taste for food enhanced through putrefaction is probably older than when humans learned to slaughter animals, way back to when we were pitiful scavengers for carrion left behind by predatory animals. Game birds such as pheasants are customarily hung for a few days to tenderize and allow them to acquire that certain scent which gave the French the word for allowing meat to cure, “faisander.” In Shogun this European practice totally revolted the Japanese.

    That’s a vibrant looking bunch of shallots. What would anybody say that color is?

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:59 am

  8. tonceq says:

    hmmm… no expert on color but i think the shallots are fuchsia in color… or somewhere around that spectrum? vibrant looking buys MM! If it was me, I’d be giddy with all of the possible things that I can cook up with those ingredients!

    BTW, this the first time I’ve heard of lagtikan? :)

    Apr 10, 2011 | 8:09 am

  9. Connie C says:

    We call it “halpok” in Tagalog for that near putrefying aroma in fish and would taste that in bacalhau or any dried fish when the thick flesh has not completely dried. The Portuguese don’t seem to mind it either as that was how we got the bacalhau we ordered when in Lisboa.

    How about onion red, a nature’s coloring for I doubt the color can be truly replicated in fabric or paint. Lovely color I must say and would be pretty on the lips of a kayumangging kaligatan.

    MM, don’t the Indonesians have fermented shrimp cakes similar to that shrimp guinamos you have in the first picture?

    I don’t know what those bananas are called but I have also noticed their appearance in groceries here in the US lately.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 8:56 am

  10. Connie C says:

    Ooops! did I get an advance peek at MM’s next post? I saw pictures of what looked like cubes or chunks of the guinamos in another screeen and then they were gone.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:01 am

  11. stella says:

    ahay ah i miss our guinamos from bacolod. my mom would render fat from pork until the pork is crispy, guisa or saute the guinamos in it,along with lots of garlic, season everything with sugar and vinegar….the mixture wouldn’t last a week in our house!

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:08 am

  12. Marketman says:

    Connie, you may have grazed over the link to the earlier post indicated above, of the guinamos in a Bacolod market… footloose, it all goes back to that garum of roman times… as for the discussion on color, it’s brilliant. I think we should christen it “shallot red” and Martha Stewart would probably include it in her next summer collection of house paints… hahaha. uyap, yes, the crew and others have told me this as well. uyap from shrimp, guinamos for fish… connie, yes, the Indonesians and Malays use belacan, which is very similar. The bananas are still a mystery, I gather…

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:11 am

  13. britelite says:

    can you please check the banana if it has seeds in it–? It tastes like saba na hindi naman?

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:13 am

  14. Marketman says:

    britelite, parang no seeds but defintiely those markings in the center of the banana unlike a cavendish or lacatan, and it is an eating banana, though it fries up nicely into chips if thinly sliced. Not quite a saba, but less sweet than a lacatan.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:41 am

  15. lurker_no_more says:

    That kind of banana is abundant here in Laos and neighboring Thailand. Masarap yan pag inihaw, yung hindi pa hinog. They are also made into chips.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:43 am

  16. Mimi says:

    MM: they look like the pisang raja which they sell as crispy battered deep-fried bananas at hawker stalls here.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 10:11 am

  17. Mimi says:

    footloose: cochineal?

    Apr 10, 2011 | 10:26 am

  18. britelite says:

    we call it kachila (as in kastila-spaniard)–sometimes it has seeds and urrg if you bite into it while munching–its abundant in boracay (i suspect they use this for shake if available)–love eating them:)-but can’t have too much–your stomach will act funny–don’t know why though.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 11:07 am

  19. dren says:

    I realised that Guinamos is similar to what we have in Bikol, we call it “Balaw” there, goes well with all Ginataan dishes. I thought that kind of Bouillon shrimp cubes/paste can only be found in that region. Anyway, there’s a lot of ways to incorporate it in cooking, it’s a must for authentic Laing, and it can also even be cooked as the main ingredient. I recall my father used to toast a small block of it in an open fire, mashed with lemon and a few drops of cooking oil, serves as an appetiser and makes us want to it more rice.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 11:45 am

  20. ntgerald says:

    I saw the same bananas being sold by ambulant and sidewalk vendors in Mumbai.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 2:47 pm

  21. Rose says:

    its called “cardava” here in davao.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 5:13 pm

  22. jonathanrhino says:

    MM, the reason why you said that the sibuyas may be Ilocano is that they’re grown in Ilocano speaking areas of Nueva Ecija. We call that lasuna in Ilocano and more specifically, the variety is “tanduyong”. Technically, it’s not really a shallot but a multiplyer onion, shallots are grown from seeds. This type is esteemed by importers.

    We call that type of banana as “bungulan” here in Nueva Ecija.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 5:23 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    jonathan, thanks for that! The reason I said “ilocano” is I wonder why they are otherwise called sibuyas tagalog to differentiate them from other onions. These ones did in fact come from Ilocos, I asked the vendor. :) As for the shallots, cool, I did not actually know they were grown from seed… Let me understand this better, is the shallot esteemed or the ones in the photo above sought after? Thanks… I realize wikipedia isn’t always accurate, but they list shallots as multiplyer onions… here.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 6:11 pm

  24. Footloose says:

    Mimi, you might have stumbled on something, I have always assumed cochineal only applied to the carmine red they used in European paintings after Columbus but look at this: http://www.renaissancedyeing.com/store_dye-extracts_cochineal/

    Connie C, The Portuguese do not mind it but look how the French almost indelicately refer to it, as “une femme que se neglige” which they say how bacalao or salt cod smells. Translates in Tagalog as amoy pinabayaan.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 6:21 pm

  25. Connie C says:

    Footloose, bordering on dangerous territory, eh, especially that the French would douse themselves in libations of flower scents to mask the amoy pinabayaan…… but sounds, even seems to smell better in French.

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:20 pm

  26. marilen says:

    Just loving the conversation of the market manila tertulia this morning – instructive on all counts – culinary history, language, guinamos, at iba iba pa!!

    Apr 10, 2011 | 7:48 pm

  27. myra_ps says:

    MM, they will begin selling after Holy Week. Not sure why the delay, I think organizers didn’t want to intro right now before the long holidays… Promise to send you confirmation email when all is sure and I’ll personally intro you to the farmer :) In the meantime, you scored yourself some finds anyway… I’ve tried those bananas, they are yummy!

    Apr 10, 2011 | 8:22 pm

  28. millet says:

    wouldn’t those be cardaba (cardava?) ?

    Apr 10, 2011 | 9:04 pm

  29. edel says:

    MM, is the bagtikan/ honey bananas the one with seeds? i remember my father who used to send me diff fruits/veggies from the farm like red bananas, long bananas that doesn’t taste good unless you cook it with sugar, lipute- its like duhat except that it’s round, etc.. thanks :)

    Apr 10, 2011 | 11:45 pm

  30. Pinksalmonlady says:

    MM these bananas looks like the sugar bananas that I always buy at the market. I do not know if it grown here in Australia but mostly, Asians are the one selling it here.

    Apr 11, 2011 | 6:19 am

  31. quiapo says:

    These are known as ladyfingers here and attract a premium price; due to recent calamities bananas sell for $12/kilo

    Apr 11, 2011 | 8:30 am

  32. joey says:

    We must have just missed you! I was there with the hubs and the little one. Introduced the little one to Gil Carandang so she knows from whom and where her carrots come from :) Excited to here about that new purveyor with the organic free-range meat…will keep and eye out for him!

    Apr 11, 2011 | 9:33 am

  33. kakusina says:

    Bought the same bananas from Laguna–parang saba but smaller, pale yellow when ripe, sweeter and you can eat it like ordinary bananas. Asked the vendor what they were called and she said lagkitan.

    Apr 11, 2011 | 1:36 pm

  34. Marketman says:

    Kakusina, AHA!! Thank you. Obviously I am hard of hearing, or worse, possibly dyslexic. Yes, LAGKITAN (sticky-ish) makes much more sense than LAGTIKAN. :) But now I still don’t know what their scientific or english name is… But thank you. Myra_ps, yes, thanks, please let me know when they do start selling…

    Apr 11, 2011 | 2:23 pm

  35. Marketman says:

    YAY, be curious, seek and sometimes you shall find… those who are curious about bananas may want to check out this excellent reference guide with photos, here. The Farmers’ Handbook on Introduced and Local Banana Cultivars in the Philippines writes about lagkitan, on pages 55 and 56, and I quote:

    “Lagkitan is a dual purpose cultivar, consumed either fresh or cooked. It is locally known as Katali and Botolan in Palawan. It is likewise known as Pisang Awak in Malaysia and Indonesia, and as Kluai Namwa Luang in Thailand.

    Fruit Quality
    The fruit is sweet and has good flavor, and with excellent taste when roasted. It is usually seedless but some forms produced occasional few seeds.”

    Apr 11, 2011 | 2:57 pm

  36. jonathanrhino says:

    The term “shallot” is further used for the French gray shallot or griselle, Allium oschaninii, which has been considered to be the “true shallot” by many. – Wikipedia

    Yup MM, French shallot is different from our multiplyer onions. Our Asian “shallots” are what’s used as fried condiments/toppings all over SEA, also esteemed by Indians for curries. Importers even travel here in N.E. and make lot/block purchases while the plants are still on the ground. Ilocos and Nueva Ecija are the main producers here in SEA but Indonesian shallots are gaining ground.

    Apr 11, 2011 | 7:42 pm

  37. Footloose says:

    If Botolan is the same as Butoan which we have in our backyard, we price it not for the fruit which is riddled with seeds but for the sweet tasting fronds and the hearts that do not turn black after slicing.

    Apr 11, 2011 | 10:54 pm

  38. millet says:

    glad i came back to this post, because i had a niggling feeling that lagtikan sounded right but not quite, hehe….

    footloose, you cook the fronds? how? is it the same as the banana trunk (pith) dish (manok sa ubad) cooked by the ilonggos?

    Apr 14, 2011 | 10:15 am

  39. el_jefe says:

    It is called ”Sabang Lagkitan” in Southern Tagalog Provinces…though it is also called Tordan China or Tordan Tsina in some Liliw Laguna…In the olden days as my grandmother would recount…sabang lagkitan is reserved as for hogs, cows and poultry…they do not sell it for it has not that much economic value…It can be eaten though as fresh or ‘fried ”maruya” style.

    Apr 18, 2011 | 7:52 am

  40. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Very educational this lagkitan and onions….

    Apr 23, 2011 | 11:52 am


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