01 Feb2006

I was never a big drinker. I enjoy a nice cold beer or two every once in a while but usually as a prelude to a full meal rather than another 10 or so bottles of beer. aadogThe only thing I like with my vodka, tequila or gin is a wedge of lime and perhaps some tonic water. So the Lasang Pinoy Pulutan theme had me a bit stumped. And I didn’t want to miss another round as I passed on LP5 after a whole month of Christmas posts which would have made my LP5 entry almost certainly anticlimactic. I thought I would be a bit sly and put a photo of our pet dog, a chocolate brown Labrador that was the runt of its litter. She is cute, kind and loyal. And yes, I understand some people eat them as pulutan. Now before you get all hyped up and ready to send me a nasty comment, I am not about to post a recipe for hot dog ala Marketman…but I did want to encourage some thought… while I would never knowingly eat dog, it really is about what your used to, isn’t it???

In my college days, bars in Boston would offer a free beer if you ate a live goldfish (don’t chew, just swallow, they said), some folks eat stingray, others bulls’ gonads, even horse wankers. We eat sausages made with pig intestines, the brains of other animals, eggs of sturgeon, snake and crocodile meat, frogs’ legs and goats’ eyes, snails, grubs, shells and fried crickets. And I haven’t even gotten to the ways we prepare different foods. I could continue for paragraphs on all of the “unusual” things humans consume but frankly, it’s all about what we are used to. I understand the argument against eating anything that is endangered or anything that appears to have more intelligence than many fellow humans, etc. but if you strip away a lot of the noise, it’s just protein, fat and calories. And for some reason, eating unusual protein or strange animal body parts is often accompanied by a beer or other alcoholic drink. It must be a universal trait that mostly men (and some women) sit around shooting the breeze, getting inebriated and munching on something that makes them feel more adventurous than they really are. I mean seriously, are there really modern day Romeos who really think that eating dried wrinkled animal sexual organs will make them more virile??? Haven’t they been reading all the Viagra spam they get in their email inboxes lately? Should folks like this be given a license to breed???

If you leave the unusual protein discussion, pulutan or finger food to be had with a cold beer is in my book usually something salty, fatty and texture driven. It is meant to accompany your drink and to whet your tastebuds so that you seek more to drink and more to munch on. I searched my archives for some appropriate dishes and these are my personal favorites… number one on the list are fried peanuts…best when made from scratch and freshly fried with lots of salt, garlic and I like them with chilli pepper. This is a perfect match with a cold beer. Another delicious pulutan and artery clogger is homemade chicharon which was a pain to make but a sinful pairing with a drink. Fried or baked calamares are a little less fatty but equally delicious. My recent post on baked mussels are also a favorite pulutan and the least of my personal favorites would have to be the sisig recipe I featured several weeks ago. And no, I have no intention of ever trying dog with my beer…but humans…that’s another discussion altogether! Cheers! This round of LP was sponsored by Ting Aling at Worldclasscuiscene who will have a round-up of all the entries in a few days…



  1. Mandy says:

    eaten doggies remind me of my boyfriend–when he went to this party and was eyeing this dish looking like a caldereta. in comes the host with his mangy and skinny “pet dog” tagging along. he said to my boyfriend, “oh you should try that. it’s really good–it’s clean, in fact i brought up that dog myself.” my boyfriend ran to the other room as fast as he could. hahaha. i like really cold cold beer with sausage with good mustard. parang kunyari german. =)

    Feb 1, 2006 | 9:20 pm


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  3. fried-neurons says:

    I’ve always found it interesting that Americans don’t really have the equivalent of “pulutan” in the true Filipino sense. Sure, people here munch on peanuts or calamari while drinking at the bar, but it’s more icing on the cake rather than an integral part of getting hammered with your friends.

    That said, I used to love spicy kinds of pulutan (spicy peanuts, spicy squid, spicy shrimp) as a high school / college student on a budget, drinking beer after beer. I actually hate beer, but I drank it back in the day because everybody else was drinking it and it was cheap. Yeah, spicy pulutan and beer. Maybe because all the spice drowns out the taste of the beer? :)

    Feb 2, 2006 | 12:15 am

  4. joey says:

    Chicharon rules! Yeah! :) I definitely agree that fatty things go well with booze.

    As for eating strange things: My dad made me eat dog without my knowing (it was dog). He told me it was goat. Anyway, it tasted like regular meat, which I guess it is. In any case, I feel worse when I eat too much McDonald’s. So it really is what you are used to. Not that I have eaten dog since, although I have tasted croc. I guess I’m an eat-and-let-eat sort of gal. Culture, taste, availability, affluence, lifestyle…these all play a part in what we eat, be it gonads or monosodium glutamate. Some people may find it abhorent to eat dog…some people make think the same of consuming vast amounts of junk food. My brother said he wouldn’t be opposed to trying dog, but you can’t make this same guy eat Spam. I knew someone who wouldn’t eat chicken (reason being that chicken eat their own poo)! Me? I’m willing to try anything once. If I like it, I eat it. If I don’t, then I won’t. Thanks for encouraging this train of thought Marketman :)

    Feb 2, 2006 | 3:03 am

  5. nunu's mum says:

    just happened to chance upon your blog this evening whilst bloghopping. What a gem of a blog! Could not believe my eyes – feasted on the scrumptious photos as I drooled. Had I discovered your blog whilst pregnant and experiencing insane pinoy food cravings, there was no way I’d have stayed in the UK as I did. It would’ve driven me nuts looking at the photos and reading your entries about food, food & glorious food! Just wanna thank you for coming up with such a sensational blog. I shall be back for more!Cheersxxx

    Feb 2, 2006 | 4:39 am

  6. Ting says:

    “it really is about what you’re used to”..couldn’t agree more with that especially when I hear about people “belittling” other people simply because of the differences in the food they eat. Your little labrador would have been an object of “pulutan cravings” in Baguio (wink..wink)

    Thanks for joining LP 6. It’s my pleasure to have you in my round-up.

    Feb 2, 2006 | 6:26 am

  7. sha says:

    Well I did tuwalya tripe I was about to do your chicharon recipe but I really wanted to do something different.
    Well… greeks eat lamb’s brain….Swiss cheese eats horse meat…

    Cute dog MM I could never eat dog….I just love dogs very much and to think of it as meat stewed with lots of tomato is certainly a no to me.

    Feb 2, 2006 | 8:50 am

  8. acidboy says:

    i was just reading an article about wierd interntational foods (of course our balut is there!) but would you believe one of ecuador’s more popular dish is guineau pig! skinned and fried whole pa!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 10:19 am

  9. Chris says:

    She’s a cutie MM! One thing peculiar about Chocolate Labs is that they are quite sensitive to the sun. They get sun burn more quickly then the yellows and blacks. Make sure you spray her with some sunscreen when she’s lounging out by the pool! heheh

    Feb 2, 2006 | 1:13 pm

  10. Mila says:

    First, love the lab, especially chocolate labs, their coloring is lovely (and chocolate, heck who could hate a chocolate animal?).
    Second, my pulutan of choice is buffalo wings, gambas, calamari. I’d rather eat my chicharon with rice and lots of vinegar, so it’s more a meal than pulutan.
    Third, fascinating how people’s differences come out when faced with food. Dog, worms, mosquito eggs, rats: as you said MM, it’s all about the combination of protein and some fat.
    Fourth, I’ve had an unintentional taste of dog. I was in a train station in some backwater Asian town, tired and hungry, got a bowl of stew and noodles and only later did I realize that the gamey piece of meat was not pork. Ah well, it got me going.

    Feb 2, 2006 | 1:28 pm

  11. mojitodrinker says:

    yes i agree. taste and cravings are largely a factor of what what you’re used to. when i lived in the US, my school hosted a pig roast and everyone was google-eyed as the huge lechon was cut up into pieces. of course they threw away all the good stuff (like the skin–sacrilege!) but then again, they didn’t know how to cook it well either. the scrap of skin i found wasn’t even crunchy. and the fil-ams there brought their own mang tomas bec they assured me the “lechon” wouldn’t have any flavor. they were right!

    btw. your dog is a cutie!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 6:00 pm

  12. iska says:

    i was just talking to karen the other day and wondering who would be ‘brave’ enough to blog about dog meat for LP6. she said for the heck of it she would but she also doesn’t eat dogs. i don’t either but i think it would be interesting to read about it from one who does. i was cheated once by an uncle when i was a kid though. too young to differentiate its taste from pork or goat.

    Feb 2, 2006 | 7:01 pm

  13. celiaK says:

    Hahaha! I had to laugh when your blog came up and saw the title – Pulutan – with a picture of your dog! Hehehe!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 11:15 pm

  14. Mik says:

    cute doggie! :) my pulutan of choice would have to be calamares and crispy shrimp.
    When I was younger though, and on holidays at a farm in the province, they served some (still-wiggling) freshwater shrimp that the drinking crowd dipped into vinegar and bit into lol :D have seen stranger things since then but at 9 years old that was pretty much a shocker :D

    Feb 3, 2006 | 1:23 am

  15. Dexie says:

    Hehe, that was wicked. I was manipulated when I was a kid in eating a dog adobo pulutan. They told me it was pork.

    Feb 3, 2006 | 3:24 am

  16. schatzli says:

    am back because i had a great walk today with a stray dog following me… aba sabi ko pang pulutan hahaha

    anyway back to stray dogs and pulutan
    a friend of mine works for an ambassador here
    one day madamme ambassador sent her with the driver to pick up the stray dog they were going to adopt…

    when the lady opened the door and saw her a Filipina
    she refused to hand in the dog.
    then my friend understood whats in her mind
    she said

    3RD its for my madamme


    Feb 3, 2006 | 4:49 am

  17. Pete says:

    I’m a dog lover. I had a very traumatic experience when I was younger pertaining to dog eating. I had a 15 year old dog that was old and slow. One day while standing outside of my grandparents house with him, an owner-type jeep pulled up to us. One of the men lassoed him and the jeep dragged him down the street. I was shocked and angry it was like loosing a best friend.

    Feb 3, 2006 | 5:18 am

  18. JMom says:

    I must admit, I almost jumped when I saw the word pulutan and dog’s photo on the same page! I too am one of the ones traumatized by our pet dog serving as pulutan. If you read my post, you’ll see a photo of my dad and his friends. Now further explanations needed.

    Iska and Karen, I also silently wondered who will be brave enough. Of course, give it to MM to alude to it even if only in our over active imaginations. LOL!

    Feb 3, 2006 | 6:39 am

  19. acidboy says:

    you know, there is also a very small segment of our drinking population who are not averse to literally, “skin the cat” if you know what i mean. i’ve also encountered the hardcore lapad-drinkers who, in way of preparation for the evening’s drinking, would aim their airguns or whatever weapon they can get, to the maya bird and occassional wild kalapati. how about horse meat? tapa style pa!

    Feb 3, 2006 | 9:34 am

  20. kong wi says:

    dog meat has a certain smell…when one butchers a dog, you could smell it…even cooked, there is a distinct smell…no matter how good a cook is, there is a certain gaminess…i used to eat dog for pulutan until my childless sister adopted a dog 12 years ago and raised him as her own kid…for pulutan, go safe with inihaw na pusit or fried tokwa’t baboy…as the old beer ad goes, “kanyaman na, metung pa”…

    Feb 4, 2006 | 1:48 am

  21. CWID says:

    Although the Filipinos have been branded as a country of dogeaters, it’s the chinese who have turned dogmeat into a commercial product. Visit http://iso90002.en.ec21.com/GC01093296/CA01135780/Frozen_Dogmeat.html and you will see a picture of processed dog meat which looks almost like pork. So, there’s no need to run after that stray dog when you’re having a craving. You can buy dog meat clean and frozen, by ordering online.

    Feb 4, 2006 | 11:03 am

  22. sha says:

    horse meat in Switzerland was sold like a salami cold meat….
    Makes me think if the Filipinos here have ever chased the stray dogs in Athens which is a plenty

    Feb 5, 2006 | 8:04 am

  23. gonzo says:

    Best pulutan idea is spanish tapas, in my opinion. Or actually, tapas bar hopping, where you have a drink and the specialty of the house at a tapas bar then move on to the next tapas bar for their particular specialty and another drink, and so on. The bad thing is you have to go all the way to Spain to do this. But i love the variety of tapas/pinchos at a proper tapas bar.

    For pinoy pulutan, i’m surprised, MM, that a foodie such as yourself would rank the rather mundane fried peanuts as one of your favorites. That’s what americans eat, for God’s sake! (im kidding :-) ).

    Anyway, best pinoy pulutan? super-fresh kinilaw, preferably ordered and eaten in cebu, by the beach. mmm. also the beef tapa from aling auring’s meat stand in san andres market, fried crisp, including the fat. sublime.

    Incidentally, have you tried this premium beef tapa actually made from tenderloin (i think it’s called Oscar’s) that costs around P900 a kilo? Cut super thinly and dried, the tapa takes just a few seconds to fry (sort of like frying kropek). though a bit pricey, it’s not bad for a change.

    as for eating dog, aside from the obvious moral issue, i have a problem with eating the flesh of an animal that also eats animal flesh (i.e. carnivores). Somehow there is something inherently wrong with that, imo.

    Feb 5, 2006 | 12:23 pm

  24. Chris says:

    Wow Gonzo, tenderloin tapa that costs 900/kilo! It’s almost obscene! heheh. Must taste great, though.

    Feb 6, 2006 | 4:56 am

  25. Chris says:

    Re eating carnivorous animals, some scientists say mad cow started from sheep that were fed animal feed made of… hold your breath, sheep carcass! So they were effectively made cannibals! Then it crossed over to cows, then to humans.

    Feb 6, 2006 | 5:02 am

  26. kaye says:

    MM, cute lab there!!! maybe your dog would love to meet up with my pepper.. she’s a black lab.. hehehe!

    i have never and will never eat dog meat though most of our korean pastors said that dogs are usually eaten in korea and not treated as pets.. poor doggies… they even go to laguna to buy dog meat.. according to them, winters are sooo cold and one way for them to maintain bodyheat is to eat dog meat… hmmm…

    Aug 19, 2006 | 8:04 am


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