Many times I find that posts on marketmanila seem to trigger fond childhood memories of food or things associated with a particular food. Whenever I mention a backyard fruit, there is a surge of warm, fuzzy comments about lazy days with neighbors or cousins perched up on a tree with a bag of salt literally shooting the breeze and munching on fruit at it’s peak. Posts on particular places like the beach, particular cooking methods such as grilling, or even weather conditions such as stormy typhoons elicits glimpse after glimpse of some personal experience, and it sounds like it brings a smile to your faces. That is a huge plus for me. I don’t necessarily intend to get those reactions, I am just oddly satisfied that a good thought (though I am sure I have conjured up bad thoughts as well…) results from something I happen to feature on the blog. So here is a question I am throwing out to all of you, instead of my writing something else today. What childhood comfort food do you yearn for the most?
If you live abroad and don’t have ready access to some local Filipino ingredients, what dish would bring back a flood of good memories, and why? Is it that special bowl of lugaw that your grandmother used to make when you were sick? The grilled seafood enjoyed on the beach with a cooler full of San Miguel beer? A particular sweet dessert? If you live in the Philippines, what food have you NOT been able to enjoy in a while, a provincial delicacy, a dish done by a great cook who has since passed away, or something that is so time consuming that there’s no way you can make it in today’s hustle and bustle. Please leave a comment as I and many other readers are probably curious… For me at the moment, I am wondering how my grandmother made her casajos or beef tapa, which was almost like beef jerky, tasty but tough and incredibly dry. Delicious with spicy vinegar. My older siblings say they were air dried in the bakery where it was hot and far less humid than normal atmospheric conditions. I also lament my seriously reduced tolerance for all things incredibly sour; as a kid, I could eat 4-6 large unripe kamias with rock salt, then follow that up with a whole green mango with bagoong, but today I shudder at that much sour intensity. Despite several failed attempts, I still want a more 1960’s style pan de sal. With a crust and softer interior. A little salty, definitely not sweet and milky as some commercial versions are today. And lastly, I miss a really good consilva or “pinasugbo” – baked or dried or fried bananas dipped in caramelized sugar and sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds, a little coconut leaf rib holding it together…. I find it sometimes in Cebu, but now I want to make it myself… :)