Sunday, November 20, 2011

BLOG 1: Filipino Street Food in America

Just this past summer, a few friends and I discovered a small place in San Diego where they serve Filipino street food. Being all Filipino, we thought it would be a good idea to drive there and rediscover the food we once all enjoyed back home. As we arrive, we ordered isaw (barbecued chicken intestines), kwek-kwek (hard-boiled quail eggs fried in batter), fishballs, and kikiam. My friend then decides to order something called “Betamax.” Not even knowing what it is, he asks for one serving. As our food arrives, all looked good except for Betamax, which pretty much looked chunks of dark meat with a clay-like texture. To our surprise, the server explained that it was actually grilled chicken blood. I did the research as soon as we got home and I learned that chicken blood can actually take a somewhat solid and glutinous form after it is extracted and cooled in an open container. Needless to say, it remained untouched until we finished all the other food. After much mental preparation, we all agreed to have at least one huge chunk each. I have eaten and enjoyed the Philippines’ famous dinuguan several times before. However, the idea of eating solidified pig’s blood was not exactly enticing. And indeed, as expected, it was not good. I struggled through each moment as this dry tasteless chunk crumbled in my mouth. We all went home feeling a little bit victorious that day. We all knew we have experienced and conquered what we knew most people would not have the courage or stomach to do.

Evidence that we did eat the betamax.

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