I’m back! Today I’ll blog about pinangat, one of Bicol’s signature dishes.
Whenever I travel to Bicol, I look forward to its cuisine, heavy with coconut and siling labuyo (capsicum annuum), the small but potent indigenous chili. Bicol, about 8 to 12 hours bus drive from Manila, is one of the 17 regions of the Philippines, located at the southeastern corner of the main island of Luzon. Last month I asked one of my colleagues to bring something back from Naga City, located in the heart of Bicol, as I’m desk-bound for the most part of March and April.
A few days later my pasalubong, four frozen pinangat individually wrapped in banana leaves, arrived in a clear, plastic packet. After a few seconds in the microwave my dinner was ready. It was not as spicy as I wanted, but I still enjoyed the buttery mix of gabi (taro), coconut milk and pork, best paired with hot steaming rice. It was towards the end that I sensed a mild raking in my throat, but I was already too happy to notice.
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