By Excel V. Dyquiangco
One of the things the Filipinos are known for is their unique qualities that make up almost anything into something new and unblemished. And, well, food is not an exception. While many nations still prefer dining in or dining out and eating pizzas in a raucous way, Filipinos bring their hunger to the streets for their favorite Pinoy street food.
Everywhere one looks, there is a queue formed to buy some of the most exotic delicacies that vendors could offer – there is the grilled chicken intestines or isaw, fried squid balls, fishballs or kikiam – a type of processed chicken, which are served on a stick. There are also the offal (or better known as betamax, after its rectangular shape, and chicken feet (adidas).
For some who crave for beverages, there is also the taho, a type of soft beancurd served with syrup and tapioca balls and palamig such as the halo-halo served during the hot season and the fruit juices, shakes, and gulaman.But of course, who could ever forget the ice cream’s social counterpart, aptly named dirty ice cream because it is sold in the streets? And there is also the balut, a 1 day old chick egg, quail eggs fried in some orange-colored batter and eaten with salt. This is usually sold at night.
But one thing at a time. The isaw and fishballs are two of the most popular street food in the country today.
While some people may stay away from these two street foods because of the way they taste, smell or even look, others may find that these are the cure to their hunger. While it is indeed, in literal terms, grilled chicken intestines, isaw is mainly known for more than its name. Best served in vinegar, isaw tastes like your average chicken, if you don’t really think that it is made up of intestines.
But what makes this delicacy scrumptious is the way it’s cooked, especially when it is slightly overcooked since you could taste its crunch and a little bit of charred meat. Add to this is that if you dip it in vinegar, then the taste is all the more heightened.
Fishballs, on the other hand, is made up of fish meat. This is sometimes boiled and served with soup. But Filipinos have a way of expanding cooking styles and they have brought these delicacies to the streets – fried.
Fried fishballs-on-stick is mainly a substitute for snacks – it can actually solve your hunger problems. With its variety of dips such as sweet sauce, the spicy sauce and different condiments, fishballs is an exotic food that would leave you wanting for more. This food is usually sold where students are – in campuses.
Best of all, isaw and fishballs are really cheap – it can’t even make a dent to your pockets.
With these two street food in tow, it is quite easy to assume that they would forever stay until the next and the next generation – as long as there are people craving for more in the streets.
tags: Pinoy Street Food, Philippine Street Foods, Isaw streetfood, Fried fishballs, Filipino delicacies
About Excel Dyquiangco: Excel V. Dyquiangco works as a writer for an advocacy and consultancy firm in Makati City. During his spare time, he writes stories for children, writes for various magazines catering to different topics, writes textbooks for elementary and highschool students and formulates scripts for television and movies. He also teaches English to Korean, Burmese and Indonesian students. He was recently featured in Reader's Digest Asia, with the headline CASH NOW: SECRETS OF SUCCESS, which discusses his work as a writer..