Category Archives: Best Eats

The Much Awaited Bangus Festival

Bangus Festival is an annual festivity held in Dagupan City Pangasinan to celebrate Bonuan bangus (milkfish) which is known for its unique taste. It kicks off every month of April and lasts for about 2 weeks to a month.

History of the Bangus Festival

Aiming to promote Dagupan City as the Bangus Capital of the World and to emphasize the local bangus industry, Former Mayor Benjamin S. Lim, initiated the celebration of the Bangus Festival in 2002. Initially, it was just a part of the thanksgiving festival Pista’y Dayat, but it further developed into a 2-week socio-economic program of activities to highlight the city’s top produce – bangus or milkfish.

Nowadays, Bangus Festival is one of the country’s most elaborate celebrations.

Activities and what to expect during the Bangus Festival

It is a tradition to commence the festival with the lighting of a thousand barbecue grills lined up to cook thousands of bangus. This activity also serves as a competition for hundreds of cooks, who compete for the tastiest and the most creative way of cooking and serving bangus. In 2003, the city won a recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest barbecue.

This year, the local government of Dagupan promises for a bigger and happier “fishfest,” which will commence on March 31, 2017 with the opening of the Bangusan Village. The village will consist of a carnival, baratilyo (street market) spots and food courts.

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The organizers will also revive the famous Beach Volleyball Republic in one of their beaches and will also launch Zumbangus and the first ever search for “Meztisang Bangus” Gay Beauty Pageant for a cause. They will also be bringing back the old traditional games with the “Galaw na Ogogaw,” for the kids to be aware of the local history and culture. Expect the Giloy-giloy ed Baley street dancing competition to be more colorful and grander this year. Watch out for the winners of the longest, the heaviest and the prettiest bangus in the Bangus Rodeo. Fun games are also in line for the festivity which include fastest bangus classifier, fastest bangus deboner and fastest bangus eater. Of course, the celebration will not be complete without the annual Bangusine, Bangus Regional Culinary Showcase more popularly known as the “101 Ways to Cook Bangus.” As a finale, 20,000 bangus will be grilled for the Kalutan ed Dalan Bangusan Street Party, which will surely be a crowd-drawer.

Philippine Delicacies from North to South

Philippines is a very diverse nation. Diversity can be found in its culture, heritage, tradition and of course, food. Filipinos love to cook and to eat. Their love for food is the reason why there are a lot of delicacies to enjoy from the north to the southernmost part of the country.

Delicacies from Luzon

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Tupig

Intemtem or more commonly known by tourists as Tupig is a popular native delicacy from Pangasinan.  It is made from ground glutinous rice and young coconut strips wrapped in banana leaves then cooked over charcoal. Before, this delicacy is only available during Christmas, New Year and All Saint’s Day, but nowadays, it is being sold almost anywhere, especially in the fresh market, specialty shops and bus stations around Pangasinan, Tarlac and nearby provinces. Some local folks made variations to the usual tupig, some now have flavors like jackfruit, pandan, strawberry and purple yam.

Bibingkoy

Bibingkoy, a rice cake,  is a famous delicacy from Cavite. It is made up of glutinous rice stuffed with boiled mongo, then baked in an oven. It is made even special by a sauce made of gata (coconut milk) with scented langka (jackfruit) and sago (tapioca), which is poured over the bibingkoy.

Kalamay

Kalamay is a sticky Filipino rice cake, usually served during special occasions like holidays and town fiestas and is famous among the Tagalogs. This is made from glutinous rice flour, muscovado sugar, and coconut cream.  Kalamay is best enjoyed when sprinkled with Latik, a coconut residue.

Sinapot

Sinapot is a fried banana somewhat similar to turon.  This delicacy from Bicol is made from horizontally sliced Saba or Cardaba banana, mixed in a batter consisting of flour and eggs then deep fried.

Delicacies from Visayas

Simple Wikipedia
Simple Wikipedia

Binagol

Binagol is a sweet delicacy from Eastern Visayas, specifically Leyte. The name came from the word “bagol” the Visayan term for coconut shell. Binagol is a taro root mixture with glutinous rice and nuts. The taro mixture is contained in a polished coconut shell then a well is made at the center. A raw egg yolk is then dropped in the well then covered again with the mixture and steamed.

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This repetitive-feminine named native delicacy from Iloilo which is made from rice, is actually a combination of two native delicacies – muasi (palitaw) and bukayo. It is similar to palitaw but is more firm and gummy which makes it more like a white kutsinta.

Salvaro

The Salvaro of Cebu are very thin and crispy biscuits. These oval coconut crackers are made from enriched wheat flour, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, shredded coconut, and shortening.

Caycay

Caycay is a famous comfort food in Cebu. This crunchy layered biscuits rolled in toasted peanuts

is made from flour, calamansi, sugar and peanuts. Local bakers in Cebu made some twists to the recipe, some biscuits are now topped of filled with peanuts.

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Delicacies from Mindanao

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Daral

Daral is a Tausug delicacy similar to lumpia or crepe. This delicacy which originally came from Jolo Sulu, is actually bukayo  (sweetened grated coconut) wrapped in a thin dough.

Pasung

Pasung is a cone-shaped steamed rice cake covered with a banana leaf. This sweet delicacy which is most common in Zamboanga, is usually prepared on Ramadhan Ifthar and is best eaten with hot coffee, tea or chocolate drinks.

Pali Kambing / Tibobol

Pali Kambing or Tibobol is an original Tawi-tawi delicacy. This sweet cylinder-shaped delicacy which is also common in Zamboanga is similar to Chinese buchi. It is made from banana rolled in flour then fried.

Panyalam

Panyalam is an exotic delicacy with crispy crust and edges from the Mansaka tribe of Compostela Valley. This famous Muslim dessert in Mindanao mainly in Zamboanga Region, is cooked deep fried using ingredients such as powdered rice, sugar, and coconut milk.

Experience the Beauty and Flavors of Greece

Greece, officially known as Hellenic Republic, is a country made up of a peninsula and a group of islands in southeastern Europe. Greece is often called the Cradle of Western Civilization because of its significant contributions to the world. The Greeks developed democracy, made significant science discoveries, created extensive works on philosophy and art, and wrote stories and plays that are still performed today. Greece is also known for its lovely beaches and hearty dishes.

Greek Food

Speaking of food, the Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine similar to the traditional cuisines of Italy and the Balkans. The common ingredients in contemporary Greek dishes are meat, fish, vegetables, grains, olive oil and wine. If you happen to visit Greece, make sure you sample some of the country’s toothsome dishes.

Spanakopita is Greek spinach pie with feta cheese, onions and herbs in a crispy and flaky filo dough.

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Photo credit: Lokesh Dhakar (Flickr)

where to stay in greece

Dolmades refers to rolled young grape leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables and herbs.

Kolokythokeftedes is a Greek appetizer made of zucchini, feta, ouzo, egg, garlic, onion and herbs. The mixture of ingredients is formed into balls or patties and fried.

Souvlaki is a Greek specialty made of tender pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. It is served in different ways: with grilled bread, in a slightly grilled pita with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate often paired with fried potatoes.

Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)
Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)

Moussaka is a popular Greek baked dish made of potato, eggplant, minced meat, tomato, onion, garlic, spices, cheese and béchamel sauce.

Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)
Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)

Pastitsio is a baked pasta dish with ground beef and béchamel sauce. This is similar to the Italian lasagna.

Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)
Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)

These are just some of the delicious dishes that you should try when you happen to be in Greece.

8 Best French Cafes in France

Have an authentic Franch experience in one of the lost standing cafes that France has to offer. From the decor to the food you’ll get a genuine experience in any these 8 best french cafes.

Café de la Paix

A Parisian institute since 1862, Café de la Paix has an al fresco ambiance combining history, tradition and modern touches.

5, Place de l’Opéra – 75009 Paris

Le Select

Le Select is decorated in the style of the 1920s, with stucco walls and wooden tables and benches.

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99 Boulevard du Montparnasse 75006 Paris

Les Deux Magots

Located in the charming district of Saint-German, the popular Les Deux Magots is held in high esteem. It has a distinctive atmosphere and lends to the freedom of the renowned cafe.

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6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés 75006 Paris

Cafe de la Rotonde

Tucked away in the Montparnasse district, this cage serves traditional French cuisine such as beef ribs, steak, steak tartare oysters, sole Menières and more.

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105 Boul. Montparnasse – 75006 Paris

Le Procope

A cafe that has truly stood the test of time since 1686, Le Procope is the world’s first literary café having had talents such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, Balzac, Hugo, Verlaine and La Fontaine.

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13 Rue de L’Ancienne Comedie – 75006 Paris

Le Café Tournon

In the tradition of Parisian bistros, Cafe Tournon was once a  gathering place of African-American writers and artists such as James Baldwin , Chester Himes , Richard Wright, William Gardner Smith , painter Beauford Delaney and sculptor Howard Cousins.

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18, Rue Tournon 75006 Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André Café

Housed in the mansion’s former dining room, the Café Jacquemart-André is the most beautiful tea room in Paris. Just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and the shops.

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158, boulevard Haussmann Paris

Angelina

Since it opened its doors in the early 1900’s, the cafe famously designed by the architect of the Belle Epoque Edouard-Jean Niermans has been an experience of indulgence and pleasure. The world fanous tea house has a timeless elegance and steady clientele keeping its allure ever present.

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Musée du Louvre, Aile Richelieu, Café Richelieu 75001 Paris

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Food Festivals-Rectify the Reputation of British Food

As a friendly wicked person who likes to troll the closest friends, I often tease my English friend Ken and send him awful British food pictures for confirmation. After having a few authentic Chinese family meals, Ken suddenly decided he would cook for us the next weekend. I  predicted immediately it would be the fast food type of meal. Little Ken never fails me. Spaghetti, one can of sauce and several cherry tomatoes were all he brought for the meal. I seized the chance to say “what did I tell you!” Of course, a young man in his 20s without much life experience doesn’t represent British’s actual strength. Friends who have stayed in England for some time said delicious British food does exist. The following food festivals will lead you to the real British delicacies.

The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

With the setting of rolling hills and farms, the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival is a carnival of food and entertainment. You will find garlic can go with any food, candy, cookies, ice-cream, corn and all the food you can think of. Farmers with over 70 garlic planting experience will give you the recipes and teach you how to plant garlic. So you think garlic is only edible? Those garlic-themed game booths will give you more ideas on garlic.

Garlic Festival

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Address: Fighting Cocks Crossroads, Bathingbourne Lane, Sandown

*Photo credits: The Garlic Festival Facebook page

The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival is a grand celebration of food, music and entertainment. A food carnival hosted by a chef and a cheese manufacturer will never disappoint you. Besides the classic fish and chips, fresh lobsters are well worth your expectation. The Big Feastival invites many big names as performing artists each year. Kaiser Chiefs and Duke will show up this year. Music loving foodies can’t miss out!

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The Big Feastival

Address: Alex James’ Farm near Kingham, Oxfordshire, OX7 6UJ

*Photo credit: The Big Feastival Facebook page

Meatopia UK

Meatopia is finally in England! As one of the world’s big meat lovers, the U.S. people would not miss the chance to throw a meat party for sure. Just as its name implies, meat is the forever theme of Meatopia. To take the best of meat, Meatopia pursues the highest quality as always. From the wood and coal used to roast meat to the center of the festival-meat, Meatopia has very strict requirements on everything. What do meat, beverages, fire and music remind you of? They remind me of hot summers that make you want to do everything to sweat.

Meatopia UK

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Address: Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London

*Photo credits: Meatopia UK Facebook Page

Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival

Attracting over 30,000 audience every year, Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Scotland. You can wander among the food stands to have a taste of everything and interact with vendors while enjoying the fascinating view of Loch Lomond. Foraging, eating competition, kids cooking class and live shows are held on site.

Address: Loch Lomond Shores, G83 8QL Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Written by: Francis Alvin Doloroso

The Smoke House: Texas’ Top Barbecue Joints and Restaurants

You may have tasted the best barbecue in your neighborhood and it may be good or great but nothing speaks of original barbecue than good old Texas grillin’. Be it ribs, smoked sausages, or tender brisket nothing beats the Texas grill. Here’s a short list of must try places to get your BBQ fix.

  • Black’s Barbecue, Lockhart 

A Texas treasure. There is no other way to start a list on the best Texan BBQ joints but with the BBQ institution of Texas. Maintained by a single family since its founding, Black’s offers mouth-watering and traditional barbecue that is sure to rival any neighborhood best.

Black's Barbecue

Visit them

215 North Main St Lockhart, Texas 78644

  • La Barbecue, Austin 

This food trailer offers one of the best BBQs and grills in all of Austin with brisket and ribs that are second to none in Austin.

La Barbecue

Visit them

Aztec Food Park 1906 E Cesar Chavez Austin, TX 78702

  • Franklin Barbecue, Austin 

Widely considered as the best barbecue in all of Texas, this barbecue institution is a must try for any barbecue junkie out there. Be sure to go early to avoid the avid fans and the lines that follow.

Franklin Barbecue 2

Visit them

900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA

  • Cooper’s Old Time Pit Barbecue 

Straight from the pit, Cooper’s values their meat quality whose flavor is only enhanced by the sauce that comes with it.

Cooper's Old Time Pit Barbecue

Visit them

604 West Young Street Llano, TX 78643

  • Corkscrew Barbecue, Spring 

Be early! This is a no frills barbecue joint. Go grab your meat and pick a place to sit so you can enjoy the succulent beef and turkey that this barbecue joints prides itself on.

Corkscrew Barbecue

 Visit them

26608 Keith Street, Spring, 77373

Off the Beaten Path: Italian Street Food

Have you ever had one of those night outs when someone suggests Italian food and the instant answer would be pizza or pasta? Well, make sure to check these Italian street foods when you pay a visit to little old Italy. There’s more to Italy than their wonderful pasta and pizza. Immerse yourself in the flavours that Italian cuisine has to offer.

  • Cannoli

A classic Italian dessert, one is sure to taste Italy once they try this sweet yet light pastry dessert from Sicily.

Photo Credit: Flickr- Jules Morgan
Photo Credit: Flickr- Jules Morgan
  • Trapizzino

New to the Italian street food scene, this pocket carved from white pizza is filled with ox tail or chicken.

Photo Credit: Flickr- Diego
Photo Credit: Flickr- Diego
  • Arancini (Fried Rice Balls)

This Sicilian treat is everything that is good about street food, fried and filled with cheese and meat.  This savory treat would make you want more and more.

Photo Credit: Flickr-Wim Kristel
Photo Credit: Flickr-Wim Kristel
  • Olive Ascolana (Fried Olives)

Stuffed and deep fried breaded olives sound weird yet distinctly appetizing. This street food delight embodies the taste of Italian street food.

Photo Credit: Commons Wikimedia (Manuela Zangara)
Photo Credit: Commons Wikimedia (Manuela Zangara)
  • Gelato

Of course Gelato is a part of this shortlist. This snowy and creamy treat packs a lot of flavour along with its smooth texture that makes you want to live in Italy for the rest of your life.

Photo Credit: Flickr- Derek Key
Photo Credit: Flickr- Derek Key

TIP! Make sure to get these treats in their region of origin (which is mostly in Sicily!) to get the best of the best in terms of authenticity.