[ A KAPAMPANGAN CULINARY TOUR ] Part 2: Merienda & Lunch
After the â€œsanikulasâ€ demonstration we bade farewell to Atching Lillian Borromeo, our gracious host for the tourâ€™s breakfast segment. With full and happy tummies, we proceeded to our next stop in Arayat.
Merienda: KABIGTINGâ€™S HALO HALO
The promise of a cool merienda (snack) treat made up for the rather hot drive to Arayat, Pampanga and the momentary disorientation of our driver. Tee hee! We find Karlo and Kongwi already there who actually drove ahead of the group to pre-order this other version of halo-halo I first tried some four years ago.
The simplicity of the Kapampangan halo-halo has been its hallmark as opposed to the multi-colored, multi-ingredient versions found elsewhere in the country. Since the 1980â€™s, the Kabigting family of Arayat, Pampanga has been selling one of the two simplest halo-halo versions Iâ€™ve ever tasted and loved.
Tour resource speaker Nonoy Ozaeta posing infront of Kabigting Halo-Halo in Arayat, Pampanga.
What makes the Kabigting Halo-Halo great is its absolute simplicity: consisting only of mashed white kidney beans (above left), sweet corn kernels, and a spoonful of the to-die-for haleyang gatas ng kalabaw (carabao milk paste), topped with hand-shaved ice and evaporated milk.
Therefore, it tastes richer than its sweeter counterpart from Guagua. Kabigting Halo-Halo is a truly yummy and refreshing treat, all at PhP45.00!
The Kabigting Halo-Halo recipe also has successfully placed Arayat on the food map.
And, did I hear someone scream â€œStarbucks!â€ again, as we were on our way to the next stop? Tee hee!
Tour participants waiting and enjoying the treat included Dessert Comes First Lori Baltazar’s sister, Charley Bautista (above, left photo) with Vinnie Braga; and MR, Aileen, and Sheila. Did I get those names right? :-)
Corner Esoino and Mutuc Sts.,
Telephone: (045) 6301219, (0919) 3936626
Pasalubong: SUSIEâ€™S OF
Pampanga sweets and desserts are undoubtedly famous. And this is no surprise as the province is also a sugar-producing region with some of the vast haciendas devoted solely to sugar.
Kapampangan sweets are more refined and mostly of European influence. The famous sylvanas, sans rival, brazo de mercedes, turrones de casuy, and leche flan are just a few.
Susieâ€™s is known for its offerings of a variety of Kapampangan sweet delicacies like the famous tibuk-tibok, a pudding-like dessert made of carabao’s milk with a consistency similar to that of the majablanca.
While everyone else went into pasalubong-buying frenzy at Susieâ€™s, I hopped next door to St. Paul where I recently had another little known Kapampangan delicacy, the Patco â€“ a discovery I made during our â€˜food tripâ€™ on Good Friday. Since I was still full from that merienda of halo-halo at Kabigting, I had to contend myself by just looking at those yummy freshly made buko rolls!
Main: McArthur Highway, Dolores
City of San Fernando
Telephone: (45) 8612480
Branch: 36 Hilda St., Nepo Mart
Telephone: (45) 3224775
Lunch: EVERYBODYâ€™S CAFÃ‰
From Susieâ€™s the group drove to the main branch of Everybodyâ€™s Cafe, also in
At the restaurant, we were greeted by our gracious host â€“ the amiable and ever-smiling Pocholo Jorolan, a third generation restaurateur/owner of Everybodyâ€™s CafÃ©.
Everybodyâ€™s CafÃ©, established in 1952 by Benito Santos (the townâ€™s master ironsmith) with his wife Carmen, is
We entered the restaurant to find a glass-covered dining counter filled with trays of food to choose from a la â€œturo-turoâ€ like tinolang tugak, betute (stuffed fried frogs), ulang (giant freshwater shrimp), chicharon bulaklak (deep-fried pig intestines), nilagang baka, native chicken, homemade longaniza, and more.
In a function room, specially prepared for the group, we found tables already set with an appetizing starter of Pako Salad (fiddlehead fern salad served with onions, tomatoes and topped with salted eggs).
After Pocholo Jorolanâ€™s brief intro on the food they prepared for lunch, we dug into the spread that was waiting to be devoured . . .
Their Murcon is an heirloom recipe made from finely minced pork, duck eggs, quezo de bola and chorizo cooked slowly for six hours at least.
The exotic Betuteng Tugak, deep-fried frogs stuffed with minced pork and spices. This drew funny remarks from some tour participants.
Fried Hito (deep-fried catfish) served with Burong Hipon (a paste of fermented shrimps).
Another really exotic treat I had for the very first time was their Arobung Camaru (mole cricket). This classic Everybodyâ€™s CafÃ© offering is cooked first as a savoury adobo (wings removed for a more pleasant texture, I suppose) and later on stir-fried with garlic, onions and tomatoes. Surprisingly, it had no after taste and I went on for a second helping!
Above left, Lengua (ox tongue) cooked in tomato sauce; right, Everobody’s Cafe’s Dumara (wild duck adobo).
By far this is one of the best Sisigs Iâ€™ve ever had! Everybodyâ€™s CafÃ©â€™s Sisig uses the original (instead of the popular sizzling sisig of
City of San Fernando
Telephone: (45) 8601121, 9617121
Fax: (45) 8611912