If you’re residing in Manila, Makati or neighboring areas, it wouldn’t hurt to drop by the Rockwell Tent for the last day tomorrow of the Expo Espana 2007. As the title suggests, it’s a festival of all things related to Spain: there’s a basic flamenco class on Sept. 30 by Sr. Guillermo Gomez, a Spanish wine appreciation seminar by Sherwin Lao and flamenco performances galore.
I couldn’t resist dropping by the exhibits for a sampling of Spanish food, one of the cuisines I love. Spanish restos like Alba Restaurante and Gaudi were among the participants and naturellement I had a sampling of goodies like paella, morcillas (blood sausage) and gambas swimming in garlic and olive oil. A big mound of tortilla de patatas was being sold at 50 per cent off towards closing. The other dishes looked tempting: who can exclude the classic callos, pollo al ajillo (chicken in spicy garlic sauce), the ham and cheese croquetas and tuhod y batoc, described as ” stewed ox kneecap and chuck with brown sauce, mushroom and peppers.” Gotta try this one time.
In the booths, there were salchichas salchichas and more salchichas.I especially liked the chorizo in oil under the La Norenense brand. It was served tapas style and I crazily munched on it, one toothpick after another. The salesgirl likewise gave me mini-cups of the canned fabada asturiana or bean stew flavored with pork (lacon), morcilla, chorizo and seasonings. I guess this is where the Americanized version of “pork and beans” came from.The good news is that most Spanish products can now be found in Rustan’s Unimart, South Supermarket and other stores carrying foreign brands.
The booth of Oriental Merchants cannot be missed for they had luscious bite-sized pieces of Manchego cheese, more popularly known as aged Spanish cheese. With this kind of cheese, you either have it fresh, 3 to 6 months old (curado) or viejo (matured for one year. That’s what the label (and Wikipedia) said. I ate the cheese bits with the tinto de verano (summer wine, 3.5% alcohol) and they paired well. The amiable woman manning the counter likewise invited me to try the olives and I said “that goes well with kaldereta, right?”, after which she said it was better eaten alone “kasi sayang naman ang salmon sa loob.” Uh-oh.
So finally, after going through all the wines (pass on that one, as I find Spanish wines strong), I chance upon a display of Filipinos biscuits which come in milk, dark or white chocolate flavors. In the late ’90s, the biscuits posed a diplomatic problem after the Philippine government filed a protest on the use of the word “Filipinos” to refer to something dark. This entry from Wikipedia says: “The protest was filed despite Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon’s initial reluctance on the matter. Siazon had reportedly said “he saw nothing wrong with the use of ‘Filipinos’ as a brand name, noting Austrians do not complain that small sausages are called ‘Vienna sausages.”
Obviously nothing happened because Filipinos happily exists up to now. But that’s history for you 😛
Filipinos is distributed in the Philippines by Barcino Gourmet
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