This is our group picture at Everybody’s Cafe taken by fellow blogger and foodie Anton. We just had an unforgettable dinner at this culinary landmark in San Fernando, Pampanga which prides itself for being “the home of authentic Kapampangan cuisine.” As usual, our table was filled with all sorts of goodies – some which smacked of down-home cooking and some which were simply not for the fainthearted. Among these were the fried camaru or cricket, the stuffed frogs and marinated carabao meat or pindang tapa , all of which we tried with initial curiosity and trepidation and finally with gusto. Hmm, some members of the group can definitely qualify for the Fear Factor 😛
This is how the camaru or field cricket looked like in Everybody’s self-service counter. Doesn’t look appetizing at first but definitely worth a try. I must have tasted this dish with my eyes closed but once I bit into its crunchy parts I must say I really liked it. Spanky said it tasted like bacon and I have to agree. I don’t have an idea how this food was cooked – must have been cleaned first (of course) then seasoned and fried in garlic and onions perhaps. Only a genuine Kapampangan can tell me. From my reading, I found that the camaru is a kind of insect found in rice paddies. It would be interesting to know how the resourceful Kapampangans discovered this as an exotic delicacy. But I definitely give the fried camaru a thumbs up!
Another cholesterol-inducing distinctive Filipino delicacy – chicharon bulaklak or deep-fried pork intestines. Best when crunchy and served with a dipping sauce of chopped onions and native vinegar. Also goes well with San Miguel Beer 😛 The chicharon bulaklak is so-called because it is shaped like a flower…
The deep-fried stuffed frogs or betute, probably filled with its own meat. Looks like chicken and tasted like chicken. I didn’t find this dish memorable but hey, at least I can say I tasted frogs the third time around. As you know, frog legs are a fixture in most Chinese restaurants. I would have wanted to try the frog adobo version in Everybody’s but maybe next time.
My favorite deep-fried catfish or hito which is of freshwater variety. Some people don’t like it because of its strange aftertaste but at Evrybody’s, it was just cooked perfectly. This is best eaten with buro or fermented rice (another Kapampangan delicacy). From Spanky, I discovered that the buro is best put in a bed of mustasa (vegetable) leaves, folded then eaten. Shown at right is the fried carabao meat.
(to be continued…. again)