[Sca-cooks] Taillevent is Alive And Well and Living In -- Manila???

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Jun 21 12:27:40 PDT 2009

On Jun 21, 2009, at 1:18 PM, Susan Lin wrote:

> "that the dark red, slightly oily sauce on the table is not in fact  
> chili
> paste, but still quite powerful and made, I suspect, from dried  
> shrimp"
> I think that might have been baggaong (spelling could be off) - it  
> is indeed
> a sauce made from tiny tiny brine shrimp.  I remember eating it in the
> Philippines with green mango when I lived there as an exchange  
> student way
> back when.

Yes, it reminded me of the purplish-gray salted shrimp paste sometimes  
used in southern Chinese cooking. Every southeast Asian cuisine seems  
to have an equivalent.
> I'm sorry your first experience with Filipino food was a  
> disappointment.

It's not really our first experience, although since our previous  
experiences, many years have elapsed and some digestive capacity  
changes have probably changed and/or helped dictate tastes. We're  
really pretty imperturbable about new foods, though.

I had just been to this place once before on a Sunday afternoon for  
lunch, and we probably ordered some things that not necessarily  
appropriate with each other, or for the season of the time. It's not  
that they weren't good examples of their type; it was just sort of  
like ordering a FlufferNutter on white bread and raw beef sashimi  
alongside. If it had been a dark, snowy day, I'd probably have  
appreciated the oxtail and tripe kare-kare more.

>  I
> love it and I love pansit (which has always been made with rice  
> vermicelli
> noodles as far as I know).

These ones were pretty thick, a little more than 1/8 inch when cooked,  
and a little more transparent and jelly-like than any of the other  
rice noodles within my experience, such as rice sticks, mei fun, ho  
fun, etc. I think my son was taken aback by expecting a flavor based  
on the coloring (see an orange-red, savory food, and your tongue  
generally expects either tomato or chili, and not annato) which proved  
not to be met. I actually saw some similar, thicker noodles that  
looked like they might be rice noodles or really thick cellophane  
noodles (normally made from mung bean starch) in a Cantonese dim sum  
house this morning, served in a seafood soup casserole.

>  My favorite has to be banana pie - made with
> wonderful bananas (not like banana cream pie - more like an apple  
> pie but
> with bananas).  I've tried to replicate it many times here but we  
> just don't
> have the same kind of bananas.

We brought home from this local Filipino establishment a sort of jelly- 
roll of meringue, filled with a banana pastry cream and chopped  
banana. Good, but a little goes a very long way.

> Keep trying - I"m sure you'll find lots of stuff you like.  I"ll  
> cautioni
> you about ballut though - you might like it but I could never bring  
> myself
> to eat it.

I've eaten foods raw, fermented, alive, potentially toxic, and even  
fish I've pulled out of local NYC waters. I probably glow in the dark.  
I really don't feel as if avoiding balut makes me a food wuss ;-)

Adamantius (who thinks McDonald's takes real bravery)

"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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