Keeping It Fresh; Out Dated vs. Updated

FlipCrateFoodie

Malaki Box from FlipCrateFoodie
Malaki=Big

I hate to admit this, but, the other night, I had to throw out some Filipino food because it was too, wait for it, greasy. Ugh, there, I said it. I know, I know, I’m an A-hole. Here I am talking all this garbage about promoting Filipino food and the positive perception of it and I  perpetuate the stereotype by calling it greasy. I could have not mentioned it at all, right? No! Not right. This blog is about changing thangs, changing perceptions and changing what we value. It’s about making choices to do better because we know better in hopes to influence others to do the same.

Here’s what happened. Earlier this week, I made a special trip to the “Filipino Market” to get food for the week, supplies for my new recipe posts and keep the momentum going for this refresh of PP&B. As I strolled around the store I noticed how pleasant it smelled, despite the fact that it’s a Seafood Market. I also noticed the meat and fish looked fresh and there was a lovely large produce section. It was great. Unfortunately, I also noticed the HUGE amount of PROCESSED goodies. There were so so many sections full of sugar laden snacks. They all looked so sweet and addictive, my mouth started to salivate. My liver continued to scream. I managed to stay focused. These high fructose delights were staying on the shelves. Instead, I opted for to-go (point-point) options from “The Grill”.  Pork Adobo, grilled Tilapia, BBQ chicken and Dinuguan made their way onto my ticket order and into my basket.

styrofoam containers 2

Styrofoam Containers

I was so excited to get home, warm up some rice and unpack those crappy yet familiar styrofoam containers of yummy goodness. I made myself a plate and inhaled the oil-soaked food. It wasn’t long after that the reflux started. I did not feel well and I did not have a good night’s sleep. The next morning the reflux had subsided and although I wanted to save myself the trouble of cooking and  not waste the money I had spent the day before, I had a choice to make; do I eat the rest of this food, which made me feel not so great or do I choose better? I compromised and elected to keep the BBQ sticks and tilapia.  I reluctantly threw out the glistening adobo and strong smelling dinuguan

Why was this so hard to admit? Why am I conflicted  and why the am I judging myself so hard?  It’s because I love my culture and criticizing food or specifically the Filipino food experience, albeit, constructive, is often interpreted as negative or inauthentic or dare I say, selling out. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not. You can love love love your Tita’s bibingka and wish she used raw sugar instead of white and a little less of it. Those things can exist simultaneously. Demanding higher quality ingredients, insisting there be thoughtful presentation, superior customer service and applying health conscious cooking techniques is not untraditional or phony. It’s smart and earned and deserved! Commenting on, and improving on, these aspects of home made or fast casual Filipino food will continue to shift the perception of Filipino food from a negative one into a positive one.  That was my struggle. What was I telling myself about Filipino food if I was throwing it out? That it was no good? That we’re no good?  No!  I’m saying that this particular version of Filipino food and service, although convenient and most of the time tasty,  is out-dated. I’m saying that I’d like to support and promote the up-to-date versions.  So from this point forward, Pig Parts & Beer will do our best to focus and popularize that Fresh Filipino Flavor.  We still intend to give props to the old school businesses that have held the Filipino American community down for decades, but we intend to keep it moving and keep it fresh with new interviews, original recipes and inspiring stories from this generation’s innovators, artisans, creators and trail-blazers.

FlipCrate Foodie

FlipCrate Foodie

 

Glad To Be Back :)

Karena aka PP&B

 

FYI: We just signed up for FlipCrate Foodie, a monthly subscription to curated Filipino foodie snacks. The great design and innovation were our motivators. We’ll keep ya posted on what we think of the crates themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Filipino Food Tour Part Deux; Creme Caramel LA

We’ve told you over and over that our homie, Kristine De La Cruz, makes the best leche flan. Its super smooth, ultra creamy and de-freagn-licious. Her company, Creme Caramel LA, has become a So Cal farmers market must-have. I decided to introduce my blogging buddy Amy Shuster of Backyard Bite for the low down on all things custard. Check it out:

Read More

Those Pigs Got Smoked!;Horse Thief BBQ

Horse Thief's Anthony Chin

Horse Thief’s Anthony Chin

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Filipinos and BBQ just go together like Indians and curry, like Japanese and Sushi, like Koreans and Kimchi,  so a Filipino owned BBQ spot is nothing out of the ordinary. What is shocking is, well, there are a few things: 1. they don’t use sugar in the “marinade” (Are you sure y’all are Filipino?)  2. There’s no direct flame used to cook the meat 3. The restaurant space wasn’t an after thought.  It is adorable and perfect for our So. Cal weather. It’ll be even better when they open the bar. Booze and BBQ!

Read More

Filipino Food Tour with Backyard Bite Part I

Karena & Amy Eating Turon

 

It’s been a hot minute since we posted up a video, like 2 freagin years! It’s only because we like to get shit  right and we did.  With the help of uber blogger Amy Shuster aka Backyard Bite, we’ve got a hot one for you.  Pig Parts took Backyard on a tour of some of our favorite spots for Filipino grub and goodies. First, we hit up United Bakery in Silverlake. Owner Andrea De Guzman drops some old school 411 about her ”hood”, what Filipinos eat and why she’s not “playing around”. Check out the video and watch us throw down like dainty beasts.

Read More

Halo Halo 2.0; Filipino Sundae

 

Filipino Sundae w/ Banana Chips and Creme Brulee

Filipino Sundae w/ Banana Chips and Creme Brulee

Did any of you catch Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain in Koreatown? Tony and Roy Choi made a brief stop at Jollibee for some “Filipino representation”. Among the fast food goodies The Kogi King nudged the Tonester to try,  was the mix mix drink/dessert aka Halo Halo. Halo Halo is a Filipino version of a sundae, just more tricked out.  It’s got everything: ube ice cream, plantains, corn and cheese ice cream, shaved ice, sweet beans and leche flan, yes flan. Bourdain seemed to enjoy the “oddly beautiful and very tasty” frozen treat. Good Times.

Read More

Short & Sweet; Banana Coconut Cake

Whole Banana Coconut Cake

Banana Coconut Cake

Lemonade, the cafe/lunch counter, is one of my favorite spots. They make salad look so darn good. I’m pretty proud of myself and my choices up until I hit the register. That’s where they get me. Those refrigerated glass boxes are strategically placed and packed with sweets and treats aka my kryptonite. Macarons, cupcakes and blondies fill the shelves, but my favorite is spinning in the well lit display case. It’s the layered banana cake. The bananas taste fresh. The cake is always moist and the frosting is slightly tart creamy cheesy goodness. I order it almost every time. I’m so in love with this slice of heaven that I decided to make my own version, tricked out of course.

Read More

Slangin’ Siopao in Silverlake; Boss Andrea De Guzman

 

With Boss Andrea De Guzman

WIth Boss Andrea De Guzman

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

United Bread & Pastry  has been anchored in the same spot off of Sunset for over 27 years, and although the De Guzman Family has watched their Silverlake neighborhood go through changes, their traditional Filipino baked goods remain old skool. I had a chance to chat with Andrea De Guzman aka Tita. She dropped knowledge, including her  unique approach to marketing,  how the fear of getting busted was a good thing and why bigger is not always better.

Read More

Condensed Milk Pound Cake with Calamansi Drizzle

Sweetened Condensed Milk   Pound Cake

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pound Cake

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Man oh man, there’s nothing quite like sweetened condensed milk.  Sweetened Condensed Milk is a special blend of milk and sugar that has been dissolved using a vacuum process.  I just love it If I didn’t feel so damn guilty about possibly causing myself some form of diabetes, I’d probably drink a whole can every day. No, seriously, I would, but since I choose not to onset an illness, I’ve come up with a moderate way to get my liquid crack. It comes in slice form, a slice of a pound cake that is! LOL. Y’all thought I was going to get all low cal, low fat on you. Nope,  just an alternative version with smaller portions, ya’ heard.  Condensed Milk Pound Cake with Calamansi, yes Calamansi,  Drizzle.

Read More

Love For Leche Flan; Baker Kristine de la Cruz

 

Original Leche Flan  Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

Original Leche Flan
Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Kristine, co-owner of Creme Caramel LA,  and I met a couple of years ago. She had a small sweetly -intoxicating booth at Unique LA.  It featured two of my favorite  desserts, bread pudding and Filipino  leche flan. I had never tasted flan this good and with such a variety of flavors.   I’ve forced her to be friends with me ever since.  I got a chance to sit down with the self professed “bread pudding maker” to chit chat about life, love and leche flan.

Read More

Don’t Stay SUKA Free; Filipino Vinegar

 

Kinilaw, Filipino Ceviche

Ceviche

by Haydee Vicedo

Suka (pronounced soo-ka)  may sound like a figure skating move Michelle Kwan’s about to attempt successfully – “and Kwan landed that triple suka beautifully…”; but it actually means Filipino vinegar. Yes, Michelle landed those triple salchows like nobody’s business, but she was definitely not  aiming for vinegar. Suka, along with patis (fish sauce), toyo (soy sauce) and bagoong (fermented fish/shrimp), is one of the main staples of the Filipino pantry. If you’re making Filipino food, you have suka somewhere in your kitchen. And if you have suka in the kitchen, you probably have at least one or two of the many varieties out there. Some are named after their place of birth –  Sukang Iloko is from a region in the Philippines called, you guessed it, Ilocos, a la New York cheesecake. Others, meanwhile, get their moniker from the plant/tree they originate from. Sukang Tuba, for instance, comes from coconut sap, while sukang nipa (also known as sukang paombong) derives from the nipa palm. The latter is probably the vinegar most widely used in Filipino cuisine. And because you asked so politely (you didn’t know it but you did), we’re going to name just a few of the many delectable dishes in which suka’s presence reigns supreme.

Read More