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.
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.
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.