Introducing Phlavor Profiles! A New Podcast About Filipino Food

Pig Parts and Beer presents a new podcast Phlavor Profiles, a podcast hosted by Karena Higgins of Pig Parts and Beer Blog. Karena connects with Filipina and Filipino entrepreneurs, restauranteurs and innovators in today’s food spaces. Karena and her guests will have lively, in depth conversations, about how Filipino culture is influencing food and food spaces.

We are just getting started, take listen to the season preview, Episode 1 preview, and our very first full length episode where Karena sits down the Ginger Dimapasok, owner of Cafe 86.

You can find the podcast on all major podcasting platforms


Or listen to it here:

Season 1 Introduction

Episode 1 Teaser

Episode 1: Karena Talks with Ginger Dimapasok, Owner and Founder of Cafe 86

Karena sits down with Ginger Dimapasok the owner and founder of Cafe 86. They talk about the beginnings of Cafe 86, the growing Filipino Food movement, entreprenuership, and so much more.

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Grab ‘Em By the Balls; Filipino Soup Series, Sweet Porridge-Ginataang Bilo Bilo

Can this election be over already? I’m so ready to decorate, cuddle up with my Netflix and plan the holidays. This is supposed to be the time of year we celebrate being together. PP&B has been highlighting the savory side of things  in our soup series, but  we wanted to take a moment, reflect and add something sweeter, a dish that symbolizes unity.  Ginataang Bilo Bilo is that hug in a bowl we all need right about now. This porridge  is created by cooking rice flour balls (bilo-bilo), jackfruit (langka) and sago pearls (tapioca) in coconut milk (gata). Adding yams or corn are also options. I have fond memories of rolling the rice flour mixture into soft round pillows.  It’s warm, creamy and chewy, perfect for chilly weather. Kawaling Pinoy has a great recipe and beautiful pics.

Sweet Rice Porridge

Sweet Rice Porridge; Ginataang Bilo Bilo



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Keeping It Fresh; Out Dated vs. Updated


Malaki Box from FlipCrateFoodie

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.






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Filipino Food Game Strong

leche flan atop use cake

leche flan atop UBE cake

We’re back and Filipino food has blown the f*ck up! YAS! 2016 is the year of Filipino food. If I see another damn picture of leche flan atop some sort of ube concoction, I’m going to poke my eyes out. Ok, maybe I won’t be that dramatic, but you get what I’m saying. There’s so much love for Filipino food on the Gram that I almost can’t take it, almost. We here at Pig Parts & Beer started promoting our love and passion for Filipino food long ago in 2009. This is when our first and oh so popular “Pork, The Filipino Way” design was conceived (eh hem, now available on Amazon). Our pretty piggy blog started oinking its way into your hearts in 2011. That same year, we hosted the first Filipino food and beer pairing event, The Pleasure of Pig Parts & Beer.  Much has changed in the Filipino food scene since then, most notably, closeted Filipino food lovers have come out! Let your flag fly. Thanks to the OG’s, the pioneers of Filipino food, this generation of foodtrepreneurs get to bask in the spotlight like a pig in sh*t. Bad Saint in DC, Maharlika in NY and Rice Bar in LA are all examples of this new advocacy for Filipino food.

I truly believe this generation of Filipinos and Filipinas aren’t seeking the approval of other cultures anymore. We’ve done it for so long and in terms of food, it’s not gotten us very far, so we, just started to say f*ck it. I’m not apologizing, nor will I be embarrassed or ashamed about my food anymore”. My experience, the experience of my parents and grandparents is as valuable as yours and I’m gonna stand behind it, loud and proud.

So happy to be back.

Pig Part & Beer

Pig Parts & Beer “Pork, The Filipino Way” Tee Shirt

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Meet the Adobo Ho, Chef Jade Gaje

Chef Jade Gage

Chef Jade Gaje

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Jade Gaje was the catering queen for one of LA’s most popular downtown eateries, but in 2010, she decided to break out on her own. We got a chance to spill the tea with THE JADE CHEF about many things, including the crazy massage moment that changed everything, her love of the .99 Cent Store and why she calls herself, The Adobo Ho.  

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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.

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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.

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