Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Travel With Vice Magazine: Filipino Feed Lot / Soup No. 5

 I think one of the biggest challenges facing anyone who wants to travel the world is wrestling with the reluctance of one's own appetite. If you really think about it, a lot of the culinary staples in American and other Western diets are pretty disgusting. Cheese for example is something you never see many people from Asian countries eating because the thought of leaving cow's milk to rot for months is pretty damn gross. And the thought of taking the most undesirable meaty portions of an animal that you normally would feed a dog with, and making a red tubular concoction out of it isn't very appetizing when you put your mind to it either.

One of the features of this blog is still "international eats" even though my lazy ass has skipped it for quite a few months. And in that feature we will explore more specific examples of where cultures digress when it comes to food. But for those who are curious, you can check out my first (and only) installment of this feature here.

Luckily for me Costa Rican food is actually more like a milder version of Mexican cuisine, so my spoiled American palate wasn't too traumatized when I started eating like a local here. It's mostly beans and rice, some kind of grilled animal, and garlic and lemon seasoned slaw with lots of corn tortillas. However, ex-pats and other world travelers in places like Asia and Africa have a little bit more internal wrestling to do with themselves when they sit down for a locally prepared meal.

In this week's episode, Vice correspondent Ivar Berglin travels to the Philippines and decides to sample some of the local delicacies from one of the more "authentic" restaurants in Manila. Filipino cuisine, much like other cultures and Asia, prize freshness and beauty of presentation above most other aspects of food preparation. Ivar finds that out himself when he is asked to go retrieve and have butchered his own chicken for one of the restaurant's specialties. Despite the unique way it was prepared, one cannot deny that the chicken will be very fresh....

Mind you this video is not for the squeamish or culinarily closed minded


A Daft Scots Lass said...

I quiver.

Zombie said...

I have always wanted to go traveling around the world.

Unknown said...

Ok so I haven't been in the Philippines in a year (and I only stayed there for a week), but I did grow up there for 11 years before 2003, so I think I have a little authority when I say this video kind of made me mad.

FIRST of all, Manila does NOT equal Baguio City. Baguio City is in... Baguio!

Second of all, the reason why I don't like these culinary expedition shows is because they showcase food that are not typical in the authentic Filipino diet. Soup no. 5 and "killing me softly chicken" are not famous dishes, and can hardly be called delicacies in that country. That is something SPECIFIC to that restaurant.

I can name ACTUAL staples of the Filipino diet that are pretty gross:
1.) diniguan - pork cooked in its blood
2.) sisig - pork ear
3.) kare kare - pork bone and cartilage
4.) balut - eating a fertilized duck egg

and many more. Thanks Vice -__-

Ray Rousell said...

HMMMM???? The chicken things ok, can't say I'd choose to do that, but they can keep the soup thank you!! And as for Leila above and her "balut - eating a fertilized duck egg", Yuk!! Give me egg and bacon anytime!!

Marlene said...

I like everything deep fried, thank you very much. :)

Anonymous said...

So, I was quite hungry when i started watching this video. You have fixed that. I can be pretty adventurous with food, but I don't think the animal lover in me would be able to watch my chicken being killed in front of me and then eat it - best that be done behind closed doors.

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

The chicken actually looked grosser than the testicles, and watching them torture and torch that poor bastard did not make me any more hungry.

I watched the one about the sacred thugs in Venezuela over the weekend. Pretty interesting. I may have already said this, but my favorite is the Vice Guide to Liberia. Don't watch anywhere near the vicinity of meal time. Also the one on Norwegian black metal is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

hahha when i was in the military my initial supervisor was from the Philippines...he gave me all kinds of lessons on the diet there so this is not shocking to me (this go'round)

Shera "The Expatriate" said...

Really interesting take on cheese - and because I will probably get ill I'm going to take your word on the "fresh chicken" video!