The Culinary Historians of the Philippines (CHOP) is a non-profit sister organization of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C. (CHoWDC). We are not historians in the academic or scholarly sense; we are students of culinary history who want to give back to society through culinary-based programs. Our mission: To study, promote, and help preserve the history and heritage of Philippine cuisine and culinary customs/traditions; to implement advocacy programs; and to study the cuisines of other countries. [Your comments on our posts are most welcome.]
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Monday, August 13, 2018
On June 6, 2018, the CHOP Group met at Blue Bay Walk along Macapagal Blvd, Pasay City. With a coaster and 5 other cars, we took the Cavitex to the Kawit exit and headed towards Indang, Cavite.
Enroute to Indang, Ige Ramos, CHOP President and native Caviteno, gave us a historical background about the province of Cavite, in general, and Indang, in particular. He told us that because of Cavite’s promiximity to Manila, its rich fertile and irrigated lands, the different religious orders who came from Spain to evangelize the natives, divided Cavite into what came to be known as the friar lands over which they exercised administrative and religious supervision. However, when the Americans conquered the Spanish colonizers, they immediately seized these friar lands and redistributed the land in smaller parcels to the tenant farmers, with the lion’s share going to the Katipuneros who had helped them defeat the Spaniards. By doing so, the Americans wanted to prevent them from thinking of rebellion again. Ige commented that this distribution was the first and only successful land reform in the country to date because the lands were put to productive use by the farmers & all families had a livelihood. As such, the NPAs never gained a foothold in Cavite.
Ige’s purpose in bringing us to Indang was to show us how this 8920-hectare community, with its small farms and resorts, serves as a model in agricultural sustainability.
Our first activity was to visit the “baraka”, the Indang wet and dry market where agricultural produce is exchanged. The baraka takes place every Wednesday and Saturday.
It was 9 a.m. when we arrived and the market place was bustling. A sea of colors greeted our eyes. A wide variety of kakanin was on sale: there was green freshly pounded pinipig ,suman, sapin sapin, macapuno, puto, sago, honey colored carioka on bamboo sticks, leche flan, ube. While the vendors strove to attract our attention, they certainly didnt lack business from the local inhabitants patronizing their favorite sukis. Having our fill of tasting and buying, some of us wandered over to a separate building that housed fruits and vegetables. Guyabano, fragrant nangka, “buigs” of saba, senorita & latundan bananas, tomatoes, eggplant, upo and green leafy vegetables crowded the stalls.
In search of special patis, a kindly vegetable vendor directed me to another building where the meat, chicken and fish was being sold. “Patis is sold in the stalls beside the carinderia area”. Indeed, I found a store and I was able to purchase 3 small bottles of the “unang piga” variety.
Next stop was the Mahabang Kahoy Weavers Association in Cerca, Indang.
The art of weaving has been revived in this barrio to provide livelihood to the residents. Headed by Bubut, who lost one of her arms, the cooperative is housed in the small barangay hall. The looms occupied the small space.
No finished goods were on display. We had to ask Bubut what we could buy. Only then did shawls, table runners, napkins and scarves come out of carton boxes tucked under a counter. The ladies in the Group went into a frenzy as they scrambled to get their hands on whatever they could. We must have cleaned out the Cooperative’s inventory as everyone went away pleased and happy. The weavers were amazed that so many of their products were bought and were so thankful to Ige for having brought us there.
From Cerca, we proceeded to the town Plaza for our official photograph in front of the vintage town hall built during the American era and now repurposed into the Tourism office. We said our 3 wishes at the Church of San Gregorio Magno, posed for our picture, viewed the town from the breezy balcony of the tourism office, purchased kalamay buna from the pasalubong Center and achara from a store on the side of the tourism office.
Our next stop was Santuario Nature Farms in Barangay Kayquit, where those interested in growing organic produce can take lessons. A walk around the grounds with trained agricultural experts allowed us to see the variety of vegetables, edible flowers and herbs that can now be supplied to restaurants and homes for their culinary requirements. A farm isnt complete without animals and Santuario was growing a variety of chickens which were as big as small turkeys.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to walk that much because we were already getting hungry. It seemed we all naturally gravitated towards the covered area where long tables had been laid out. The first thing we did was to quench our thirst with a purple drink made from tanglad, ginger and Ternate flowers. A little explanation on the ingredients available at the make-your-own-salad bar took place just before the black pig lechon from Lucciole was ceremoniously unwrapped and chopped. At first, it seemed that there would not be enough of this delicious lechon to go around but there was more than enough. You see, there was also “bugong” provided by Louwella’s: which consisted of Rice, adobo, achara, green mango, hard-boiled egg wrapped in banana leaf and kept warm in brown Manila paper. This was a meal in itself, and Lucciole even served dinuguan.
At the end of the meal, Pia announced that several copies of Ige’s book on Cavite were for sale. They were immediately taken up and the author graciously autographed and posed for pictures with his admiring fans.
A second official photograph was taken at Santuario.Before we boarded our vehicles, Santuario surprised us with a give-away: little herb packets of stevia, mint, peppermint & tarragon.
Our next stop was the National Coffee Research and Extension Center housed in the beautiful campus of Cavite State University. A big cup of the Aguinaldo blend woke everyone up and provided energy to walk around the Center to see the different varieties of coffee being grown in the area. A third official photo was taken at the Center, after which we rode a short way to another building housing the coffee processing unit and the coffee micro propagation section. Here, University based scientists are doing research on how to mass propagate coffee by somatic embryogenesis. Coffee is graded and roasted here too. Our members were treated to an actual cupping experience where they smelled and tasted various varieties of coffee.
Needless to say, we left Cavite State University with full stomachs, empty wallets, eco bags filled with purchases, and pleasant memories of our day in Indang.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
(Project Manager for the Tour - Inez Silva-Reyes, Board Member)
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
[including a visit to PANADERIA LOLA GLO]