About CHOP

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.]

Monday, August 13, 2018

INDANG, CAVITE - Its Culture and Culinary Secrets, January 6, 2018







Narrative for Indang Tour by Susie Yap

CHOP visits INDANG, CAVITE
by Susana Yap

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.
Our last chance to contribute to the local economy took place in the store down stairs where various processed products of Cavite produce were available for sale: tamarind, camias, calamansi juices; jams, macapuno , kaong vinegar & ofcourse, the Signature Aguinaldo coffee blend.

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

About CHOP

Who We are: The Culinary Historians of the Philippines (CHOP) is a Manila-based non-profit sister organization of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C. (CHoWDC). We are not historians in the academic or scholarly sense of the word; we are students of culinary history, food ways, and gastronomy who want to give back to society through culinary-based activities and advocacy programs.

CHOP Logo




The festive "palayok" (clay pot) represents the colorful history of Philippine cuisine, with all the various influences distilled into a truly unique culinary culture. We believe that what we learn about the past should inspire the present and the future of our own cuisine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

QUIAPO - SPECIAL CULTURAL & FOOD TOUR, May 5, 2018



QUIAPO FOOD TOUR, May 5, 2018
(Project Manager for the Tour - Inez Silva-Reyes, Board Member)

Email sent by Inez to all current members on April 24, 2018

Hi, everyone!

CHOP is pleased to announce that we will be having a Special Cultural and Food Tour
of Quiapoon Saturday, May 5, 2018, led by Mr. Martin Lopez of Far Eastern University!

The tour can accommodate only up to a maximum of 20 persons so we are offering it 
first to you.

Here is the itinerary:
9:45 am           Meet in FEU Campus                   

10:00am—      Tour of the UNESCO-awarded art deco campus of FEUled by Martin Lopez
11:00am          [Nicanor Reyes Sr. St., Sampaloc, Manila] 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

RECUERDOS; CHEFS AS REPOSITORIES OF HEIRLOOM RECIPES & INGREDIENTS; Dinner & Lecture, Nov. 30, 2017

RECUERDOS:  Chefs as Repositories of Heirloom Recipes and Ingredients
A Talk by Chef Giney Villar, and interpreted in a 6-course Dinner by Chef Jessie Sincioco
At Chef Jessie’s Restaurant in Rockwell, Makati
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 5:00 pm

Here are two brief narratives of the evening’s event, from CHOP President Ige Ramos, and CHOP member Tetta Tirona. The photos below are also from both of them.

Written by Ige Ramos:

Thirty members turned up in the CHOP's last event of the year. It has been a tradition that the dinner is held at Chef Jessie Sincioco's restaurant.

This year, we had special sponsors who supported the CHOP events this year: Olivia Limpe-aw and Aaron Aw of Destileria Limtuaco, through their Philippine Craft Spirits brand; and the Khong Hun Family's Salinas Food Corp., through their Aro-en Gourmet Salt brand. We launched two cocktails tonight for the event, using Vigan Basi and Manille Calamansi Liqueur.

Chef Giney Villar gave a talk on Chefs and Gastronomes as Repositories and Champions of Heirloom Recipes and Ingredients, and Chef Jessie Sincioco executed the heirloom recipes based on the lecture. As Amuse Bouche, we had a salt-and-food-pairing workshop and the guests really enjoyed the interactive talk given by Glen Khong Hun.

Thank you so much to the Board of CHOP, and see you next year for another fun-filled, mouth-watering and learning 2018. Happy Holidays!

Written by Tetta Tirona:

A fitting dinner as CHOP’s (Culinary Historians of the Philippines) last main event for 2017 was held tonight at the Chef Jessie Sincioco’s Rockwell Club. 

The event started with Glenn Khong Hun of Pacific Salt Farms, who spoke about Salt and its different varieties. Use for cooking, brining, dusting, baking and finishing! My first time to learn of the many kinds and its uses. 

The Salt “talk” by Pacific Salt Farms was also complemented by the different food passed around and paired to the salt variety. Most interesting to note was the Smoked Salt which can be used for desserts like creme brulee, vanilla ice cream and tropical fruits. 

This was followed by Chef Giney Villar of Feliza Taverna y Cafe of Taal, Batangas, and Adarna Restaurant in QC. Chef Giney’s talk was interpreted by Chef Jessie’s 6-course dinner consisting of Kinilaw and other crudites paired with salt, Sopa de Esparragos, Ensalada Russa, and, for my main course, the Pavo Jardinera, and Leche Flan with Macapuno and Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. 

This may be the last main event of CHOP for 2017 spearheaded by our current President, Ige Ramos—well-known food researcher, book designer, writer/author and culinary heritage advocate—but his plans for 2018 are absolutely something to look forward to and to be excited about. Our Binondo Wok Tour friend and fellow member, Ivan Man Dy, is on top of the 2018 Taiwan trip for the group. 

Tonight’s event won’t be possible without the able assistance of the other CHOP Officers — former President Pia Lim-Castillo, and other Board members, Alvin Reyes Lim, Inez Silva Reyes, and Vicky Yu.

Thank you CHOP officers and fellow members, I am looking forward to breaking breads once again with all of you! Merriest Christmas to all!












































Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PANADERIA TALK & ANCESTRAL HOME TOUR & MEAL, September 23, 2017

PANADERIA TALK + AN ANCESTRAL HOME TOUR & MEAL
[including a visit to PANADERIA LOLA GLO] 
Saturday, September 23, 2017 (2:00-5:00pm)
A lecture by award winning writers, Amy Uy and Jenny Orillos, co-authors of "PANADERIA--Philippine Bread, Biscuit and Bakery Traditions;" includes a visit to Panaderia Lola Glo and ancestral home tour & meal at the home of Tomas Mapua, the first registered Filipino architect.


STORY OF THE EVENT
(Narrative written by Regina Newport)

Tomas Mapua was the first registered architect in the Philippines, and he finished building this family home in 1930. After his death in 1965, the house was inherited by his daughter (the mother of Pia Lim-Castillo), and Pia spent her early years in this house. This impeccably maintained ancestral home, which is currently being managed by Pia’s sister, Laida Lim, has recently been opened to the touring public, but only by special appointment.

The participants assembled at Panaderia Lola Glo, Pia’s recently opened Panaderia (built in partnership with her sisters), also on Taft Ave. in Pasay. We enjoyed the opportunity to browse and taste—and purchase—Pia’s baked goods. She serves both traditional and modern bakery items with a twist (more on this in the menu below).

The group then walked over next door for the 3:00 pm talk about Bread & History, to be given by Jenny Orillos and Amy Uy, authors of the best-selling book, Panaderia: Philippine Bread, Biscuit and Bakery Traditions. It’s the first book on Philippine breads that is not just about recipes, and it has won several awards, including 2016 Best Book on Food, by the 35thNational Book Awards; 2016 Best in the World—Breads,by Gourmand World Cookbook Award; and 2015 Top 10 Books, by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Amy Uy took the first part of the lecture, which covered the history of bread in the Philippines, starting from the pre-colonial era, and proceeding to the Spanish and American colonization periods. Her research included the writings of Antonio Pigafetta, who came to the country with Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Pigafetta wrote that they found “some kind of bread” being made and eaten by the natives, a “wooden bread made from a tree resembling the palm,” and which was called saghu (sago); unfortunately, there was no further description of this “bread.”

We were introduced to bread through the sacramental host used during the first Catholic mass held in Limasawa, Cebu, in 1521. This became known as “tinapay,” which could only be made using wheat flour, which did not exist in the country. They had to ship the flour in from Mexico, and later on from China and Thailand. By 1613, the term “tinapay” would be used by the natives to refer to Spanish bread and sea biscuit.

The first bakeshop in Manila was established in 1625, a century after Magellan’s arrival, and among the breads sold were pan de sal and ensaimada; the latter was sold as a “delicious, unrivaled, butter-soaked ensaimada for Easter Sunday,” and advertised as “made exactly like the best in Mallorca.”

When the Americans came in 1898, they changed the way we baked our breads—they made baking part of the school curriculum and introduced new cooking methods, tools and equipment, and new baked goods like muffins, corn bread, hot cakes, biscuits, cookings, doughnuts, sponge cakes and jelly rolls. Pan de sal continued to be made and sold, but the Americans also introduced Pan Amerikano, the popular sliced loaf bread that quickly became known as “Tasty” bread (presumably from an actual brand of bread loaves called “Taystee”).

For the second half of the lecture, Jenny Orillos continued with the American era, explaining that the breakthroughs introduced by the Americans completely changed bread-making and bread traditions in the Philippines.

Flouris the main ingredient in bread-making. The Philippines imported flour from the United States and Canada before and after World War II, but the establishment in 1958 of the first flour mill in the country, Republic Flour Mills (RFM), made local flour available, even though the wheat was still being imported from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Many other flour mills followed in many parts of the country, making flour easily accessible, including in the Visayas and Mindanao. This also led to the many advances in flour-making that helped improve the way bread was made. 

Yeastis another important ingredient in bread-making—there were two kinds available before the war: compressed yeast(also known as fresh yeast), and active dry yeast. One interesting bit of information is that San Miguel Beer, because of its use of yeast in making beer, was contracted by Fleischmann Yeast in the 1930s to manufacture compressed yeast in the Philippines. 

The bread-making industry further improved with the invention of instant dry yeastin France in 1973, which was first imported here by Sonlie International in 1981 (Jenny noted that, coincidentally, Sonlie’s office was just across the street from Panaderia Lola Glo). Instant dry yeast became very popular—it was convenient to use because it could be added directly into the dry ingredients, and it was a great time saver, allowing bakers to make more breads in a much shorter time.

Another important aspect of the history of bread-making in the Philippines is the decline of the pugon, or wood-burning oven, and its replacement by the gas or electric oven, which was much cleaner to use and was small enough to fit inside smaller bakeries. This marked the end of many pugon-baked breads, including the pan de suelo (pan de sal baked directly on the “floor” of the pugon). There are still some pugonsleft, most of which can be found in the provinces.

Learning the craft
Unlike in Europe, where they have bakers’ guilds which require a baker to undergo training and apprenticeship before meriting the title “master baker,” our local panaderos, especially in the early days, were usually trained on the job, and the skills were passed on to younger generations. This practice had its flaws, the biggest of which was the passing on of old and inaccurate habits, especially in measuring ingredients. That said, there were “maestros” or self-made master bakers who were exceptionally skilled, and who could train the next generation to become master bakers.

Starting in the 1960s, however, formal baking schools and baking programs have begun to be established, providing bakers, bakery owners and enthusiasts with a place to formally learn bread-making, thus raising the standards for local baking skills. The flour millers and baking suppliers also had their own training programs.

All these developments and advances have had an impact on the history of Philippine bread-making.

The Feast

Immediately after the lecture, the participants feasted on the following delicious dishes (the baked goods were made at Pia’s Panaderia Lola Glo):

Pugon Pandesal at Kesong Puti – the pandesal was traditional bakery fare which, in Pia’s words, “are baked in a brick oven to give it the nostalgic feel of traditional pandesal before the advent of gas ovens.” They use charcoal instead of firewood like most urban bakeries. The kesong putiis made from carabao milk in Marilao, Bulacan.

Pancit Palabok- was served in a unique way. The participants had fun “assembling” their Palabok, starting with the perfectly cooked al dentenoodles and a special palaboksauce (a family recipe), and topped with small shrimps, sautéed ground pork, baby squid slices, shredded tinapa, sautéed tofu, sliced hard-boiled eggs, crushed chicharon, fried garlic, chopped scallions, with sliced kalamansi and patis(fish sauce) on the side. The delicious and flavorful sauce is traditionally made with shrimp-head juice sautéed in garlic and thickened with egg and colored with atsuete(achiote seeds).

Tokwa at Baboy– Only the pig’s head, cheeks, and ears are used for this dish, which are boiled till tender and served with a special vinegar sauce mixed with soy sauce, onions and chilis.

Enseimada de quatro horas– Pia still uses her grandmother’s recipe from the 1930’s. “It takes 4 hours from when you start making it to the point when you can eat it, as the dough goes through 3 risings before it is put in the oven to bake; the longer the fermentation process, the better the flavor.”

Pandan Coconut Bibingcakes – Pia developed the recipe for this herself. It is basically a butter cake flavored with local ingredients, including their own home-made pandanextract. Freshly grated coconut is incorporated into the batter before topping it with kesong putiand itlog na maalat(salted egg). The baking tins are lined with fresh pandanleaves, which impart a wonderful flavor and aroma to the cakes.

Jamaica Juice, Santol Juice, and Blue Pea Flower (Ternate) Juice– Jamaica Juiceis made from dried gumamela (hibiscus) flowers; it has a subtle sour taste and the gumamela gives it a nice red cranberry color.Santol Juice– Pia grew up with this drink especially when santol was in season. The meat of the fruit is chopped, and the seeds and pulp crushed for their juice, before it is mixed with water and a bit of salt and sugar. Blue Pea Flower (Ternate) Juice– A dark blue syrup is made from the pea flowers; the anthocyanin-rich liquid turns into a light purple color when a citric ingredient is added, such as kalamansior lime or lemon. These drinks were served with ice, and made for a very refreshing afternoon drink accompaniment to all the delicious dishes served.

PHOTOS