When you are visiting a new place, what do you look forward to the most?
Others might say the famous tourist attractions, the rich history through museums and preserved setting and our always-hungry friend will say “Food”. Yes! Food, frequent travelers will definitely agree on this, one of the best ways to know one’s tradition and culture is through FOOD.
In Ilocos, aside from visiting the world-famous Calle Crisologo and well-preserved museums that tackles the history of the province and its contribution to the Philippine history, Ilocos is known for its simple and not easily spoiled dishes.
We listed some Ilocano must-try dishes that you should never miss when visiting Ilocos.
A well-known and most requested “pasalubong” whenever someone knows you’re about to visit Ilocos. Bagnet is a pork dish, boiled for hours, rubbed with salt, deep-fried twice to achieve a crunchy and crispy meat, Ilocanos also called bagnet as Chicharon or Chicahron Iloko. Ilocanos also has a special sauce partnered with Bagnet, the KBL or Kamatis, Bagoong, Lasuna (tomatoes, shrimp sauce and spring onions)chopped and mixed. Another suggested dip for bagnet is dinuguan or pig’s blood (another Pinoy dish).
- Pinakbet or Pakbet Ilocano
This Filipino vegetable dish has given many new twists on other provinces, but originally from the Ilocos Region. The dish is a mixture of various vegetables such as squash, eggplants, bitter gourd, okra, string beans and winged beans sauté with fermented shrimp paste or fermented fish sauce, Ilocanos also add chopped bagnet or lechon kawali on their pakbet.
Another famous Ilocano dish made from eggplants and egg is Poqui-Poqui. It is made from grilled eggplants (peeled and chopped), sautéed with shallots, garlic and tomatoes followed with beaten eggs. Stir until the texture resembles wet scrambled eggs.
These three dishes are just a few from the many Ilokano dishes that deserve to be known and tasted by local and foreign tourists. We strongly suggest that whenever you visit a new place, try their food, food or a delicacy that represents their culture and their place. It will be a new experience and who knows it might be your new favorite food!