26th BAR Exhibit, Free Taste Round-up

Here are the list of products offering free taste during the recently concluded BAR exhibit. Tasting them all was exciting.

1) Arius Wine from the plant Podocarpus costalis, locally known as arius. The fruit is like a small version of cashew with a different color make. Free taste to serious customers and curious visitors. It was exhibited by Batanes State University.

arius wine batanes state college

2) Wine. Another wine free taste from UPLB booth. I think it was more developed than above.

wine uplb

3) The three bagoong guisado variants; the sweet, regular and spicy (?). Get three mango slices and dip each in bagoong on saucers. The patis on the side could be tasted via another mango slice. From BFAR Central.

bagoong gisado bfar central

4) The hopia malitbuganon from DA-RFU 8. This extra wide hopia is as wide as regular rice serving tray. Ask the booth personnel how it taste and she will let you get a small piece, then hide it after. Let’s not blame her, many exhibit goers are just looking freebies.

hopia malitbuganon

5) I was wondering why there are offering free pineapple slices. Maybe, pineapples are not created equal. Their pineapple fruits taste better than others.

free pineapple slices

6) Sweet sorghum porridge. Too bad for me, they ran out of stock.

sorghum pirridge by bapamin

7) Yet another bagoong guisado, Alavar Brand, from BFAR 9.

mango bagon gata bfar 9

8)  This one only lasted for about 15 minutes. A buko salad imitation using seaweed strips. You’ll never know its seaweeds until it touches your tongue.

seaweeds ala buko salad bfar car

seaweeds strips bfar car

9) Pickled mango and dried mango strips from Pangasinan Tropical.

pickled mango and dried mango strips free taste

pickled mango and dried mango strips

10) Lechon and sausage from BT Black Pig. The Bureau of Animal Industry did bring the two black pigs inside their booth.

bt black native pig products bai


bt black native pigs bai

11)  The healthier version of cane sugar, the muscovado.

muscovado by carrd



The Less Salty Bagoong de Talong

This was her second attempt making bagoong de talong.

Her first trial was fine but was too salty and a little bitter. She cooked it for too long. The eggplant loss its juice and became barely noticeable. She leaved and did other chores. It was burnt when she came back. It resulted to a nearly dry, too salty and burnt bagoong de talong. We managed consuming it all however.

The second trial was a great improvement. A properly cooked eggplant, mild saltiness and a little kick of sweetness.

bagoong de talongHow did she remove too much saltiness?

My suggestion was placing the bagoong in a fine strainer and placing under running water. The water will take away too much salt and perhaps other flavors too.

She followed her office mate suggestion instead. Boiling the bagoong with vinegar then adding sugar after. What she did never removed the saltiness completely but it was a good sign. Maybe she can make a sweet bagoong next time.

It has vinegar added but never tasted sour. The oily stuff came from pork pieces.

This was not the first time I encountered the vinegar versus salt and vice versa. If a chili vinegar dip is too hot, salt is added salt is mixed to counteract too much chili and sourness. A friend of my was dipping the very sour guyabano on salt. I tried what he did and amazed, the sourness was almost gone. And a bit off topic – salt solution is gurgled if someone accidentally ate siling labuyo and cannot bear the very hot sensation.

The Light Brown Burong Isda – Kanin

Packed in microwave oven safe round canister. I thought it was a sweetened sampalok. You can’t blame me. The label clearly read as sweete sampalok. However, I had a feeling that it was not a sampalok. It’s color is light brown, sampalok should be brown with a shade of red.

sweet sampalok

Looking closely. It’s a rice. Seemed a spoiled rice. The light brown color, watery appearance and disagreeable odor were telling me it was indeed deteriorated. Why would my parent-in-laws from Pangasinan brought a spoiled rice.  Maybe it gotten spoiled during their seven hours long trip. I opened the package and saw some fish bones. Now I got it! It was burong isda. I put the lid back and never dared tasting it.

light brown burong isda

To make things clear for both you and me:

Fermented fish – patis (fish sauce) at bagoong (fish paste). Patis is the transparent brown liquid while bagoong is the ground solid.  Bagoong comes in liquid form too, the regular and the boneless.

Fermented fish and rice mixture – burong isda. Maybe it should be called “burong isda at kanin“.  The image showed above and also appeared in this procedure.  Perhaps the first had no angkak added – red rice mold which adds flavor and characteristic reddish color.

Fermented shrimp and rice mixture – burong hipon or balao-balao. Same as above but using shrimp instead.

Shrimp paste – bagoong alamang. The shrimp version of fish bagoong. However, it is chunky and more looks like a corned beef. It also has the liquid version of patis – not quite sure, please enlighten me!

I had the guts trying burong isda after two days. I got few rice grains. I made it sure that there were no fish bones. I was surprised. It tasted really good.

Lesson learned. Don’t judge a product by its appearance and odor.

The Story of Boneless Bagoong

It was lunch time again. The only food left in the kitchen was the old cooked rice, bahaw. There was no viand. I felt to lazy and I never wanted to cook anything.

I saw a bottle of catsup near the gas stove. But the content is not catsup. The color is brown. Perhaps it was Mang Tomas sauce. The sauce and bahaw na kanin are enough for me. I grabbed the bottle and discovered it is bagoong, JP Boneless Bagoong. I was wrong but not disappointed. I can eat rice and soy sauce and I can also eat rice with bagoong. Bagoong has a disagreeable odor but has an awesome salty taste.

jp boneless bagoong

I finished up three servings of rice with just bagoong and alamang. I get bagoong from mother’s house.

I first encountered the bagoong when I was a kid. I can’t remember who gave it. This bagoong gave me the bad impression. The taste and odor were both disagreeable. Plus I was really disappointed to fish bones. Yeah, the fish bones were really included in the package. The look was very disgusting.

I have been to Pangasinan twice. My wife’s parents live there. She always buy bagoong before going back here in Cavite. She is choosing the boneless. She was the one who insisted me to try bagoong again. I tried and liked how it taste. The taste was very different from before. She claimed that Pangasinan is the home for best bagoong.

While eating with bagoong, I remembered another story. This was told by my former teacher. They had a field visit to bagoong factory. Her experience made her not to eat bagoong for her entire life. She stated, the fish were in a large vat then workers with boots were intentionally walking on it. Yes, workers were using feet to mash the fish. It was obvious the workers sweat were falling freely to food.