Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homesick: A Food Post

You know what, no matter how fabulous the shopping here is in the US, where everything I want is just a click away, nothing beats living in Manila. Sure, Paris is just 7 hours away, and while Dear Hubby and I are planning to go there in a couple of months, I am sorely tempted to divert the flight path to the Philippines instead. Why? I blame it on Filipino food and Philippine food blogs like Market Manila!

I'm not really a foodie. Sure I love to eat, but I never really go out of my way to try new restaurants, new dishes and new cuisines. I kind of stick to the tried and tested dishes of my childhood. And these days, I'm having these cravings for familiar flavors that I can't seem to get rid off. It started innocently with manggang hilaw & bagoong. And while Mexican mangoes partially placated my taste buds, it never really hit the spot. Darn the East Coast! Why can't I live in Guam or Hawaii instead, where they import Philippine mangoes by the metric tons!

This morning I woke up craving for North's Park sweet and sour fish fillet. Now as much as Dear Hubby enjoyed eating in North Park back when we were in Manila, I never really had cravings for this dish ever. But now, wham bam! It's all I can think of!

So I called my friend and neighbor Paz, who has been homesick for Manila way before I realized I was too. And then we started thinking about the Mango Torte from Cuerva, Ineng's pork barbecue with steaming white rice and achara, indian mango with rock salt, guinataan, and biko.

Now I can't stop. I want Razon's Halo-Halo, my Lola Deling's paho salad paired with fried tambakol, served with a dip of soy sauce and calamansi! Inihaw na bangus, and oh! The seafood feast in Dampa! Gosh, Golly, Wow!

So this afternoon, I googled images of all these dishes and tortured myself with food that I can't have. When Dear Hubby asked me what I was up to, he laughed and said, we can always order something from Grill 21. But no, I have specific dishes from specific sources in mind!!! So I cruelly emailed Paz links to all these glorious photos of the goodies that I virtually sourced for us. She opens it and tells me over the phone, "I-tulog mo na lang yan!" ("Just sleep on it!")

Folks in Manila, you know you have it so good! Not even an invite to the Barneys Private Sale tomorrow, or the prospect of Ladurée macarons, cups of hot chocolate from Angelina, and rows of Isabel Marant boutiques can satiate this emptiness in my heart and stomach.

Sigh. No matter what people say, when food becomes part of the consideration, there's no place like home.

(Drooli-icious photo above from Market Manila.)


Vanessa said...

I hear you, CD, and I can totally relate! Craving for Pinoy food while abroad is next-level agony. I too have Googled images of food from home (lechon, most recently!), and I don't know why I subject myself to this cruelty. It isn't like I can just roast a pig on an outdoor spit in 6C weather!

Hang in there!

Heading to Paris soon? Oohlala! Make it next week and let's have a cuppa at Angelina! ;-)

Cosmopolicious said...

hahaha. i know how it feels. but the opposite way! i have all you crave plentiful and yet all i can think of is what i can't have =(

ms.chelle said...


Anonymous said...

mystery cravings? something on the way? teehee!

Conchita said...

remember our pig outs at hap chan in makati ave?!

whenever i go there it's always the 315 girls i remember... along with rahul too! that's why i drag my hubby there at least once a month.

The Bag Hag said...

HOOOOOOOOLY... Im craving for green mangoes now :( That's an awesome shot too!!!

The Bag Hag said...

and P.S. all the dishes you mentioned are giving me acidity problems now-- HUNGER pangs!!!

raissa said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

I am just lucky that I live in the West Coast at least Filipino food is accessible. Though not comparable to those back home..puwede na. *sigh* =)

elmie said...

i remember when i lived abroad for sometime, i couldn't stop thinking about siomai w/ toyomansi and Jollibee spaghetti!

Vanessa said...

Wait up! Was it really just your birthday? Belated birthday greetings, CD, and have a super year ahead! More fashion in your future! ;-)

celine said...

Tin!!!! The green mangoes and bagoong photo is killer! Now I want it too ... You can get bagoong at that store in Queens that I told you about. The green mangoes though, God help us.

Hmm baka naman you have a bun baking in the oven, if y'know what I mean, kaya you're craving? Hehehe ...

Marian said...

aww honey!! hope you get a fix of your missed dishes soon! is there a restuarant you can visit for a quick fix?there is definately no place like home!

cd_mfo said...

Thanks vanessa! =) Unfortunately, it's not going to be this week, but I would love to have hot chocolate with you at Angelina!

I think it's human nature to want food we can't have cosmopolicious! Hehe!

Thanks richelle! Very sweet of you to remember! =)

Kayanne, you're very perceptive! Heehee!

I'm sorry Mrs. T! But so lucky of you to be able to dash out of the house and get all these the ff. day!!!

Lucky you Cons to indulge at least once a month! Only in my dreams this days, unless I go home on a whim! Hehe!

Thanks raissa! The West Coast has better selections of Pinoy food! So jealous!

Siomai & toyomansi and Jollibee spaghetti sounds delish too! The list just gets longer and longer by the day!

Cel, it's pure torture no? My friend says there's a store in Queens that sells Phil mangoes, but not all the time! I have yet to find out which store! Good luck to us!

I hope so too! Nothing seems to be good enough than the real deal these days Marian, really, there's no place like home!

Unknown said...

hi there. i just happened on your blog a week ago by accident. anyway, it was a happy happenstance as i find your blog refreshing and super informative. i am a filipina living in the west coast. my hubby and i will be visiting the philippines (it will be his first time ever and my first in 10 years)in december for the holidays. i was wondering if you can share with me some tips on:
-- places to eat
-- places to stay in boracay or palawan
-- places to hang out in manila (nice restaurants, clubs, etc)
-- and of course, places for a girl to shop! (love, love melissa dizon's clothes but can't afford them)
ok, i know that's a long list but i'll be thankful for whatever bit of information you can share with me.
keep the blog posts coming!

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