One day in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, some Ilokano writers meet yet again, on their way to a writers group meet in Ilocos Sur, stopping over to partake some gastronomic blessing.
Well, well, well, the usual and ubiquitous kappukan(fresh raw beef kilawen) is there, and those are slighty scalded gakka (small sea shellfish still abundant in Cagayan coasts), and those are live udang (river shrimps) for kilawen:
These are unusually large gakkas bought in the tiendaan of Sanchez Mira. The usual gakkas being sold or hawked are smallish for the mouth to easily break open the tiny shell and suck out the tasty morsel of a meat (note: this is distinct from tukmem/bennek/dukiang freshwater clams):
These are “native” freshwater shrimps, udang it is called, caught in rivers, the raw live flesh is so delicious, tasty and sweety:
And this is yet another beef kappukan complete with trimmings (fresh liblibro, tualtualia and dalem):
Came from a pabunar (“blow out”) recently in the town of Sanchez Mira in Cagayan, and lo and behold, some snapshots of the food preparation and cooking I came to observe. Sanchez Mira boasts of being a coconut town what with literally thousand of coconut trees around, and so it became a kind of custom to “butcher” a few coconut trees to sacrifice the prized ubog (bud, the palm’s “heart”) to be served as an special dish, either mixed in in a pot of lauya (boiled beef or pork) or as a dish by itself–boiled as a salad or sauteed and more.
Or, as a ginettaan nga ubog–the palm heart itself cooked in its own oil, literally, cooked in coconut milk (cream), as what the cooking ubog here is subjected into:
But wait, what’s that other one boiling over there?
I took a closer shot of it when it simmered and yeah, it’s the blessed pinapaitan a baka itself, cow innards boiling in its bittery juice:
So, there it is. I will detail my yet another gastronomic indulgence next blog post.