There was a time when we must take a photo of our food before anybody even thinks of touching it. Those days are gone. These days, we rarely feature food, even in travel stories. We’re going to change all that. Let’s start with the Top 15 Favorite Comfort Food, through the VisitPinas-tagged photos in Instagram.
[The rankings may change, as we add more entries.]
15. Cakes and Pastries
A cake, according to wikipedia, is a form of sweet dessert that is typically baked. In its oldest forms, cakes were modifications of breads, but cakes now cover a wide range of preparations that can be simple or elaborate, and that share features with other desserts such as pastries, meringues, custards, and pies. Typical cake ingredients are flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil or margarine, a liquid, and leavening agents, such as baking soda or baking powder.
This is the classic sans rival (in French, meaning “without rival”) of Rise & Grind Cafe…P140/slice…located along J. Molina St., Concepcion Uno in Marikina City,” says Dong D. (for more photos, check his Instagram account, @dongtheexplorer, for more photos).
We have to admit that presentation is a big part of how food is perceived. Good food still tastes good even with bad presentation, but good food tastes much better with good presentation. It’s not entirely because it’s the era for Instagram and other social media. Presentation, like smell and texture, really has an impact on how we perceive food.
Denmark Alejandro (for more photos, check his Instagram account, @thenmarked) sums it all for us: “Taho is a popular Filipino snack food made of fresh soften and silken tofu mixed with arnibal and sago pearl. It is a sure-hit morning starter.”
13. Suman and Latik
We initially thought that’s turon, another all-time favorite of ours (we hope somebody tags is with a nice turon photo). Turns out this is suman.
“Tea + suman latik = happiness.” That’s the formula for happiness, from Travel Jams (for more photos, check her Instagram account, @traveljams, which is a travel blog by Lovette Jam; also check her website, Travel Jams). This is the suman latik version at Brews Almighty in Iligan City.
12. Daing na Bangus, Danggit and Tocino
This one is tricky. This plate contains three of our favorite food — danggit, daing na bangus, tocino — which would call for the addition of three entries in this list, but we’ll have to compress them into one entry because, well, they’re on the same plate. Don’t look at us; that photo is courtesy of Brian Abengoza (check his Instagram account, @illumilluki, for more photos), his breakfast at Solina Beach & Nature Resort in Carles, Iloilo.
11. Pizza, Pinakbet Pizza
Think of James Bond, and the precise timing when he introduces himself, “Bond, James Bond.” Now, remember that pace and say this, “Pizza, Pinakbet Pizza.” Good.
Any pizza, including the Hawaiian Pizza that seems to be an abomination to many pizza lovers, we can eat. We can be carnivores, so the all-meat pizza is no match for us. Vegetables in pizza? Bring it on. One pizza that you can find only in the Philippines, Ilocos to be exact, is the Pinakbet Pizza of Herencia Cafe in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. If you think that’s weird, listen to what Charmaine Erika Lim (check her Instagram account, @errkalim, for more photos) has to say about the Pinakbet Pizza:
“Have you been in Paoay? If not yet, you definitely shouldn’t miss these food in Herencia Restaurant. Your Ilocos experience wouldn’t be complete without trying PINAKBET PIZZA with bagoong. What?! Weird right? I too at first didn’t like what it sounded but when I got a slice and took my first bite, I became a believer! It was so damn delicious! Amazing how Pinakbet and bagoong went perfectly with that melted cheese!”
If you head north to taste the Pinakbet Pizza of Ilocos, you’ll probably encounter another comfort food which we’re more comfortable eating rarely — bagnet, our favorite food from Ilocos. Rap Rap (check his Instagram account, @lakbaydiwaph), in his bagnet photo from Hidden Garden, Ilocos Sur, describes it this way: “Craving satisfied! Bagnet! This deep-fried pork dish is one of the reasons you need to head up North.”
Bagnet is not only deep-fried. It’s double deep-fried. Yes, dear, when you cook bagnet, you must realize that the pork you purchase in almost every market in Ilocos has already been deep-fried. As we said, this is a comfort food we don’t want too much of.
By now, it should be abundantly clear that we’re carnivores. Liempo, you can get anywhere, whether cooked or fresh pork meat ready for cooking. This one is easy to prepare. Just rub or marinate with your favorite mixture — basically soy sauce, salt, vinegar/kalamansi — then throw on the grill, and you’re done.
Best of all, because liempo is easy to prepare, it’s a favorite baon when going to the beach or other outdoor destinations. This grilled liempo photo courtesy of Sahara (check her Instagram account, @thegirlfrombulacan, for more photos).
We wrote about our favorite halo-halo (see Halo-Halo Haven: Razon’s), but we’ll keep an open mind. As they say, you won’t find out until you try. Perhaps Charlyn is right, Nene’s Halo-Halo is better.
7. Ice Cream
Ice cream is a well-loved comfort food. In Bicol, there’s a flavor that is both challenging and, based on the per kilo pricing of the ingredient nowadays, may be affordable only by the rich and famous — the chili ice cream, featured here in this photo by The Pinoy Traveler (check his Instagram account, @thepinoytraveler, for more photos), a lifestyle and travel blogger.
See also: Chili Ice Cream at 1st Colonial Grill.
You know what’s better than ice cream?
Ice cream with a view. Definitely better than ice cream. Get this cold ice cream on a hot day, in the middle of old houses along Calle Crisologo, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, photo courtesy of Maris (check her Instagram account, @earthtomaris, for more photos).
We’re just getting started. Tag us with your comfort food photos in Instagram so we can add in the revisions.
[Photos reproduced with permission (thanks). Tag your Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas, facebook/VisitPinas, twitter/VisitPinas.]