One word. Naimas!
Naimas is the Ilocano term for delicious. Ilocano food and delicacies are really good, so good that while uploading the photos for this post, my mouth started to water again while remembering the yumminess of each food we had a taste of when we were up there exploring the northern part of Luzon.
Emapanada. We had our first bite of authentic Ilocano empanada in Batac City’s Riverside Emapanadahan. The bright orange shell of empanadas and the smell of their being fried to achieve the outside crunchiness is just tempting. Wait till you reach what’s inside the shell – bean sprouts, Ilocos longganisa and egg. Special empanadas got egg. Haha. But what made it really tasty is the longganisa. The shell is quite hard to bite though, but still good. You’ll hear the cracking in your mouth while you chew.
Bagnet. Ooh, mi favorito! Bagnet is deep fried salted pork, borderline chicharon because of its crunchy, sinful goodness. Paired with tomatoes, chopped spring onions and fish sauce and I’m gonna die right now craving for some of it right this very moment. I remember having bagnet every single day that we were in Ilocos. We had it at Batac, Bangui and Vigan because we simple can’t help it!
Ilocos Longganisa. The garlic-ky flavor of Ilocos Longganisa is what makes it memorable for me. Of course I like Pampangga’s longganisa, too (because they’re sweet) but Ilocano’s longganisa is something else. It has the smoky and garlic-ky flavor that oozes in your mouth. Perfect pair of fried rice in the morning.
Seaweed Salad. I don’t know what this seaweed is called, they look like green worms. They taste like seawater, but in a good way. This and bagnet taste really good together as well. We had this at Batac’s Empanadahan, too.
Ilocos Coolers. Admit it. It’s always hot in Ilocos. Our saving grace? Snow cones and halo-halo! After taking selfies and jump shots in front of Paoay Church, we grabbed something to cool us down just accross the church. Snow cones are just grated ice topped with flavored syrup. Halo-halo is… well do I need to describe it as well? Anything goes with halo-halo and it’s always a perfect treat when it’s hot!
Pinakbet Pizza. This is something new. And only at Herencia Cafe, it’s birthplace. If you’re a vegetarian, you’re gonna love this. Pinakbet pizza has all the ingredients of Pinakbet – eggplant, okra, ampalaya, string beans, tomatoes and spring onions topped on a thin pizza crust with lotsa cheese. Yum!
Sorbetes. Ok. You can find Mamang Sorbetero almost everywhere in the country, but it’s not every day that you can enjoy your Pinoy ice cream while strolling around the charming Calle Crisologo. So, when you’re in Vigan, go, call the Sorbetero and have that dirty ice cream while enjoying a turn-of-the-century experience in the heritage area of Vigan.
Sugarcane Juice. This is simply refreshing. After we toured Baluarte under the heat of the sun and with the smell of the animals they keep inside the park and all, we simply want to grab a really cold drink. And lo and behold, they’re selling sugarcane juice. Pure sugar cane juice. They extract the sugarcane and get its juice, put a lot of ice and voila! We have a natural, refreshing drink! Ah!
And there you have it. I am no food blogger, but I just love Ilocano food. 😀