The whole Management class went to Pampanga for a culinary tour. The whole day was packed with a lot of activities and food tasting of different Pampanga delicacies.
Our first stop was Atching Lillian’s kitchen. Breakfast was served upon our arrival. They served one of Pampanga’s famous drink, Batirol, which is their chocolate drink during morning. It tastes so good. It was not very sweet or very bland. The chocolate taste was very rich, yet the flavor was just right. It is very good for a morning drink. Their homemade tocino and longganisa was very good, too. They also served different kakanin, but I personally did not like it.
After breakfast, Atching Lillian taught us how to make one of the traditional cookies of Pampanga, San Nicolas cookies. It was my first time to encounter this cookie, although my friends were telling me about it prior to the trip. It was very simple to make, but what amazed me most was those woodcarvings that were used to make the designs of the San Nicolas cookies. The designs were very intricate, and everything was passed down from one generation to another. However, Atching Lillian is afraid that this tradition might die down since only a few people are now making these cookies.
Our next destination was the Ocampo’s Turrones de Kasoy. It is also one of Pampanga’s pride. Just like Atching Lillian’s San Nicolas cookies, the Ocampo’s Turrones was also passed down from one generation to another. Afterwards, we went to a barquillos factory. Here, we saw how barquillos were made. It is very simple, but the hardwork and patience of the workers is what amazed me. They have to make each barquillos one by one. They do not have a machine to mass produce it. Chicharon factory was our next destination. Here, we saw how chicharon were made. Inside their kitchen, it was too hot and oily. During our free tasting, I learned that atchara and chicharon goes together very well. Instead of using the normal vinegar as a dip, the sourness from the atchara adds flavor to the chicharon.
For our lunch, we went to Everybody’s Café. We were served a lot of Pampanga’s native dishes. My favorite was the Morcon. It was very delicious. The filling was very tasty and very soft. The sauce, which was like a bagoong, suits the taste of the Morcon very well. It’s only lunchtime, and yet I am already full. My stomach should make space for the sisig dinner.
For our dessert, we went to Robinson’s mall to eat Kabigting’s Famous Halo-Halo. I personally did not enjoy the halo–‐halo because I did not find anything special about it, aside from the pastillas in it. The ice shavings were too thick, unlike Razon’s. I preferred Razon’s Halo-Halo over Kabigting’s.
Before we went to Angeles, Pampanga for the Sisig dinner, we passed by San Guillermo Church to visit it. The culinary tour did not just fill our stomach, but also our souls by just saying a short prayer to God.
Of course, in every trip, you cannot miss to buy pasalubongs for our loved ones. I decided not to purchase one because it will not be eaten at home since everybody is on a diet. It’s dinnertime, my most awaited part of the trip.
After riding the car for almost 20 minutes, we finally arrived at Angeles, Pampanga, where the famous Aling Lucing’s Sisig is located. We were not disappointed with the taste of the sisig. It was the best sisig that I have ever tasted. If I was not on a trip, I can finish an order of sisig, that’s how good it was.
After a long day of Pampanga Culinary Tour, we were all full. There is no more space for a single rice grain in my stomach. Aside from my stomach, I also learned a lot of new things on what Pampanga cuisine is all about. This is important for us, culinary students, since Pampanga is known as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. It would be a disgrace for us if we are not aware of our own food. I am very lucky to have this kind of opportunity, wherein we were immersed with our own culture.