Kitchen is the heart of every home and the way into one’s heart is through the stomach.
Two adages which still hold true and may have inspired the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office to produce a digital documentation of Capiz native food to melt everybody’s taste buds and be madly in love with the province’s native dishes and delicacies.
The 6-month documentation of the project dubbed "Sandok, Ilos: Digital Documentation of Capisnon Native Food" was recently launched that featured the initial 17 local cuisines for snacks and meals for a bite on a regular day or special occasions.
"Sandok" means scoop and "Ilos" means share.
“Through this, we can finally share the food of our very table and the safest way possible,” said Governor Esteban Evan Contreras, alluding to the pandemic restrictions.
The documented native foods include a mildly sweet “puso” made of glutinous rice cooked with nipa wine of Panay town, steamed rice cake in fresh coconut wine of Maayon town, and “baye baye” that is made of grated young coconut mixed with ground glutinous rice of the municipality of Ivisan.
The kitchen of Roxas City featured the tender and creamy meat or pork “binakol” wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a clay pot while the municipality of Pontevedra showcased its “binakol” crabs that was cooked with young coconut meat, spices and lemon grass.
The municipalities of Pilar and Cuartero shared its “tinum-anan nga pakinhason” or shellfish wrapped in banana leaves and roasted over live coals and “lauya” or chunks of meat cooked with coconut’s edible vegetative pith or “ubod,” respectively.
Coconut milk-based menus were also in the list that include the “ginat-an nga taklong” (shellfish) of President Roxas town, catfish wrapped in “abalong” leaves and mixed with other ingredients of Panitan town, “gabi with banag” shell fish of Mambusao town, “puyo” or a freshwater fish with “istiwitis” or atchuete of Dumarao town and mudfish cooked in a bamboo shoot of Sigma town.
The unique ways of preparing native chicken for the table were also showcased like the “tinubaan nga manok” (chicken cooked in fresh coconut wine) of Dao town, “tinagbakan nga manok” or chopped chicken cooked with tagbak herb, kadios beans and labog leaves of Tapaznons and “tinuom nga bisaya nga manok” where the chopped chicken and all its ingredients are wrapped in banana leaves for cooking of Jamindan town.
A simple yet nutritious “laswa nga may sinalay” or mixed vegetable cooked with smoked shrimps was showcased by Sapian town, while Dumalag town boasts of its litson nga itik or duck roasted the Dumalagnon way.
The initiative, in partnership with the Department of Tourism- Regional Office 6, serves not only as archival material of Capiznon tangible cultural heritage featuring dishes and culinary traditions but as educational and reference materials to students, educators, food enthusiasts, tourism stakeholders and tourist alike.
It is a local tourism promotion as knowing the Capisnon food is also knowing about its people and the province as a whole. (JBG/AAL/PIA Capiz)