Let’s Go PALEO

The word “diet” is often associated with short-cut efforts at losing weight.

In truth, diet is plainly the collection of food and drinks that a person habitually eats.
A diet can be good or bad. One might be eating a bad diet that could result in diseases such as diabetes, stomach ulcers, or whatever. To remedy certain ailments, a diet might be prescribed to help a patient regain good health. For example a diabetic could be given a diet with minimal sugar, as it is harmful to that person’s health.

PALEO DIET has received much attention in recent years. Unlike fad diets intended to help people lose weight (often without the accompanying exercise), the paleo diet recommends a way of eating to promote good health.

Paleo is derived from “Paleolithic Age,” a pre-historic period when there were no written records of life on earth.  Humans during paleo times used tools made from stone, which is why that period is also called the Stone Age.

The Stone Age began 2.7 million years ago and ended about 20,000 years ago.  Philippine history has a Stone Age period in the Tabon Man, who is said to have lived in a cave in southern Palawan around 47,000 years ago.

Another term used for paleo eating is “caveman diet,” because humans during the paleo period lived in caves; they didn’t have constructed homes. They obtained food by hunting and gathering; their diet consisted of wild plants and wild animals.  They did not plant crops or take care of animals; those practices arose during the subsequent Neolithic Age.

The diet of hunter-gatherer paleolithic humans consisted of wild food: grass-fed animals, birds, fish and other seafood, eggs, insects, roots, nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.

Current diets cannot be truly paleo because modern agricultural practices include:
* feeding grains and additives to cattle, chickens, etc.
* raising fish and other seafood in aquaculture farms,
* commercial cultivation of crops (which use artificial
fertilizers and pesticides).

Still, we can try to go paleo by selecting grass-fed beef, organically raised chicken and other birds, wild-caught fish and other seafood, eggs from chemical-free fowls, insects, nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.  Also recommended are fermented foods (atsara!), tubers such as sweet potatoes (kamote!), coconut oil, and others.

What are some “no-nos” in a paleo diet?  Avoid legumes and grains (yes, that includes rice), dairy products, refined sugar and salt, and processed oils — all products of large-scale agriculture, which developed during the Neolithic Age.



The Order of a Meal

I can’t recall how I wound up in the website of the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

That’s what web-surfing does to us: you click on one subject, and pretty soon you’re led on a train of related subjects.  This can be a great advantage because one’s interest is sustained by the availability of related materials on a subject.  On the other hand, one can get “lost” in the worldwideweb (www, remember?) and forget the original specific topic of one’s surfing activity on the internet.

Anyways… A feature story posted during the first week of 2017 — in time for New Year resolutions — presented some eyebrow-raising ideas on how to eat a proper meal.  Tapping the expertise of nutritional oncologist Dr. Romulo de Villa, the article contradicts some of our long-held notions about eating.

The most controversial meal suggestion by the doctor is for people to eat fruits first, vegetables second, and proteins and carbohydrates last. The reasoning is that the fiber in fruits and vegetables facilitate digestion and help to make the diner feel full more quickly.  This is like the wisecrack, “Life is short; eat dessert first.”

The doctor is further quoted, thus, “What you eat first, you eat more; what you eat last, you eat less.” He added that a healthy plate consists of the following:
* two parts fruit,
* three parts vegetables,
* two parts protein, and
* one part carbohydrates.

Therefore, if rice is your carbohydrate for a certain meal, it shouldn’t be the highest volume on your plate.  On the contrary, it should be the smallest portion; “equal to the amount that would fill you close-cupped hand,” said the doctor.  It should never be as big as the size of your fist, he added.

A second controversial idea presented by Dr. de Villa concerns the timing of meals.  He recommends that meals be five hours apart.  Eat more often than that, you will tend to overeat.  Let more than five hours pass between meals, you will tend to go hungry.

Well, what do you think?

Our culture features rice as the bulk of all major meals, including most peoples’ breakfasts.  On top of that, many of our desserts are also fashioned from rice, whether whole grains or pulverized; just call to mind our many types of puto.

Our typical days are marked by breakfast, merienda, lunch, merienda, and dinner.  When we are up late, there might even be a late night merienda.

I see the wisdom in the good doctor’s suggestions.  In fact, there is irony in the fact that our tropical country is blessed with so much fruit, yet people tend to consume more cooked food than fresh produce.  The Thai and Vietnamese are ahead of us in including fresh produce — including sprigs of herbs — in the typical meal service.


To read the full article “New Year, New Eating Habits” click below:http://www.philrice.gov.ph/new-year-new-eating-habits/


ROTI JALA … Jalajala, Rizal

Note:  In AtoZFoodnames, I am on a quest for the origins of food names, specifically Philippine food names.  Knowing that our beautiful islands were settled by waves of migrations from Indonesia and Malaysia during pre-Spanish times, I have been comparing food terms from those two countries with words in Philippine cuisine.  Sometimes I find surprising similarities, as in the English eggplant (terung in Indonesian, talong in Pilipino; frying pan (kwali–>kawali), and goat (kanding–>kambing).

In today’s blogpost, I digress a little bit from the above pattern of inquiry.  I couldn’t resist the AHA! moment that came with linking the name of a Malaysian pancake with the name of a fishing town in Rizal province.

While surveying a list of Southeast Asian food, I came upon an interesting snack called roti jala.  That’s Malaysian for “net bread.”  These lacy pancakes are popular during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.  After sunset, vendors set up temporary stalls from where they sell roti jala and various curry dishes: favorite food pairings to help the faithful break their fast.

The pictures below show how they’re made and how they’re served.  The roti jala serves as “spoon” and accompaniment to the saucy curry.


Pan Gravy Kadai Curry: Stuffed Lacey Crepes

Roti Jala (Net Pancake)

Let’s move now to Philippine geography.  South of Manila, in the province of Rizal, is a municipality named Jalajala.  It sits at the end of a small peninsula that juts into Laguna de Bay.  Driving around the area years ago, I remember seeing a directional sign on the highway; it showed an image of a fishing net with the inscription “Jalajala—>.”

Image result for map rizal province


Information on the municipality presents two theories on the origin of the name Jalajala One says that Jalajala was derived from the plentiful halaan (clams) on its shores.  The second theory says that the name Jalajala was derived from the swine breed Berkjala, which was native to the area.

Image result for coat of arms jalajala rizal

Jalajala’s coat-of-arms shows a pig on the lower portion of the flag.

Would you listen to my own third theory on the origin of the name Jalajala?  First, you need to re-examine the map shown above.  Notice the name of the northernmost town in the province of Rizal?  Yes, that’s Cainta.

Cainta has a large population of Indian settlers.  In 1762, soldiers called sepoys were brought to the area by the East India Company.  The British were anticipating war with the Spaniards in the Philippines (because in Europe at the time, the Anglo-Spanish War was being waged). When the British decided to withdraw their troops, the sepoys mutinied and decided to stay.  They married local women and started an Indian community in Cainta.

This is why the cuisine of Cainta is different from those of surrounding towns; the distinctive Indian influence is noticeable in their dishes.  They make curry dishes and Indian breads (generic name roti).  The roti jala in their language, as we learned at the beginning of this post, translates into “net bread.”

I am betting that the sepoys gave the word jala (“net”) to the name of the town down the road, the town surrounded on three sides by water, the town where fishing is the logical means of livelihood, the town where there are fishnets a-plenty, the town that was named Jalajala.

Calling All Adventurous Eaters!

Read a random article on Philippine street food, and you will come across some really interesting snacks:  adidas, kwek-kwek, betamax, chicken helmets, and many more.

Squeamish folks — iyong mga delikado kuno — will turn their heads and walk away, but many people find these foods acceptable, if not downright delicious.

In my opinion, it’s just a matter of getting used to the street offerings.  Just think: aren’t shrimps and crabs downright ugly creatures?  Look at those legs!  And what about the aligi that we crave so much?  Someone unfamiliar with these creatures will say that sucking all that yellow goo from the heads of shrimps and crabs is absolutely yucky!  Yet we do it, with gusto.

That being said, it would be really beneficial to the economy and to the nutrition of the general populace if we were to adopt what is common practice in Bangkok : entomophagy.  It’s the human practice of eating insects.

Blogger Fecielo reports that in Thailand, insects are regular features of the diet;  snacks of grasshoppers, silk worms, beetles, and water bugs are as common as French fries and roasted peanuts.


fried bug

Insects similar to the ones above are eaten in certain parts of the Philippines:
—  Fried salagubang:  Ganyan sa Nueva Ecija, sarap niyan!”
—  Salagubang larvae:  ‘Masarap iyan, abal-abal ang tawag sa Nueva Viscaya.”
—  Tamilok, a tree worm that tastes like oyster: “Favorite iyan sa Palawan!”
—  Kamaru (mole crickets):  Kamaru-eating contests, popular sa Pampanga!
—  Uok (beetle larvae) adobo: “Gustuhin iyan sa amin sa Rizal.”

Agreed, there’s a following for certain insects in certain parts of the country.  One way to spread consumption is to introduce them as snacks in other areas.  Sell them in small quantities at affordable prices, just so people will be encouraged to try them.

For a few pesos, an adventurous eater can buy a trial-size packet, then maybe “graduate” to a snack-size bag once the initial squeamishness is overcome.  Who knows, that same buyer might swing by one afternoon to buy a meal-size bag so that folks back home can share the delights of munching on the tasty morsels.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), bugs present a possible solution to the world’s growing food problem.  Many insects provide as much protein – weight for weight – as beef and fish; hence, they are good alternatives to eating meat.

It seems like a win-win for all concerned:

— Farmers will have a source of income from gathering insects which are harmful for their crops.

What insects are eaten depends on the time of year.  For example, June beetles will attack rice and sugar cane crops, and when this happens, farmers will capture them at night and later cook and eat them… Locusts, grasshoppers, and crickets are also caught and eaten when they attack crops.

If markets are created in metro areas, the farmers can catch the critters in greater quantities, for sale to processors and vendors.

— Small-time business people will have a source of livelihood.

From the farmer-insect gatherer to wholesalers, to the vendor who hawks the insect delicacies, there is a line of business people who stand to generate income.  In Thailand, insect-growing has become a “small livestock industry.”   In Bangkok, enterprising vendors attach two bins to the back of motorbikes and cruise the city for possible buyers.

— Consumers will have another source of protein food at affordable prices.

The Philippines has one of the wealthiest arthropod collections on the planet.  Numerous insects have double the protein content of many meat sources.


Some readers might think that I mis-spelled the title of today’s post, and say that I probably had azucena in mind… You know the frangrant tuberose flower which is generally used to make funeral wreaths in the Philippines.  Said plant is native to Mexico and was probably brought over by the galleons that plied the Manila-Acapulco route from the 1500s to the 1800s.

Tuberose flower.jpg
Azucena, polianthes tuberosa


I really do mean to write ASOCENA.  It is a compound word: aso (Pilipino for “dog”) and cena (Spanish for “dinner” or “evening meal”).  Together, the two words stands for any dish prepared with dog meat.




A Cable News Network (CNN) correspondent in Asia reported last week that Taiwan has banned the consumption of dog and cat meat on the island.  This is said to be a step up from a previous regulation prohibiting the slaughter and sale of dog and cat meat.  The amendment specifically forbids people from eating the meat of said animals.  Fines for non-compliance amount in the thousands of dollars.



In the Philippines, Republic Act 8485 (The Animal Welfare Act) was enacted as far back as 1998.  It then became illegal to slaughter dogs and cats for personal of commercial trade and consumption, except when done as part of indigenous religious rituals.  Enforcement of the law has been sporadic; local and foreign animal rights groups have many times publicized the sorry lack of observance of RA 8485 in many parts of the country.

Following the lead of Taiwan (as shown in the above newsflash), might the Philippines begin yet again to enforce the law?   After all, the country is somewhat expert at copying foreign practices.


The consumption of dog meat happens in the Philippines for a number of reasons:

  • Regional practice.  In the Cordillera Mountain area of northern Luzon,  eating dog meat can be as common as eating pork.  It started started with ritual slaughters in Ifugao and Benguet:  tribes used to sacrifice dogs before battle, hoping that warriors would become as fierce as dogs.

    Over time, the practice continued despite the fading of the rituals.  In the cold-weathered uplands, people believed that dog meat imparted a warm feeling in their bodies.A number of adjacent lowland provinces, such as Pangasinan and Pampanga,  have began to adopt dog meat consumption.

    “They cook it adobo-style, sauteed with garlic, onion, and laurel leaf, seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar.  This is the favorite appetizer during drinking sprees,” wrote one blogger.

  •  Peoples’ desire to sample exotic fare.  Adventurous tourists, local and foreign, will sometimes try dishes from unusual meats.  Ever heard of  The Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya?  It boasts of serving ostrich, crocodile, and camel meat dishes among the more common meat offerings.

    In the same spirit, an out-of-the-way eatery might feature limited servings of dog meat for the “shock value” of offering taboo meats.

    File:Dog meat hotpot.JPG
    (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File: dog_meat)


  •  Lack of protein sources.  Unscrupulous people round up stray dogs for slaughter and sale to any takers.  This is not a common occurrence, but it happens.  For the most part, dogs (and cats) are not widely considered as food animals in the Philippines.

    Still, John M.  wrote in 2010:  “… dog meat is a source of protein.  Not as much as other meats, but it’s there… Dressed dog meat sells for around 65 pesos per kg.  at the palengke in Cagayan.  If you are poor, compare to the price of other meats, and it becomes a cheap source of protein.

    Where does our word ASO come from?  Instead of looking at word translations in many dictionaries, I consulted a website on dog care,  The Dog Breeding Information Center.   I found the word for “dog” in more languages than I ever imagined.  The list gave me a glimpse of relationships between languages.

    Our word aso is expressed in other tongues as:

  • Asu (in Tetum, which is spoken in Timor; in Tola Batak, spoken in northern Sumatra; and in Javanese, spoken in Java)

    Marco Samson of San Francisco State University wrote in a 2010 research paper that Indonesians were the first to introduce dogs into the Philippies.  It goes without saying that their word for the animal would carry into the local language.

  • Cho (Vietnamese).  This is intriguing.  There is very little similarity between the Philippines and Vietnamese languages, but it is interesting to listen to aso and cho.
  • Achu (in Kuna, spoken in Panama and Colombia)South America is across the Pacific Ocean from the Philippines, so this presents yet another curiosity.  Aso, achu… two similar sounding words from regions separated by a wide expanse of water.


How do you say “dog” in your dialect or language?

Rumah Makan, Etc.

When you first saw the title of this blog post, were you able to figure out the topic to be discussed?

RUMAH MAKAN is Indonesian for restaurant; strictly translated, rumah means “house”
and makan means “food,”  therefore, “house of food.”

I was so excited to read — and understand — signs of  various establishments when I visited Yogyakarta in Java and Ubud in Bali many years ago.  Sekolah is “school,” buka means “open,” rumah sakit is “hospital,”  etc.  The discovery of similarities in Philippine and Indonesian speech made me realize how intertwined our cultures are.  We have similarities in physical features, vocabulary words, cuisines, and other aspects of culture.

When I looked up for this article the Malaysian word for restaurant, this is the answer I got: restoran.  In Tagalog, it was restawran.


So, where did the word restaurant come from?  This eating establishment, as we know it today, originated in Paris, France in the 18th century.

The French Revolution of 1779 to 1789 triggered the decline of absolute monarchies and replaced them with republics and liberal democracies.  Feudalism was abolished:  nobles and the clergy lost their powers.   Aristocratic society was dismantled, throwing in disarray the system of privileges and dependencies.

Chefs de cuisine (literal translation: heads of the kitchen), who used to run big kitchens in palaces, lost their jobs.  One of these expert cooks opened an eating establishment where he served bouillons restaurants (meat-based soups  intended to restore a person’s strength).

Bouillon, in French cookery,  is a soup prepared from broth.   The noun is derived from the verb bouillir, meaning “to boil.”  What is boiled?   Diced vegetables, herbs, and the bones of beef, poultry, shrimps, and vegetables, alone or in combination.

(Nowadays, we can make short-cut bouillon soup by putting into boiling water a small cube of concentrated seasonings that impart the taste of chicken, beef, or vegetables — the wonder of the modern food technology!  Just add some vegetables and pieces of meat.  Voila, you have soup!)

The first restaurant had several tables and a menu, or a list of dishes.  The tables were covered with cloth, and food was served in nice bowls with accompanying tableware, signifying the common person’s new-found ability to dine  as only the rich and powerful used to do.


To be continued.
The restaurant has a looong, interesting history.

Two Norwegian Words: HLID and KNIFR

Do you solve crossword puzzles?  To me it is a welcome 15-minute jogging-for-the-mind in the morning.  It’s both challenging and educational; I’ve learned many words while doing this form of mental exercise.  As you fill in the horizontal squares, for example, some words you might not know start forming on the vertical spaces.

The word LID captured my attention today.  Its clue called for a three-letter word for “can cover.”  After writing niece for  “female relative”  in a nearby horizontal area, I easily came up with lid as the answer for “can cover.”

Lid also means “a removable or hinged cover for closing the top opening of a pot, jar, trunk, or other container.”  The word came into use around the year 1000 A.D.  It’s traceable to the Old English hlid, which has the same origin as the Dutch and German lid, and Old Norse hlith, meaning “gateway.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Old Norse was a language spoken around the 9th to the 13th centuries by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements.  The areas covered are modern Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.


In Pilipino, our word TAKIP means more than lid; it has a wider application, as in cover. A survey of Austronesian languages, to which Pilipino is related, reveals no obvious connection; note tutup in Indonesian and Javanese, and tudung in Malay.   The Maori word taupoki seems closer to our takip… but that’s for a linguistics expert to settle.

KNIFE is another culinary term of Norwegian origin.  The online etymology dictionary defines the noun knife as a “handheld instrument consisting of a short blade and handle.”  The same source says that the word is from the Old English cnif, which is probably from the Old Norse knifr.  I find it interesting that the modern word seems to be closer to the older source.

Our word KUTSILYO is derived from the Spanish cuchillo;  this is a footprint of the colonization of our country.

Question:  why do we use the Pilipin-ized version of the Spanish term, when our Malay and Indonesian brothers (with whom we share a longer history) refer to knife as pisau?

Blogger Jessie Grace U. Robrico writes in http://www.languagelinks.org/onlinepapers/fil_cwrd.html 
that Pigafetta, who travelled with Magellan to Limasawa and Cebu, made a list of local terms for various objects.  Among the words in his list are two Old Cebuano words for knife:   capol and sundan .

In another site  (http://immortalundead.blogspot.com), a Cebuano blogger notes that Pigafetta described a bladed weapon — now called a kampilan — which LapuLapu was said to have carried.

The photo below shows a kampilan and a shorter weapon called a kalis.


Some Common Terms That Came with the Galleons: TIANGGE, PITAKA, TOCAYO

The Galleon Trade, which saw large three-masted sailing ships travel back and forth between Manila, Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico, lasted from 1565 to 1815.  A total of 110 galleons set sail during those 250 years of unprecedented prosperity.  The enterprise is said to be the first instance of global trade:  goods from China, India, and Southeast Asian realms (and other countries they traded with) were trans-shipped from the Philippines to Mexico, for further trans-shipment to Europe where consumers were hungry for imported goods.


On October 13, 2010, the province of Cebu in the Philippines welcomed the galleon “Andalucia.”
Over five days, more than 10,000 visitors toured the replica of the 17th-century Spanish galleon,
which traversed the Manila-Acapulco route a number of centuries ago.
The galleon served as the main attraction of the first-ever Dia del Galeon Festival. The festival’s aim was  to focus attention on the Galleon Trade’s impact in the transmission of culture across the globe

The replica galleon sailed from Spain to Malta, then Israel, followed by Egypt and Oman,
and then through the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, then Singapore, and the Philippines.

It later proceeded to Shanghai, China.  The ship was built by the Nao Victoria Foundation,
a non-profit entity which specializes in promoting historical events.

The ships carried spices as well as silk, porcelain, ivory, lacquerware, and many more.  Such items were much in demand in European markets; the sales provided a lucrative business for Spaniards in the Philippines, in Mexico, as well as in Europe.
While buyers in Europe longed for Asian products, the Chinese were self-sufficient and wanted only the metal silver.  Spaniards in Mexico obtained from these from local mines.  
The back-and-forth sailings provided not only trade but also cultural exchange between Mexico and the Philippines.  Along the way, vocabulary words were adopted on both sides of the Pacific.  It’s interesting to note that some of words actually originated from the Aztec language called Nahuatl.

Our word TIANGGE is from the Mexican Spanish tianguis; root word is the Nahuatl tianquiztli, meaning market.

We have another Philippine word for market, PALENGKE.  An internet search for this term yielded the following information:  Palenque is the site of an ancient Mayan city in south Mexico, famous for its architectural ruins.

Palenque Collage.jpg
To me, Palenque as a place-name is quite specific, whereas the Philippine word palengke is a more general term.  Not satisfied with the above information,
I looked further.  
http://www.spanishcentral.com/translate/palenque  said, “palenque is the English translation for stockade, palisade, arena, ring.”  Hmmmm.

Further down, I came across this comment from Maggie ‘Strandiskov’ Kuusisto, who works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:  “We lived in Merida and I remember it referring to some sort of fair or gathering to sell items.”  Bingo!
Vocabulary word #2 for today is PITAKA.  That’s where you stash your money, right?  We derive it from the Spanish petacathe root of which is petlacalli, Nahuatl for suitcase.   I’ll buy that!
Our last word study today is TUKAYO… you know, someone who also goes by your name.  The Spanish tocayo goes back to the Nahuatl toca-yo-tl, meaning namesake.   Pretty straightforward, don’t you think?
I am intrigued by the  tl  endings in many Nahuatl words.  Maybe someday I’ll go deeper into the linguistics aspect of study and share with you what I find out.  Meanwhile, I’ll keep adding to our storehouse of Philippine words that came from the Mexican shores across the Pacific.   


“Huwag kang makulit!” ika ng ina sa anak na sunod-sunod ang tanong.  Sa katunayan, maigi sa bata ang maging curious, dahil sa ganyang paraan sila natututo tungkol sa maraming bagay.  Imbes na bawalin, dapat ay i-encourage na palaging magtanong ang bata; sagutin ang paulit-ulit na tanong nila.  Balang araw ay mag-isa na silang magre-research ng mga sagot sa mga bagay na gusto nilang malaman.  Ang importante ay huwag bayaang mawala ang kagustuhan nilang matuto.
Ang kakulitan ay mapapansin din sa mga pangalan ng ilang pagkaing Pilipino.  Tingnan natin ang susunod na diskusyon.  Sana ay may expert o estudyante ng linguistics na magbibigay-linaw sa ganitong paraan ng pagbibigay ngalan.
Halo-halo:  Wow, perennial favorite iyan ng karamihan!  Matamis, maraming sangkap na prutas, malamig, malutong ang yelo, at ma-krema ang lasa dahil sa sa gatas at leche flan.  Ang deretsong translation nito sa Ingles ay “mix-mix.”  Talaga namang hahaluin mo ang lahat ng laman bago kainin ang masarap na meryenda!

  Ang tira-tira sa mga tindahan ngayon ay matigas na kending asukal.  Maaring makakita ng tunay na tira-tira sa mga probinsiyang nagtatanim ng tubo (sugar cane).  Kapag ang katas ng tubo ay pinakuluan hanggang lumapot, ang resulta ay inuyat. Ang isang dakot ng malamig na inuyat, kapag hinila nang madalas sa magkabilang direksiyon, ay magiging makunat na kendi. Iyan ang tira-tira, at ang pangalan ay hango sa  Kastilang “tirar” (hila).


Bilo-bilo:  Ang kumpletong pangalan ng pagkaing ito ay guinataang bilo-bilo.  Mga mala-holen na piraso ng giniling na malagkit, inuluto sa gata ng niyog na sinamahan ng asukal at iba’t-ibang prutas, tulad ng saging na saba, kamote, langka, atbp.  Maaring tinawag na bilo-bilo dahil iyong binilog na malagkit ang pangunahing sangkap.  Pwedeng itong kainin nang mainit sa meryenda, o malamig sa almusal.

Kare-kare:  Dalawang theory ang alam ko tungkol sa pinagmulan nito.  Una, dala raw ng mga Indonesian na dumaong sa pasigan ng Pampanga River ang lutong “kari.”   Ang iba’t-ibang hiwa ng karne at gulay ay iniluluto sa gata ng niyog at mga spices na kung tawagin ngayon ay curry powder.  Ang ikalawang theory ay lutuin daw ito ng mga Sepoy (Bumbay) na lumipat sa Cainta, Rizal.  “Kari” din ang tawag nila, at hindi gaanong kakaiba sa luto ng mga Indonesian.
Ang malaking kakaibhan ay ito:   iyong kare-kare natin ay walang gata ng niyog o curry powder; pinalapot ito ng peanut butter, at kinulayan ng atswete.  Isa pa, ang bawat subo ng kanin at ulam ay sinasamahan natin ng kapiranggot na bagoong, para sa malinamnam na pinagsamang tamis-alat.

 Yep, pitong sangkap ang kasama sa produktong ito:  mga dahon ng alagaw, banaba, bayabas, pandan, manga, at mga buto ng anis at kulantro.  Pwedeng ilaga at inumin bilang tsa-a, o itapal kung saan masakit ang nilutong pito-pito.  Kasama sa mga gamit nito ay pang-alis ng sakit ng ulo, pagpapababa ng lagnat, gamot sa sipon, ubo, sakit ng tiyan, atbp.

Baskin Robbins, the ice cream of many flavors

One of the Christmas presents I received the other day is a gift card for Baskin Robbins ice cream.  I think that people give gift cards to avoid the hassle of shopping.  This is fine by me, especially if the merchandiser is one that I would patronize  anyway… as in ice cream, and especially BR.

The company, as the name indicates, was founded by Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins.
Burt Baskin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; he was stationed in the New Hebrides in the South Pacific.  The esteemed British explorer, Capt. James Cook, is said to have named the island chain New Hebrides, after the Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of Scotland
The New Hebrides island chain is situated northeast of Australia.  
The New Hebrides became the independent Republic of Vanuatu in 1980,
after many years of joint rule by France and Britain.
Lt. Baskin  worked in the PX in Vanuatu.  PX is short for Post Exchange; it is a retail store that sells consumer goods to active duty, reserve, and retired armed forces personnel, as well as their dependents.   One of his duties was to find new products to include in the provisions for sale in the PX.  Having acquired an ice cream freezer from an aircraft carrier, the enterprising Baskin experimented with creating ice cream flavored with exotic fruits from the islands.  His tasty inventions were received favorably by the troops.
Returning to the United States after the war, Baskin was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Irvine Robbins, to open an ice cream parlor in California.  Robbins, the son of a dairyman, owned three successful Snowbird ice cream parlors in the Glendale area; his ever-growing clientele enjoyed 21 flavors during a time when most creameries produced only chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.  Baskin opened his Burton ice cream parlor in nearby Pasadena.  Soon, both establishments were adding more branches and flavors.
When Snowbird and Burton Ice Cream parlors grew to a total of eight branches, the brothers-in-law decided to merge and sell parlor locations to their store managers.  This way, they could concentrate on making good ice cream and promoting the product.  Unknowingly, they had pioneered franchising in food service.  Within a year of starting this system, Baskin-Robbins had sold 43 franchises in Southern California.  Needless to say, this brand is now known the world over.

How did the men decide whose moniker comes first in the company name?  Well, by the toss of a coin!


Why do BR ice cream parlors carry 31 flavors?  Well, so you can come in every day of the month and enjoy a different flavor each time!
Now, let me ask:  what is your favorite flavor of Baskin Robbins ice cream?
I’m afraid I don’t have just one favorite; there’s pralines ‘n’ cream, jamoca, rocky road, rum raisin, strawberry cheesecake, nutty coconut, and many more, hahaha!