Sunday, June 08, 2008
Flowers In Your Bulaklak
The annual Fiesta Filipiniana was held today in Towson under a blazing sun and merciless humidity. A taste of the worst weather Baltimore has to offer. It was excruciating.
But the best part of any cultural festival is the food. Wild, exotic and tasty. Stuff that wouldn't (or couldn't) prepare at home. Stuff that your mom will lecture you on about the "bad fats." Unhealthy? Probably. Bad for the body but so good for the soul.
One of those things is Chicharon Bulaklak, which literally means "fried crispy flower" in Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines.
It's rich, crispy, fatty and best consumed with spicy vinegar and lots of San Miguel beer (though a cold Coke will do just fine). I highly recommend trying them. However, if you're one of those people that easily become squeamish about your food, it's probably better not to tell you what it is: fried pig intestines.
Yuck, you say? Then you haven't tried it. Absolutely brilliant. I bought a round for my dad and we shared a bonding moment over crispy fried pig intestines. Classic.
Preparing bulaklak is a pretty straightforward affair. Take some intestines, clean them out really well, toss into a pan and boil in water with a little vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Boil for a long time or plop it all into a pressure cooker on high for one hour. Once the intestines are ready, cut up into bite-size pieces and deep fry in peanut oil (or for a truly authentic Philippine touch: coconut oil) at 375F until golden brown and crispy. Dip into spicy vinegar (I recommend the organic coconut vinegar) and crunch away to arterial failure. Douse thyself with cold beer. Sleep.