THE famous bagoong (fish paste/sauce) best produced in Lingayen is growing and becoming world-class, according to Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil.
Bataoil told the Breakfast Forum at the President Hotel that the producers have also mechanized their production and are observant of sanitary standards.
He said he visited three factories of major bagoong makers and saw they have leveled up in the production by meeting high quality standards.
The town has 60 registered bagoong processors, wholesalers and retailers based on records from the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry in Dagupan City.
Most of them are either small or medium-scale businesses with about 50 to 100 workers. These are in barangays Maniboc, Pangapisan Sur and Pangapisan Norte.
This condiment is sold in malls, grocery stores while others are exported to the United States like Hawaii and California and other places with a good number of Filipino population.
He said the challenge to them is regular sourcing of their fish used in their bagoong because these come from outside provinces, as far as the Bicol region.
Visayan fishers and traders unload their fish at the Navotas market and these head right now to this capital town, the mayor said.
“There must really be a big demand,” Bataoil said.
He also announced that their Bagoong Festival next year will be held in March, instead of January. It will be a bigger celebration, he added.
The Lingayen Bagoong Festival was first launched in April 2011.
The process of making bagoong starts with mixing measured amounts of fish, shrimp and brine, blended and kept and fermented in big earthen jars for several weeks.
Bataoil said the Lingayen Lechon Bagoong that was launched two months ago is already making waves and the businessman or lechonero (the lechon “chef”) has been receiving lots of orders from either curious or satisfied clients. (PhilStar Wire Service)/ECV)
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