Andromeda’s Vortex

Dagupan Online foodie

By Atty. Farah G. Decano


I was on a seefood diet. That’s how I, in jest, described my meal regimen because I ate whatever I saw. I did not discriminate. I was just never curious of what there was to chow in the restaurants or whatever was served on the dining table.

Not anymore though. This pandemic has gradually converted my disinterest into some kind of food curiosity. Thanks to some online food hubs. I am now a constant lurker of the Dagupan City Food to Go FB page. I am impressed that there is so much novelty food items there.

The foods displayed there are actually usual but they are presented in a very creative and unusual manner. Four months ago, sushi came in raw bite sizes and maki roll was merely a spoonful wrapped individually in sea weeds. Online sellers in that page exhibited these Japanese cuisines baked in trays with the partakers having the choice of whether to consume the same in the measure of spoons or shovels.

Then there is this ube biko. I am biggie for kakanin since I was a child. My mother brought home various native cakes such as latik, sapin-sapin, maja blanca, patopat, puto, and kiniler.  I enjoyed devouring them all. But this ube biko appealed to me with a certain freshness. Who would have thought of a purple rice cake lavished with a soft golden topping similar to that of a cassava? Brilliant!  I was delighted with its yummy taste.

Speaking of childhood, I remember my mama used to buy peanut butter sandwich fillers for us. I particularly feasted on the oilier one because it was effortlessly spreadable on the pandesal. The brand that was commercially available nationwide was too dry for my young taste buds. However, the same brand sold a variation that was just so enticing that I had to ask mama to keep buying – chocolate peanut butter! This noteworthy product of the company is, however, rarely available nowadays.  What I see often in the grocery stores are chocolate spreads which, of course, is not the same as the chocolate PEANUT butter. The imported brands of chocolate sandwich filling just paled in comparison. One day, I saw, on the same FB Page, someone advertising her chocolate peanut butter with added bonuses: the maker sells DARK chocolate peanut butter with a choice of chunky or creamy. I was thrilled! I also learned that the one who prepared the spread was closely connected with a known family in Dagupan. She won’t ruin her surname with a bad product. Without hesitation, I immediately ordered two cannisters.  My verdict? Better than the chocolate peanut butter of my childhood.

As fascinating as the food in Dagupan City Food To Go are the cooks themselves. I once got interested with this picture of a lechon belly roll uploaded on the food site.  Because I knew there were no hygiene regulations strictly enforced as to online food vending, I had to check on the background of the cook. I was happy to learn that he was a former member of a cruise liner’s kitchen crew so I ordered right away. I presumed he knew the basics of sanitary food preparation and expected that his best seller would be more sumptuous than most lechon belly roll. I was not mistaken! The lechon belly roll was scrumptious. The red-orange crispy roasted pork skin that glistened to my eyes and my mom’s was so hard to resist.

Despite the availability of these food, I am contented to have maintained my weight. My cholesterol levels need some checking though. I am aware that there is a need for enforcement of strict sanitation and nutrition rules as regards food made available to the public.  In the meantime, the consumers will just have to be warned that they be very discriminating when purchasing online.

DISCLAIMER: The writer is not connected to any of the online sellers of the mentioned products or to the administrators of the FB page. She is just so happy to write about and support the newly invigorated entrepreneurial spirit of the Dagupan residents especially during these times.

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