The Sophisticated Saltiness of Alaminos Longganisa

one heavenly piece of alaminos longganisa

one heavenly piece of alaminos longganisa

After an awesome adventure at the Hundred Islands, I and my friends stayed overnight in one of the forgettable hotels in Alaminos.  But the breakfast they served was definitely something to remember and rave about. It was the un-popular yet very tasty Alaminos Longganisa.  I am writing about Alaminos Longganisa because this is the culinary highlight of my Hundred Islands adventure.

Vigan, Lucban, Cebuano or the Kapampangan longganisa versions may be the more popular varieties of “longganisa” (native sausage) for they may easily be found in the supermarkets.  And Alaminos longganisa may probably be the least adored longganisa variety in the Philippines because a lot of Filipinos doesn’t even know that an Alaminos version exists!

But the Alaminos Longganisa is definitely the most admired type in my mother’s household.  That is why before I and my friends drove back to Manila, we stopped by the public market to purchase kilos of this delectable banger variety.

golden links for sale at the public market in alaminos

golden links for sale at the public market in alaminos

Unlike the Cebuano and Kapampangan type which are rather sweet in taste, Alaminos longganisa is similar to the Vigan and Lucban variety which is garlicky in the palate.  But what stands out for the Alaminos variety is the discriminatingly unique and refined saltiness.  Maybe this is because it has less of the curing salt (the menacing salitre) and got more of the natural sea salt which is abundantly available in Alaminos, Pangasinan.

I am highlighting the unique sophisticated saltiness of this sausage as its finest ingredient because Nengkoy believes that the best tasting coarse salt is made and can only be found in Alaminos, Pangasinan.  Nengkoy so fancy the taste of Alaminos sea salt, she would even request that her pasalubong (home coming present) simply be kilos of this salt if a friend or a relative happen to be coming from Alaminos.  Yeah, I know that’s how weird my mom is! Asin ang gusto.

Anyway, going back to the Alaminos Longganisa.  Aside from its superb taste, a distinct look about the Alaminos Longganisa is the color.  It’s yellow!  This is because it has atsuete (annatto) as part of its ingredient.  That is why unlike the salitre-filled usually red-colored native sausages, Alaminos Longganisa when cooked turns out to be golden brown in appearance.

Also, a unique form of this sausage is the usage of short and thin palm leaves’ midrib sticks to separate each sausage link from one another. To keep the meat bursting out of its sausage casing, these wood sticks are actually fried along with the meat and is served still on the plate sticking out from the ends of the sausage!

So if you happen to have been served a golden brown sausage with small sticks on it, it is most probably the glorious Alaminos longganisa!  Of course, like any other Filipino longganisa, Alaminos longganisa is best devoured with loads of steamed kanin (rice).


Quezon, Tagalog & Panggala-talk: A Linggo ng Wika Special

Today is the birthday of the guy whose face is on the twenty peso bill.  He is the same dude who is responsible why the female populace of this country can exercise their right to suffrage.  But his most popular feat and contribution in this country is his decision and declaration of making Filipino language the official and national language of the Philippines during the time when the two official languages of the country were English and Spanish.  He is Manuel L. Quezon, the father of this country’s national language.

This week, the country commemorates Linggo ng Wika (Filipino Language Week) which ends and culminates on Quezon’s birthday.  My earliest memory of me commemorating Linggo Ng Wika was during my grade school days.  I along with a bunch of classmates was summoned by our teacher to present a poem in an acrostic form during the Linggo Ng Wika program in our school.  If my memory serves me right, I was assigned to flash and state the verse that starts with letter N which was cut out from a red colored art-paper glued on a cardboard.

There are 175 dialects in the Philippines but the official Filipino language is based from the Tagalog language.  I being born and raised in the political and economic center of the country can speak, write and understand Tagalog.  In spite of this, Filipino is the school subject that caused me not to be included in the honor roll during high school because I garnered a grade of 79% during the third grading period in my 3rd year in high school. I must admit, Filipino is such a tricky thorny language.

Yet still, there is one dialect that I regret to have not learned.  It is the native tongue of my father – Panggalatok, the spoken dialect in the beautiful province of Pangasinan.    The only phrase I know in Panggalatok is “mangan tila!” which means “let’s eat!”  This is the common call I usually hear from my Panggalatok aunts and uncles every time they get to spend a day in our house in Pasay.

So today being the of peak of Linggo ng Wika, let me digress from Tagalog but instead give homage to the equally unique and exquisite Panggalatok dialect through this video which features one of the most admired classic songs in Pangasinan (which for sure my late father knows so well)…

Ang Tagalog ng “Noted By” ay “Nota Ni”