Last December 20, 2008, I joined The Ultimate Kapampangan Show-off organized by Ivan Henares, Spanky Enriquez, Ivan Man Dy, and Anton Diaz. It was a whole day affair which started from 6 AM and ended at 12 Midnight. There was a breakfast stop at Everybody’s Cafe, church tours, the on-board contests, etc. but the 5-hour lunch deserves a separate entry.
We were warmly welcomed by the Tayags in their gorgeous home. Their property which provided a much-needed refuge from the Pampanga heat, is filled with sculptures and greeneries. The house itself is very organic since the materials used were mostly from wood salvaged from torn old torn down Churches and homes.
Mrs. Tayag provided us with a delicious thirst-quencher of Dalandan juice with muscovado sugar ice cubes. One glass is just not enough.
Served with the Dalandan juice is crackers with several toppings to choose from: crab fat, pesto, and I forgot the other one.
This was followed by lumpia with their special Oriental sauce and a salad of ferns, eggs, and other kinds of greens.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far could have been a meal in itself but those were just appetizers. Since Spanky has been raving about the 5-way lechon on Plurk, there was no way in hell I would say no to the next part of the meal.
The lechon was cooked on the day of the tour so it was very fresh.
The first way was crisp lechon skin with liver sauce.
It was good and crispy but I’ve always eaten lechon that way . Still, I emptied the plate.
The Second Way is pritchon. I’ve only tried pritchon once and it was a Filipino restaurant in Greenbelt (forgot the name so I guess their food was just okay). The tayag version is out-of-this-world! You make it yourself by getting a tortilla wrapper, dumping as much of the crispy lechon floss as much as you can, adding kimchi, basil, onions or whatever topping you want and then pouring the XO (spicy) and Oriental sauces on top of everything.
I absolutely loved the tangy taste of the pritchon and how the floss crunches while I chewed.
The third way is sinigang sa kamias na lechon. For me it was just okay. I’m not too fond of kamias.
Fourth way was barbecued lechon ribs. The marinade was simple and I was still able to detect the lechon taste. I liked this one a lot.
Fifth Way is asadong lechon. I don’t remember much about it because I was too distracted, trying to find a way to get more pritchon and barbecued rib.
We were fortunate since Margaux Salcedo was assigned to our table. She introduced us to the Sixth Way: lechon tongue and eye. I was grossed out at first but when Eloisa tried it and said it was good, I just had to try it myself. And yes, the eye was good. It’s not hard, more of rubbery like how litid is. It also has the lechon taste because of how it was smoked with the rest of the animal. Hee hee.
The five-hour lunch didn’t end there. Of course there had to be dessert. It’s a Tayag creation called Paradiso which befits its name. It’s made of sweet yam and gabi and surrounded by coconut sauce. Claude torched the top ala creme brulee.
Since this entry will serve as my answer to Kitchen Cow’s contest, this five-hour meal is the most memorable meal for me because it combined good company, showmanship, art, great culinary skills and perfect ambiance – all prerequisites for my hedonistic lifestyle. I also know that Anthony Bourdain had this meal when he went to Pampanga 😉
If anybody wants to join future Ultimate Pampanga Show-Offs, just keep on following any of the organizers’ blogs.