In Tagalog, laman [la’man] translates to “contents,” and loob [lo’ob] means inside–I want to feature the contents inside of an animal, or what is commonly referred to as offal. Using the “waste” parts of a butchered animal has always been part of the human diet. Growing up in the Philippines, our parents told us that offal protected us from being ill and whenever my non-Filipino friends travel back home with me, my relatives tell them that offal’s good for “many children.”
Oh well how can I miss this event but before I go on I just hope you understand my predicament of not having my own internet connection… not yet.
I have no choice at the moment but to slowly withdraw from this blogging sphere when this Lasang Pinoy is on its 9the edition came up.
Before we go on with our theme this month, let me brief you all my whereabouts. I arrived here in Antibes, France last March 28th due to the fact I was asked to show up in San Remo, Italy for an interview and trial work.
How you feel when going for an interview and it just did not feel so right?
The very same day I came back to France after hours of spending time between train stations (that time there was a daily strike here), I was called to drop by to the port and see a another boat.
my view….. thats where i “live” for the time being Port Vauban, Antibes.
Well the 2 weeks trial turned out to be a job offer. One thing I asked from the boss is an internet connection. Living and working aboard is really not so easy for some of you to comprehend.
To have a WiFi, would mean paying a land line, the boat could not easily just go to French telecom, we have to do it with the port. So at this moment the captain is finding the best option for us.
At the mean time I walk over half an hour to the internet café where some keyboards are in French and in Arabic. After days of using the keyboard the fingers are now used to the positioning of the French keyboard that when I use my laptop I mess it all up.
Is it worth my 3€ an hour, tolerating a smoking internet café for this Lasang Pinoy?
The answer is yes. It’s all worth it.
Why? Because as most of you know I find this monthly event a valuable lesson to me.
A learning process of my culture and getting to know more of the country of my birth through food.
Since I have lived in many places, not all countries sell same kind of offal one Filipino would wish be available in the market.
In UK since I was in the countryside I knew the butcher I could literally get hold of most things I wanted.
In Norway ox tail is available but hard to get fresh liver.
In Athens, the influence of the Filipinos is very strong. At the wet market you can now get head, intestines, blood but not tail.
Here in France its almost available but I just do not know the sources yet.
I grew up in a small town that my grandmother had her own pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, goats (which my mother hated so much because they ate our plants) and some pigeons. What I remember most is when one of us celebrated a birthday, she would offer a chicken or duck. This would mean we would do slaughtering and having all parts of the meat including offal, heart, liver, intestines and blood. My favourite way back then was chicken soup with the blood included.
So I do not really go squeamish when it comes to offal. Other than I grew up eating it, I have learned to clean them. Though I have not cooked much using these parts.
I wanted to cook something I have never done… dinuguan, a pork blood stew.
If I were in Athens now I would have gone to the market and ordered blood, bought the heart, liver and my meat to cook this dinuguan. I have never ever made my own.
There are two Filipina ladies in Athens both in their 70s now that make the kind of dinuguan I love. Slightly thick, rich and a bit spicy. Whenever I go back home I would ask one of them to cook this for me. Had I been home in Athens, I would have bothered one of them to teach me cook this.
boudin noir or blood sausage which you can buy per kilo.
Since am in France for the time being I had to reach out for another friend. Last year when I was in Cannes another friend showed me how she did hers. She used boudin noir (blood sausage) which she mixed her meat with.
I wanted something more traditional. When I met up my friend yesterday I had told him if we could find blood for a more authentic dinuguan but he explained to me that some blood they sell here smells.
I nearly wanted to change my plan to kare kare, ox tail with tripe cooked with peanut butter.
But as you see I really could not demand. I don’t even have my own kitchen, let alone know the shops that sell offal.
So here is what I call a bastardized or rather a frenchified dinuguan using boudin noir.
So let me explain to you how this bastardized dinuguan made here in Antibes. Apparently this is how most Filipinos here in South of France cook their own version.
Easy isn’t it ?
But I will do and cook the proper way of dinuguan when I get back to Athens.
And speaking of offal I am just lucky that the Swiss cheese believes nothing should be wasted with his motto from snout to tail he certainly eats this dinuguan.
Or perhaps when I visit the Philippines again, I would have to ask to slaughter a pig for a lechon then cook the offal, what ever laman loob I can get hold of.
As for my dinuguan, I took my share to the boat. The rest of the crew were away, so I had a leisurely lunch on my own. Dinuguan is served best with hot steaming rice perhaps with good company.