Pampanga is where you will, fully satisfy your urge to feast on the ears, brains, crunchy bits of the brain and the liver of the pig.
Sisig is considered the national pulutan by the Filipinos, which is translated as beer chow in English. It is a mix, usually flavoursome of portions of pork like the brains, ears, cheeks, snout, and the chicken liver. The mix is sautéed in spice and onions. It is considered very delicious and rightly so.
There is more into the sisig than the sizzling fat and pork. The following are the facts about the delicious mouthwatering dishes.
This name comes from the word sisigan whose origin is Tagalog, it means to sour or make something bitter. Sisig which was initially a snack made of sour fruits dunk in vinegar, some of them which were guava or green mangoes.
The very first entry about sisig originated in the “Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga en Romance” written by Diego Bergano, a friar from Augustine. The sourness of the salad supposedly cured nausea and was popular with pregnant women and the people that suffered from dizziness.
- A remedy for a pregnant woman
Sisig before becoming the dish it is today it was food for the pregnant. Only that in their final trimester pregnant women took a different type of sisig, it consisted of boiled pig’s tail and ears dipped in vinegar.
It was believed that pig’s bones would make the unborn stronger in the womb.
- No wasted part
According to the Angeles locals, back then in the days, they purchased pig heads from the Air Base of the US. The heads were thrown away by the people in charge of preparing the meals, this the locals found wasteful. They bought the pig heads cheaply and added other parts such as ears and jowls of the pig when making the dish.
- The Original Sisig Queen
The reinvention of the modern dish was done by Lucia Lagman Cunanan whom the credit goes to. She is also better known as, Aling Lucing. She improved the sisig by grilling and adding a large amount of onion, chilli and calamansi to the pig parts on top of boiling it. It was then that the sisig was distinguished for the crunchy and sizzling flavour.
In past interviews, she claims that it was the spouses to the pregnant wives who wanted it more, and they asked for it as well as in their drinking sessions.
- Culinary legend from Turo-turo
With the sisig rising to national fame in culinary, a lot of people began travelling to Aling’s food stall. The stall was situated in the slums next to the railroad. It included high-ranking officials, celebrities, and those not expected to dine in the small eatery.
In its popularity the sisig did two things, one being; the idea of food being found in, fancy and posh restaurants was abolished. Secondly, other Kapampangan entrepreneurs and cooks with small capital were inspired to start their eateries and feature their speciality meals.
- Make your sisig
Presently there are hundreds of variations in existence. The best part about sisig is it is difficult to mess up something tasty as sizzling pork. There has been an extension to more than pork, and other dishes can be prepared using; squid, tuna, beef, mushroom and even chicken. On top of it there is tofu sisig. It has been served in different ways like in tacos and tortilla wraps. Profoundly there has been servings of sisigi fries.
- A pig festival
In honour of its contribution to rising to fame and putting Angeles City In Pampanga on the map for food; there is an annual festival in culinary held for it. It is usually held in December, and it is referred to as the Sadsarang Qng Angeles. It celebrates the famous dish.
A lot of sisig competitions are held, and this results to free meals in these dishes. This festival is another symbol for Aling Lucing’s achievement with her food stall in a humble manner.
This famous dish’s origins also are an additional example of how the people of Filipina can turn something unwanted or useless and make it better. A silk purse may not be made out of a sow’s ear, but delicious things can be made out of a pig’s unwanted parts.