Are you not afraid to try local food from places you´ve visited?
It´s been such a long time and I haven´t eaten a decent typical “filipino food” for a while. Especially the homecooked ones and some traditional specialties. Yes I have tried some while living in Kuwait and some I´ve got here in the Asian stores in Germany but then, the taste of home is really missing.
Anyway, here I wanna share some of the exotic street foods you can find if happened that you visit Philippines. I was talking to my daughter and asking her if she wanna try eating “Balut”, crazy as it sounds but it´s only a boiled egg , where you will actually eat a cooked chicken embryo… with some feathers.Some enjoyed it being dipped it in vinegar with chillies or paired with a glass of beer . They say it´s nutritious, after all, it´s egg.If you´ve eaten or tried balut, then you have tasted Filipino culture. You are brave enough!
Balut is found throughout all of the Philippines and usually stored in small styrofoam boxes. Prices range from Php15 ($0.30) to Php25 ($0.50) depending on size and incubation time. My fond memories of Balut is that during late afternoons, just after dusk , the Balut vendor circles our neighborhood and shouts “Baluuuttttt! followed by “Penoy” , a normal hard boiled egg.I kinda remembered that it is sold by the vendor carrying it in a wooden basket and sold covered with newspaper, totally Filipino style.
My daughter answered and began shouting ” Neeeiiiiiinnnnn!
I got a definite answer. When something is unfamiliar, she won´t let it enter her mouth. If I put too much herbs on the meat and pasta, she would tell me.. “Mama, I want my meat and pasta to be clean, please not dirty“…so herbs are dirty now…” Lol!
So that reminds me of the “Kwek -Kwek” Fish balls, Kikiam and Fried Calamari. Kwek-Kwek are quail eggs or normal eggs dipped in a golden yellow Batter and deep fried, while Fish balls,Kikiam and Calamaris are frozen processed seafoods that are fried.Their smell in the street is so fragrant and I can almost tell when a nearby Food stall is within reach. I remember in my college days where we often stopped by to the Fish ball stand and indulge for a few pesos before heading to class!
While most of the street food in Philippines is based on meat and chicken, which are quite very basic there are also more vegetarian type, like the Vegetable Lumpia and my favourite Turon and Banana-Q! Just like the roasted chicken which is almost the same as the grilled chicken dishes served in Beer gardens, Volksfests and BBQ Parties, in Philippines, we have another version.
How about grilling the inner parts like the intestines and liver parts of chicken and pig, roasted in an open charcoal grill until charred. It is best enjoyed dipped in a sweet and sour sauce, vinegar with chillies or without! A local drink we called “palamig” or fruit punch with gelatin or “Sago” is the perfect combo for this simple meal.The huge colorful containers filled with yummy drinks with different flavours will surely quench your thirst. Be aware though that what is unique about palamig is that it´s served in a plastic with a straw, and not in a normal plastic cup. Again, Filipino way.
We have crazy names for street foods, the crazier, the better. And all of them are really authentic, just like another famous Pinoy Street food called “Adidas” ( grilled chicken feet) !?Nothing is waste, even the chicken feets are used.
Some might raise their eyebrows and says “What is that??” or even shrieks at the sight or smell of it, but hey, it´s what makes this place unique, and so does its taste! My daughter rolled her eyes when I show her a photo of our infamous “Betamax” …BBq-ued blood!
Or what about eating some spicy, crunchy, and edgy “Betamax“? It´s called Betamax because it resembled like the old style of Betamax tape.Altough it´s made up of blood, it doesn´t taste blood at all. Again, perfect to eat it while dipping in a spicy sweet vinegar sauce.
Weeks ago, I have watched some Foodie series in Netflix like Street Food, Salt,fat, Acid , Heat, and I actually loved it. I got so fascinated by different food cultures and I began to rekindled what have I ´ve been eating for the last 10 years of my life??
Living in Germany have taught me how to eat using knives and forks, seldom spoon. I grew up eating and using only spoon and fork. We are not so particular with using knives. With us, everything can be sliced with forks and yes, use your teeth. In a “Boodle Food Fight” like the photo above, we used our hands, clean hands of course.
As I observed here in Germany where most fishes are already cleaned, scaled and washed, you cannot even see other parts, only the meat or flesh of the fish matters. Most of the time, or young children only knows Lachs, (salmon) or Fischstäbchen ( fish sticks). Very clean and appetizing.
I could imagine the Horror in my husband´s face when I ask him to eat a “Tilapia” fish, roasted and fried, with tails and head. He doesn´t even know where to began. In a Boodle Food Fight, the whole table is full of different food ,set up in big banana leaves, with different side dishes like fishes, seafoods, fruits, and meat. Of course, a pile of rice should be plenty.The more, the merrier.
Would you even dare to eat with a Boodle Fight?
Or what about the Lechon, the infamous Roasted Pig, the king of every occasion ?
In every occasion, when a big Lechon is on the Table, it would be awesome. Sometimes I think its the national dish of the Philippines while here in Germany it´s their Sausages (Würst). It´s actually the star of every occasion. The word Lechon came from Spanish and actually means a “suckling pig”. There are also other dish variants such as “lechon kawali.
When a baby turns 1, roasted pig, or a smaller part Pork Belly or Pig´s head should be present on the table.In rural provinces, rearing a pig early and preparing to butcher it for a child´s birthday is very common.I don´t know exactly how this tradition originated but I grew up seeing this in every family gathering. It´s part of Filipino culture. On the downside, when you don´t have Lechon, it seemed like your Budget cannot afford it, or you just don´t want to splurge, or simply, avoid “Fatty” foods.
But when there´s Lechon, the fun begins. It´s dressed up with an apple stucked in his mouth, and it doesn´t stay that long in the table because it will be devoured easily.
If you´re more into seafood, in Philippines there are plenty of clams and oysters. I am not so much of a fan of them but theres the black version I have tried when we are still living in the province of Albay, we called it “Tabagwang“. it is cooked with coconut milk and it´s quite tasty.
I grew up in a culture where food really is a great part of our everyday lives. Imagine, eating 3 meals a day, and most of them with a cup of rice. Merienda, or “snack” is composed of other foods made up of glutinous rice, our local versions of noodles like Pancit and Bihon, and some bread.
Eating out in restaurants, there´s a traditional preference for Filipinos. A lot of well done cooked meat, either beef or pork, rich with vegetables and delicious soup, all in one pot. It´s called “Bulalo“.
Bulalo is a very rich and warm dish and oftenly enjoyed during family gatherings. I remember eating it on weekends and with plenty of rice and fish sauce on the side. It has fresh greens like beans, cabbage, corn and lots of onion. The beef is so tender and the meat is actually falling out from the bones. It is super tasty. Even with teh soup itself, it´s already a complete meal.
So, which of the food above would you love to try? or you bet you won´t dare to try?
What have yo´ve been eating for the last 5 years of your life?
Until then, stay safe and wishing you a happy week!
So here´s another post for “What I have seen..” This time I´ll take you to Regensburg.
Regensburg is such a fascinating city here in Bavaria. I find it quite nice and totally enjoyable for a family day outing.I have a kid so when we visit a new city, we always consider things for kids and something for her to enjoy as well, and Regesnburg has it all.My Blog is mostly about my wandering here in Germany with my little family and how I see this place as an expat.
We visited Regensburg on a fine summer day and we had fun. We decided to take it slow and enjoy exploring the city without a rush. We had a weekend stay in the hotel because we wanted to take a boat ride the morning after to Walhalla.
We took the early train and arrived at Regensburg in time. Deutsch Bahn has constant train connections to Regensburg and the train ride was super smooth, this was pre-Corona so we don´t have any worries about the virus and naturally we don´t need to wear masks all through out the day especially on a hot summer day.
We began strolling the old city, with its beautiful harbor lined up with quaint colorful houses. The view reminds me so much of Innsbruck. On the same location, we had a great view of the famous Regensburger Dom ( Cathedral of Regensburg) with its two 105 meter-spires. This church was really magnificent.The other side was being renovated on the time of our visit but this church was really beautiful.No wonder it was labelled as the finest gothic Church in Bavaria.It was actually very impressive!
Then we moved on and walked further through the city harbor with the view of Danube river.We spent some time admiring the views of the old Stone Bridge ( which was also under renovation on the other side) and yes, the views of the Danube from this side is actually nice, with all the old wooden boats passing by is quite a sight to marvel. I looked back that the view of the river is totally different from what I´have seen in Ingolstadt, Kelheim, and Riedenburg.
I mean I don´t see them everyday so I find it really interesting.There´s the Bridge Tower Museum adjacent to the Brückturm, the last of the remaining towers of the Bridge where we saw some of the city´s worthwhile piece of history, and bridge construction works . Here we had one of the amazing view of the city as well.In the museum, there is an interactive learn materials for children so my daughter had actually great time exploring there.
As we entered the old city, we were surprised to see some traces of the Roman times…quite interesting! In the streets of Regensburg we found the town´s oldest tower, Porta Praetoria, which dated back as early as 179 AD.I realized that Roman influences is found in many parts of Bavaria as well, and not just in Trier. Actually, just like the other walls and gates,the Romans built this gate conncting to the other walls of the city and it´s quite cool to see it. I posted in my other post about another interesting street local sight here is the David fighting Goliath mural. It´s such a great mural and my daughter loves to reiterate the story between the two.
Regensburg has a UNESCO World Heritage City Hall and Square, the locals refer it as Rathaus, or Alte stadt. It really made me wonder why it was a UNESCO-World-Heritage, then we began to explore and found out why. Regensburg´s Old Town, the Alter Kornmarkt, or also known as Old Cornmarket as they called it.I´ve heardi it’s here you’ll see the oldest surviving part of the town, the Roman Tower dating from the 2nd century, and the Herzogshof, a residence of the Dukes of Bavaria first mentioned in AD 988.
Yes here in Bavaria, there are many traces of Dukes, Kings, and many Royalties!
I am not a history buff, but sometimes a guided tour of a city is quite boring for me, plus it can be expensive. But knowing the facts of history is also another thing. So on some occasion, I love taking a decent tour. Traveling gave these options to me. I could get to know the city by it´s landmarks, at the same time, through dates and rightful events of history, same time I could have a sense of the place´s personality. I mean, I have a toddler tagged along with me so I cannot dig into history for 2 hours. But given these glimpses and important landmarks, I can now understand why people took their time to explore this city.It really worth to visit.
It does something to offer…
After passing through countless shops and colorful houses, we got back to the harbor and enjoyed some quiet time watching people and the boats.We found a playground near the VHS School so it was really a plus! In this area, you can do a lot of things as well.I´ve heard that Regensburg has the Oldest Sausage Kitchen in Bavaria(Würstkuchl) so of course we head on to this kitchen and try some local delicacy. They offer many kinds of Bavarian traditional dishes but their sausage has also a lot of history.Typical Bavarian scene for weekends is that people flocked in the Beer gardens and drink some beer after cycling or meet with friends and families.
Of course, another typical sight in Bavarian towns is some local musicians playing their tunes to entertain the passers-by. We found it very entertaining and the atmosphere is so lovely!
Pre Corona, the atmosphere is so much different!
Some random street musician having a selfie in the alley of the Old Stone Bridge.
Our visit to Regensburg won´t be complete without the boat ride or Schifffahrt. It is really such a great thing to do with kids to ride in the ship that cruise over the calm waters of the Danube, offering us so much needed lush green sights of Regensburg. I love cruising the Danube and I can recall wonderful memories when we did it as well in Weltenburg in Kelheim and in the most beautiful lake in Bavaria, the Königsee in Berchtesgaden.I can´t explain it but I find peace sailing in a ship, especially with a view like these.
This time, our ship took us to the majestic Walhalla, the famous German Hall of Fame. Its like the Greek Parthenon, only the German version. Its located along the Donaustauf, approximately 11km east of Regensburg. Perched high up in the hills, mighty and tall. It´s really one of the tourist magnets over here in Bavaria.
Look at that view…
Crusing through the Danube was so peaceful.We have enough space in our seat, by the window side on the right, far from large groups, so we are doing okay.The ship has great amenities and very kid-friendly. There was an audio guide tour inside and very informative but we are actually busy entertaining the kid. Our stroller has a place to stay until we embark so that was actually a plus.The price as well is very reasonable and there is an on board restaurant just in case we got hungry .I would definitely recommend this trip if you have elderly and active kids with you.
Visiting Walhalla with a child and a stroller was quite a challenge at first but we managed to make it. After embarking from the ship, there´s a small pathwalk which leads us to a main road going to Walhalla. We decided to take the short hike and it was doable. The path was a bit steep but our stroller made it. I observed that there are more families with children doing the hike so I think it´s actually good to burn some energy.
Walhalla temple is huge. Just look at how majestic it looks. When I saw it, with its giant pylons and colums, Oh men I thought I am in the old times of the Greek mythology.
Really crazy wide temple with long collonades. You need to do 358 steps in order to climb up this temple.The views above here are breathtaking. This place was built under the inspiration of King Ludwig II; the Märchenkönig, or the fairytale King of Bavaria. He is really so busy building great temples, castles and palaces during his time. I can´t imagine Bavaria now without his ludicrous yet extravagant ideas. After seeing the Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen, I realized he had so much in his mind about building memorable temples such as the Walhalla.
Walhalla is designed by neo-classical architect Leo von Klenze, and is actually a place to honor people, persons who have done a great job in whatever field they´ve excelled. Poets, mussicians, politicians, warriors etc. It´s a huge Bust-hall of Fame. Inside, I have met some very very prominent people in German history… I think by this time it will be 130 busts and 65 memorial tablets, in total, and at least I have seen how they actually looked like.
But of course, in the center of the great hall is King Ludwig II himself.
Back to the outskirts of Regensburg, I saw many facets of the local neighbourhood as well such as great street art.this one I saw while we took a walk near the hotel and watching people cycling along the banks of Danube.
I haven´t seen enough but at least I have a glimpse of this beautiful Bavarian city. We had so much fun and definitely loved to go back there once again.
Also,when I think about Regensburg, I would definitely remember that red Vespa parked right in front of the stone bridge, that sight is really funny for me because it was facing the main traffic and whoever parked his Vespa there, He probably had his reasons for sure.
Here´s my entry for this week´s Lens- Artist Challenge, One Photo, Two Ways where our dear clever and artistic Tina of Travels and Trifles asks us to share and interpret this theme ,a photograph ( or subject) in two ways.
“We’d like you to think about the various ways you create your images. Show us the same subject captured using multiple, different approaches.”
Well I thought about this theme, photo in two ways? Hmm, I simplified my thought and just narrowed it down to angles, perspectives and scope. I am not a professional photographer, and I am not really into technical details while taking photos. On normal days, I just love using my iphone to take snaps and my gallery is actually filled with photos of my daughter and our daily Wandertags and outings. I normally used my decent Canon camera on travels and when I really wanted to do good photos.Like sieze it and capture it, anytime!
But then I realized, I also took many nice photos using my Iphone so definitely it´s not just the gadget. A lot more. Anyway, we see beauty based on our perceptions so for me, sometimes I prefer trusting photos, and not words…but photos can also be photoshopped, or edited..so basically, anything is possible.
So enough of my babbling, Here´s an example how I see my subjects with two different interpretations.
I´ve seen hundreds of photos of this beautiful chapel in internet while I was researching for our trip to Berchtesgaden.Most of them are taken with the angle where it settled with the whole landscape surrounded with Königsee, the Watzmann mountains and the harbor. But I realized why not take an “up close” shot where the two cupolas are actually kissing each other and looked like sausages bundled to each other.
Oh Yes, my architecture views are sometimes twisted.
But then, here´s another perspective of the church, the one that I actually envisioned in my mind. In this shot, the whole view shows the 3 onion like cupolas, very imminent, plus the tower behind it and I was actually pleased with the result.I tooked this shot while I was still in the boat and approaching the harbor. Here, the geometric forms are much emphasized while the other photo shows the ” strength” of the boulder-like structure of the chapel.In here also, the fine details of the mountains, the lake and the lush surroundings complement the aesthetic composition of the photo, and not therefore completely blending with the subject.
“Photography helps people to see ” – Berenice Abbott
Another example to show my photo in two ways is actually just using some common sense. As a viewer, I tend to quickly notice the “grand”, “big” or “flashy” side of the subjects. We are born to be easily attracted to these objects where our senses immediately detected. Just like in this photo, I clicked my camera because I love the view of these Virginia creepers creeeping to the walls of Botanical Institute in Münich .I just noticed the greens because it´s so immense and having the look of nature.I guess this photo helped me to see more than the climbers itself and also took notice of the stonework, the facade and the detail of the stone work in the Iris Garden.
That´s why I am actually glad that I took another shot, but this time focusing my level shot on the stone work. I still noticed the green nature surrounding it but my attention was shifted to the expression of the stone work. I guess the saying above is true, taking pictures really helped me to see more..to search more, and to perceive more.
“The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.” – William Thackeray
“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” – Alfred Stieglitz
And lastly, my favourite element to play while taking photos is how Light ( natural light) makes different versions of my photos. Light here is so vital that I have taken lots of photos with the Yellow Raspöl Fields but I always get different versions.But I love all of them.
Here´s one taken with two different phases. Same fields, different angle, same skies, a little bit of time lapse and switching the direction.
Which one do you like?
Light here played an important factor to create the “drama” effect, or something like ” Oh it looks like rain!” but still, the fields are beaming with beauty. The landscape is very catchy… On the other photo below, light was reduced, and the silhoutte of the trees creates a borderline of different tones and mood.
Is it dusk, or dawn?
“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” – Joan Miro
In the end, when I looked at these last two photos of Yellow fields, I am actually reminded of the many times I have seen them and different weather of my time of visit. I was reminded the first time I saw it, for the very first time in Spring, and when I am deeply in need of inspiration. I have seen it actually in many different ways.
What do you think of these photos? Did I ever make sense in here (Lol!)
Thank you so much Tina for the inspiration and for the chance of little photo reflection.Its a pleasure to take part in this fun-engaging Challenge.
if you have more time to kill, please do check her amazing photography, lovely stories and bright lessons through her wanderings.
I know it´s definitely Summer when I see the Sunflower fields. There are many locations here in Ingolstadt where I see luscious, and bright sunflower fields. It´s a joy to see them especially when I am cycling. I just can´t resist but to stop and make photos, or an obligatory selfie.Every year it becomes a tradition for us to visit these fields .
Big, bright yellow petals and beaming with beauty, and they can be so huge too. Over here they can even grow over as 2 meters! I would normally cycle to the sunflower fields with my daughter and we pick up some. In these fields, we can pick and cut our own sunflowers and just toss the coins to pay for it.
Today was really warm, 29 degrees . I know it´s warm because the local swimming pools are jampacked , fully booked and everyone is surely out for swimming . Either they´re cooling down in the lakes, rivers, or at luxury of their private pools in their gardens.Our own garden is now occupied with our little inflatable pool, plus a slide.My daughter loves to swim there and it already starts to be small for her.Actually she can´t actually swim there, she can just splatter herself and do breathing exercise under the water.But I guess that´s the real essence of beating the heat for children–water fun and more water !
They will stay there probably as long as the weather permits!
I totally forget that I came from a very humid and hot tropical country, and to think that I have lived in one of the hottest regions in the world where I survived 40+ deg temps.Yes, we survived with AC´s, ventilators, and lots of times spent swimming and staying indoors.
Here in Germany, people are already complaining once it´s 30 degrees! It´s funny because everyone complains about the weather whether it´s sunny, raining or freezing. The other days we have thunderstorms and rains, and now, we are sweating like crazy. It´s very seldom that houses here in Germany have airconditioning.Every house has a heating so everyone stays warm in Winter.
Anyway,this Sunday, another quiet Sonntag as usual, but we decided to do something active and fun.We participated in the Stadtradeln Ingolstadt 2021 (or city cycling) where we cycle and count our distance to save energy and prevent more Carbon Dioxide(t CO2 ).I think it´s a very good cause and it encouraging everyone in our local community to hop on to their bikes and simply burn calories, having fun as a family and being active.We definitely love cycling ,so it was really fun to do this. My little Miss is happy with her new bike so she´s letting off her own steam. In our city, this active campain runs from June 26 to July 16,2021.I just realized how nice it is to see people getting by mingling with others again, cycling from here to there, moving on to normal life again.
Not only local residents are encouraged to cycle everyday, but also the politicians. They are also encouraged to hop on to their bikes and look for themselves, perhaps they can see far much better improvements and what is better for the city…new and better roads, perhaps?
I feel so excited about this because I am a huge fan of Graffiti Street Art. So after getting all the locations ,we drove our bikes to the different spray stations of the “La Grande Schmierage“.This year, though in Corona times, they launched another beautiful and really cool Graffiti Art campaign all throughout Ingolstadt City ” La Tour de Schmierage“!
And yes, I was not dissapointed. They were all super cool and it really made a difference to me. How they transform empty, boring walls into something so creative is really impressive. I wrote about them about their project “Hall of Fame” and now after 2 years of break because of Corona ,they are back again , full of creative ideas and inspiration.
We cycled out after we had breakfast , that´s the good thing because the streets are still empty.By the time we went back, the streets are now packed with people on their bikes. I smiled to myself , thinking I am really living in a cycling culture .Both old and young, and children, everyone just enjoy pedalling in two wheels. The soft summer breeze is so nice under the shady roads, but around noon, the sun starts to sting already .It´s definitely summer.
More Graffiti works by great artists of La Tour de Schmierage.
Some walls and establishment looked quite dreary, but after the new Graffiti art totally transformed the place and exudes new appearance. An old restaurant, bar, facade, and a boring electrical box are now beaming with colors, alive and with intricate details of happy activities, creativity, animals, creatures, and lots of symbolism.
Can you recognize which Greek/Roman Gods are they?
After being out for about 4 hours and cycling with a 6 year old , we rewarded ourselves with our first Beergarden Lunch. On our last stop, there´s a nice little playground under the shady trees and as we sit there, I remembered the months of quarantine, endless lockdowns, and being stuck, eating at home. I was happy that restaurants were finally allowed to reopen and reviving their business once again.We are starting to do normal things again.I know that it will still take time to finally feel at ease with crowds without the fear of this scary virus, but then…
We opt to hope for the best.
This is how my typical Sunday spent. How about yours?