Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nostalgia Over Junk Foods

Lechon Manok Lechon Manok

When I was a bit young, small stores in different houses were a big thing, and one of the junk foods that I loved to eat was "Lechon Manok." I remember back then, kids in the neighborhood would eat a lot of these and it was spicy back then that eating it tend to "burn" our tongue and lips. Even if it was spicy, us neighborhood kids would just not stop eating it. Funny though, since there were three colored packs, we tend to believe that the red one is the spiciest, and the green the mildest. Of course, we were kids, we didn't know yet that these were cooked in batches that they all taste pretty much the same.

I could admit I got a little "addicted" to it that some times I would walk around the neighborhood checking store after store and asking them if they have this particular junk food. One of the bad things about these junk foods were the sodium content... that older people started telling us that this kind of food can cause cancer among all other sickness. As the years passed it became rare for me to see this food in the stores, and eventually I stopped eating it. Life went on.

The other day, when my sister and I were walking home from the market, we saw a neighborhood store and I asked my sister to check out to see if there are still Lechon Manok for sale. It didn't, but my sister said she knew of a store that sells it. We walked there and bought myself some. It wasn't as delicious as it used to be, but it was good to reconnect with my past once in a while.

Jaki Tyan Jaki Tyan

In connection to the Lechon Manok, sister asked if I could buy her a pack or two of this cheese curls, I guess the orange color attracted her... and not knowing the name of the product, I bought her some, and we were giggling while walking back home when we saw its name - Jaki Tyan - clearly a funny take on Jackie Chan's name. I couldn't see the idea of naming this that... but just so you know "Tyan" is Filipino word for Stomach (or Tummy).

Sister liked it, and when I asked if I could taste it, I was in another nostalgic feeling, as these curls tasted a lot like the ones I used to eat when I was a child - when I would wait for the man pushing a wooden cart asking people for recyclables (bottles, papers, etc.). Normally, those men would give coins in exchange for the recyclables, but sometimes they also offer cheese curls for it. Every time we would ran out of ketchup or any food items in recyclable containers, I would get giddy because then I could call the man to give him my bottles in exchange of cheese curls, which he will place in a cone shaped newspaper. Yes, it was a bit unhygienic as they would just tear a page from newspapers in their cart, and my parents would be really angry at me when I would tell them I ate cheese curls, but I guess as a kid, eating junk foods was the best thing to do next to playing with the other kids.

Nowadays, there are no more cheese curls in exchange of recyclables (although there are still people walking around neighborhoods to collect them), but that little trip at the neighborhood allowed me to see lots of different food items being sold for 1 peso, so I guess kids nowadays don't need to collect bottles anymore, they can just run to the store and buy their junk food.

Walking has really allowed me to see lots of things, and for this day, it also helped me transport back in time. Time has been good.

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}