When relatives come to our home, the usual word they say when they see our cupboard is, Wow! I always buy extra items when I go to the supermarket to add to my stockpile. No, I am not a survivalist, preparing for a disaster, however, I like having food items on hand for when I want them.
In Bacolod City, I can find most anything I want in one of the supermarkets in the city. There are a few exceptions but very few. Some guys look for things to complain about and expect to find food that is regional even in the USA! Maypo Maple Oatmeal, for example. You won’t find it in Bacolod or in Florida, either. Unless you have friends living in New England or the NE part of the USA and they send it to you in the Philippines, you are SOL, Sortta Outta Luck!
Since I spent most of my life in the Southern states, beans are my comfort food in the Philippines. Here, I can buy pinto, red kidney, black, Cannellini, black eye peas and refried beans. I can also easily buy chickpeas. Mung bean, aka mungo, is one of my favorite local beans in Negros Occidental.
The sauce makes the difference. I make sure to have all the condiments I need on hand to prepare my favorite food. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire, horseradish, chili garlic sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, Louisiana Hot Sauce, sweet pickle relish, mint jelly and…well, I think you get the idea.
Most all the spices I regularly use are here! Sage, Italian seasonings, thyme, allspice, turmeric, marjoram, white pepper, black pepper, crushed red pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin and chili powder. I haven’t found poultry seasoning or crab boil but I can live without those. I don’t use a lot of salt but I keep iodized salt on hand. I also like blending spices for my own taste.
I don’t use the particular spices in a bottle, onion salt or garlic salt. I prefer using fresh onion and garlic.
Locally Sourced Food
Unlike some foreigners, I don’t load up on frozen food from back home. Some foreigners will pay P1,300 for a box of frozen cod fish but I’m not one of them! I use locally sourced food that is fresh and high quality. I am not only eating healthier but I am also saving a ton of money!
My wife buys most of our fruits, vegetables meat and seafood in one of her favorite public markets in the city. The food is same day fresh, in my cases, and less expensive than in supermarkets.
My family and I enjoy dining out once or twice per week in one of the excellent restaurants in Bacolod. However, we enjoy preparing our own dishes at home most of the time. My wife studied Culinary Arts in the past and she can cook! She knows how to kick up dishes several notches, same as I do.
Are you hungry yet? I need to get moving and start lunch. Today, it is Pasta de Sardine.
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.