Being a born beach bum, I am always fascinated with the countless seashells strewn all over the sandy beach especially during low tide.
As a kid, I spent my early mornings chasing hermit crabs and picking up sea shells on the seashore that I find beautiful and unique. In fact to this day, I still have a modest collection of several varieties of seashells that come in various shapes, colors and sizes. I even have a large cornocopia that as a kid, I stick it up in my ear whenever I want to hear the enchanting splashing of the waves before I go to bed at night. Do do you believe that? LOL! Yes, that’s how my fertile imagination was like as a child.
How about you? Do you like sea shells?
Aside from my hobby of collecting beautiful seashells by the seashore, I also have a penchant for cooking and eating edible seashells.
Clam soup for example, is an ideal dish that is delectable and has medicinal properties as well. Clams are rich in iodine and is a preventive cure for goiter.
Conches and Crab with Water Spinach cooked in Coconut Milk
There are several ways of cooking other varieties of seashells. Mind you, they are all very nutritious!
Have you ever tried eating seashell dishes?
I love eating fish. If people who loves eating veggies are called vegetarians, then call me a “pescetarian”.
Yes, I prefer eating fish in all its culinary forms than eating pork or beef. Do you know that fish is considered a brain food?
Fish also reduces the risk of heart ailments, stroke, obesity, arthritis, high blood pressure and cancer.
Pork, chicken and beef are usually prepared with chemicals or preservatives that may prove harmful to our health. Moreso, for canned sausages, liver speads, corned beef and hotdogs.
Bicol Dish: Ginataang Yellow Fin
Fish is likewise an iron builder thus lowering the risk of developing anemia. Mind you, most vegetarians may succumb to anemic deficiencies. So, don’t you wish you were a “pescetarian” like me?
Aside from Mt. Mayon and pili nuts, my home province of Bicol prides itself with the ubiquitous little pepper. We prepare and prefer our food to be spicy hot and usually mixed with coconut milk. One outstanding dish is called “Bicol Express”. It is an extremely spicy dish generally made up of pork slices cooked with coconut milk, shrimp paste and lots of green chili and red chili peppers. Looks very appetizing when served. But if your tongue and palate is not programmed for spicy food, just one small gulp of Bicol Express would make you wish you had the fire department beside you. It sure is H-O-T! No wonder bicolanos are locally known to be passionate and romantic lovers or “URAGONs”. Is it because of our love for spicy food? Perhaps it is a myth. Bicolanos are a daring breed of people. They want to prove their gastronomical courage to savor and enjoy spicy food. And besides chili, chili peppers are known for their medicinal properties. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin B, phosphorous and iron. Most linaments and oil rubs contain pepper properties to counter pain or irritations and also serves as an analgesic. It can cure arthritis, muscle pains, diabetes and obesity. I know of some lady friends who love to pick and munch those tiny but very fiery red peppers we call “labuyo” as if they were simply chewing peppermint gum. Labuyo’s are found in every home garden.
Well, please don’t get me wrong. Not all Bicolanos are fond of spicy and peppery food. However, a great majority of our men folk can’t do without it. They are known to be better cooks than their wives. It is an inherited culinary culture that makes Bicolanos a unique breed. Yes, a chili pepper is sure HOT but I guess it is more of the excitement and daring that spells the difference!
[Originally published at bitLanders.com rated 4/5 Star]
Many many times over did I see ripe fruits almost rotting on the ground that have fallen off trees. Yet, I don’t understand why some of my provincial Filipinos still complain of going hungry.
Here in our province, just open your eyes wide and search for food that mother nature has provided for us all year round. Old folks here always say that what birds do eat, man can eat too. There are so much vegetables, plants and fruit bearing trees we can tap for nutritious food or even herbal medicine for our many kinds of ailments.
Or, there’s the big wide sea as our seafood source. Perhaps, people are just plain lazy to go out and see what nature had provided us. Instead, I noticed they prefer to eat instant noodles with plain bread. It’s really not good for our health!
As for me, I prefer eating cooked root crops than ordinary bread. Camote or sweet potato or even cassava have more nutrient value than bread or many insect infested and unsanitary street food sold or peddled around town that is a sure source of sickness or disorders.
I am not picky or choosy when it comes to veggies, fruits and seafoods. Beef, pork or chicken just once in a while.
What I perhaps cannot eat are exotic foods cooked from snakes, monitor lizard, frogs, scorpions, locust, field rats and even dog meat. But if anyone would pay me a thousand dollars to eat a plate of it, why not? I may take a crack at it! Hahaha!
Have you heard of or tasted pili nut candies?
You can find this wonderful tree here at Sorsogon City, Philippines (Bicol region). When I was a kid I used to climb the pili tree to pick a lot of these nuts. Of course I can’t do that anymore now.
I just love eating the fresh green pili fruit after cracking up its hard nut. What a feat of challenge! If you think cracking open roasted Chinese or American nuts is a challenge, try the pili nut and you’d know what I mean. It’s worth the effort because the pili nuts tastes so good! I like it better than the pili nut candy.
Here at my home province you can have all the pili nuts for free. But, you have to climb the tree yourself to pick the fruits. Hahaha! Just kidding!