Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Uncomparable Bagoong

Pangasinan produces the best smelly"bagoong" (salted fish paste) in the world. It is always part of the menu of Pangasinenses wether as dip or seasoning for vegetable.

Bagoong started here because of the richness of fish catch from the gulf. According to our forefathers, they decided to preserve the extra fish that were not consumed and sold by putting salt. For that bagoong was born.

Pangasinan's bagoong still is considered as the best because of its aroma and the exotic taste which cannot be compared. The secret of Pangasinan's that differs from other bagoong producers around the country are the old clay jars which the fish is fermented. Those jars contribute to the special taste and aroma which cannot be copied.

The fermentation takes 3-6 months while the boneless fish will take a year. A can of salt is used for two cans of fish.

The fishes used to make bagoong are "dilis" [long-jawed anchovy], small "galunggong" [round scud], "caballas" [striped mackerel], "terong" (similar to anchovy) and "padas" ["siganid" fry].

How I miss eating green mangoes with bagoong!