04 November 2004

Sayote or Papaya?


What shall we have for lunch? Tinola!

M-mmmm! Tinola is certainly one of my favorites. And Babes (a good friend) definitely makes one of the best-tasting tinola around. She made one unforgettable meal last year in Baguio, and we wanted her to do it again in Boracay. And so we were treated with Tinola for lunch!

Tinola is a local recipe with chicken as its main ingredient, swimming in a chicken soup base along with dahon ng sili (leaves of the pepper plant) and either papaya or sayote. Tinola is so loved that it is even mentioned in one of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal's writings.

Coming from Baguio, I have acquired the taste of sayote in tinola, with its sweet taste wonderfully enhancing the overall aroma and taste of the dish. And to complete the experience, we have some patis (fish sauce) to dip the chicken and sayote on.

Others, however, prefer the papaya over sayote. If you have a preference, you will immediately notice which was used on first bite, even if the two look very similar. Hmmm... what's the english term for sayote, anyway?

By the way, don't be offended if we Filipinos suddenly spoon-up the soup and pour it all over the hot, steaming rice. Or, horror of horrors, pour seasoning onto the chicken and veggies on our plates! The dish may taste prfectly fine, but we do love putting seasoning on anything! It's completely normal.

So here's to tinola no matter which vegetable you prefer it with!
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