Craving for Entrails and other Food Horror Stories

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It’s 11 PM where I am at, the moon obscured by dense clouds. So unlike a week ago when it was bright and full, right after it was swallowed by the snake in the sky. No, it didn’t turn blood red then. TV Patrol, an evening news program, sure fooled us when they claimed that they were airing live footage of the eclipse. Sure it was. Live NASA footage and nowhere near the Philippines. Grrrr.

Dogs at the end of the street have started barking. Must be an office worker, making his/her way home. Or another dog that managed to escape or allowed to stray from a neighbor’s house.

isaw

Earlier I’ve scored entrails from the vendor off the main road. Now I am currently satisfying my hankering for barbecued innards on a stick. Chicken intestines. Pig’s ears. Pig’s small intestines. I also wanted pig’s large intestines (or were they cow’s intestines?) but they’ve run out of that. One of these days I will write down the kinds of barbecued meat on a stick. The isaw vendor’s stall we frequent has a menuboard listing them along with their prices. They have crafty names, like betamax for blocks of congealed pork blood and adidas for chicken feet.  There was a new one, chicken innards which were neither livers nor gizzards but are rather tough to chew.

My brother would have shook his head. He’s into clean, healthy living ever since he graduated from college. A couple of my friends have looked at me with disdain one time I told them that I want isaw. From the looks of their faces, it would seem that they haven’t had them ever. I just hope food snobs know, as they sunk their teeth into a decadent chorizo, sausage, longanisa, that what they’re savoring is often intestine-encased ground meat.

I guess I understand their concerns. While in private school, teachers have incessantly warned us that street foods may not be prepared in hygienic conditions. I’ve thought that it was partly a ploy to get us to buy only from the school cafeteria and other food concessionaires. In all my stay, I’ve never heard of anyone who got food poisoned after eating food sold right outside school premises. But recently, a friend who teaches in a public school got typhoid fever. I have to admit that that made me less adventurous for a while.

Still, how sure are you that the food being served at diners are safe? I once had to tell a cashier at a local fastfood that something is dripping from their ceiling right into the container where they get ice for their drinks.

chicken isaw

Turns out that the person that set off the dogs earlier was sister. And wouldn’t you know, she also brought home a package of isaw. They’re from another vendor. The intestines coiled closely to the stick. What seems to be splatters of blood is actually tomato sauce added to the basting sauce. Now excuse me while I set to work on these.

Thoughts on RuroKen Kyoto Inferno and the Legend Ends

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If you haven’t watched the two recently shown Rurouni Kenshin movies, Kyoto Inferno (second movie) and The Legend Ends (third movie), go watch ‘em now (If you’re from the Philippines, tough, since Kyoto Inferno is no longer showing in theaters) then come back after. Otherwise better skedaddle now if spoilers makes you want to take up arms.

Sister and I went to watch The Legend Ends at the local cinema last weekend. In the ticket line, this mother who claimed that she’s my sister’s batch mate, wanted us to buy her and her kid tickets for Maria Leonora Theresa, a local horror film about demonic dolls, since the ticket vendor had already seen her and would not sell her tickets ‘coz her kid did not meet the age requirement. We told her that last time, I had to drag my sister right up to the ticket booth since the vendor wanted to make sure that we were both old enough to watch Kyoto Inferno. Actually we were bothered that this mother would subject her little kid to blood and gore just because she wanted to watch the movie and she had no one to leave her child with. Sister later told me that she did not know the woman.

Anyhoo, we bumped into a friend who is also an anime fan (since college? high school?), who was also in the theater with us when we watched Kyoto Inferno.  Heh.

In Kyoto Inferno, one scene stood out for me. It was when Kenshin cut down the parents of Eiji Mishima from where they hang. With one hand catching the rope, he was able to stop each of their descent to the ground. Those doubting how Kenshin is able to take down people using a reverse-edged sword should now have an idea just how powerful his blows are.

We enjoyed the fight scenes in all three Ruroken films and marveled at how Takeru Satoh managed to get anime Kenshin’s moves and mannerisms down pat. I had my doubts when pics of the first movie came out. Thought Satoh was too bishounen for the role and the scar was too kawaii. Sister and friend still think Satoh is pretty and now they also notice his moles aside from the scar.

Well, based on the anime, almost all the characters have been well executed by the actors. Kudos too to the costume designers and screenplay writers. Some changes were acceptable. Though, Aoshi seems not to be well fleshed out. His characterization obviously suffered when they left him out of the first movie. Sister thought he resembles a zombie, especially since he kept reiterating in every scene he has in Kyoto Inferno that he wants (revenge on) Kenshin.  Even the writers seem to be aware of this that Okina just had to exclaim “That again!” to Aoshi during their fight.

While I like that they had made Kaoru less of a crybaby (no moping when Kenshin left), it seems that they have toned down the emotional aspects of the films a bit too much, doing away with some scenes which I felt should have been there. They could have made time by shortening Kenshin’s training with Hiko and that part where Kaoru, Saito and Yahiko were at the beach.

I wish they had shown Sojiro’s childhood as this is a good counterpoint to Kenshin’s. Get a blood-thirsty sociopath for a role model and you’d end up as one messed up kid. I wish they had shown Sanosuke’s training with the Buddhist monk, Anji, as well. Removing it made Anji appear nothing more than a thug.

They could have filmed the farewell scene at night and and have floating lanterns as a nod to what is otherwise known by fans as the fireflies scene (different from the fireflies episode in season 3) in the anime. You know, kinda like what they did to this deleted scene of Kenshin and Kaoru from the first movie which has floating lanterns.  Thank you Alyssa for sharing the link.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=372872442865137

I haven’t heard that there will be anymore Ruroken live action films anytime soon. I am still wondering why local channels have not tried to cash in on the hype by airing the anime series again and getting tons of sponsors. I do hope they release dvd/blu-ray copies of the three films locally. A Ruroken movie marathon is something to look forward to.

Abaleng and My Weird Food Tolerance

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abaleng

I was eight years old when I had kalderatang kambing, the first non-pork, non-chicken, non-beef, non-fish, non-seafood meat I’ve ever eaten. I don’t remember what goat tastes like (they say it’s like beef with a foul smell – mapanghi), at that time they just said it was goat. The helping came from the pots of pulutan (food taken with alcohol) my dad’s co-workers brought to the company outing. A lot strange food end up as pulutan like innards and exotic meat and I wonder if this is because some people can’t really see straight once they’re drunk.

I’m not averse to eating offal provided they are cooked. Chicken, beef, pork intestines; ox/beef tongue; tripe; bone marrow; etc.  Okay, maybe not the head part or the hooves and feet.

Balut which has discernible duck fetus grosses me out. I do like the ones wherein it has not formed yet, especially the “soup” and the yellow part since the white part could be rather tough.

My bio classes didn’t have us dissecting frogs. Though, I once got a live one from someone who sells them to students and transported it from the back of Palma Hall Annex to Meycauayan. I could feel it jar the bottle it was in as it tried to escape.  No way was I catching a frog for my sister’s bio class. I’m deathly afraid of them. So no. No one will be able to make me eat “macho,” the term given to them because without their heads they look like they have a body builder’s physique, even if they taste like chicken.

I don’t think I will be eating anything amphibian, reptilian or wormy ever. But I have chomped on a bug.

Thanks to a co-worker who brought a fried batch of Abaleng to work one time, I got to strike “eat a bug” off my bucket list. It’s there because Gillian Anderson may or may not have actually eaten a cricket for the X-Files episode “Humbug”. Abaleng’s supposed to be a Cagayan delicacy. Pinakbet Republic’s post says  it’s the larva of a June beetle. The head was rather tough but the rest was chewy. The closest food that came to mind was chicharon. Yes, the taste and texture is similar to deep fried pork fat so once you get past the notion that you’re eating what looks like bug, what is in fact a bug, popping several of these babies can be quite addictive.

I’ll say pass to fried grasshoppers, roaches and praying mantises though. Because I know what they are and I guess that’s another reason I was game for abaleng. I didn’t know what it particularly was. So maybe in the future, I’ll try other insects, deep fried, if I haven’t encountered them before and if other people eating them are not puking them out.