Wouldn’t it be ideal?

The aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, the smell of crisping bacon, the sound and scent of sinangag frying in a carajay — breakfast lures one into waking. A pity that most people have to rush through it, trying to read the papers, get food into the stomach, organize the mind, feed and dress the children, and get the show on the road, all at the same time. Wouldn’t it be ideal if breakfast could be a time of waking body and mind slowly, gloriously, luxuriously — to sunrise and food, to workday and life? We all have had breakfasts like that — alas too few and too rarely.

~ from “Breaking the Fast” by Doreen G. Fernandez in Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (Anvil Publishing, Inc., 1994)


Embracing this plethora of pleasures

I love breakfasts, and have been blest with memorable ones all through my life. There was, first of all, the Ilonggo family breakfast: calo-calo (sinangag), sometimes with tiny dried shrimps (kalkag) mixed in, scrambled eggs with or without burong mustasa, some wonderful salted fish (binuro, pinakas) or sausages (longganisang hamonado, de recado or hubad); sometimes bas-oy, a soup of ground pork, onions and ginger.

Rice porridge

Rice porridge with a variety of toppings including fried tofu, fried wonton dumplings, salted egg, tripe, pig's ears, and shredded adobo. (Photo by K. Santos, scentofgreenbananas.blogspot.com)

Or breakfasts in the marketplace, which are not identified by special food, but are open to all lunch or dinner dishes: like bachoy, the famous market dish of noodles, broth, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, etc.; or, in the Cebu market, tiny boneless daft fried crisp; or in the Dumaguete market, suman with thick chocolate; or in Bohol, suman ginger-flavored, with strong tsukwate. And in Pagsanjan, a sweetish, tender suman sa ibus of malagkit, with ripe golden mangoes. Continue reading