Chorizo and Carbon!
Last Sunday I went to Carbon Market. It’s called Carbon because the huge pile of Carbon or Uling for the old power plant used to be stored in this area. To this day, the Ludo warehouse for carbon is still nearby but this time housed in huge warehouses.
A trip to Carbon Market is always a treat for me. The teeming crowd is such a vibrant sight. The colorful array of vegetables and fruits in season regale the senses. The voice of the con artist/medicine man selling abortifacient disguised as menstrual cramps medicine adds to the cacophony of sounds swirling through the sunlit space. Old ladies in a sing-song lilt tempt you to buy their wares. Kargadores shouting “Tabi!” (excuse me) as they balance sacks of whatever on their heads. Chickens sqawking, music blaring from mobile phones, all add up to the fiesta atmosphere.
I walk through the big baskets showing off bright green alugbati, pechay and cabbages; golden hued kalabasa; purple- skinned avocados; mounds of glistening green Mangoes; Okra in wide baskets; red and orange kamatis; luscious mangoes in tiers; Buwad! a tableful of landang and kamote! Eggs arranged in pyramids next to the native chickens all tied up.
One walks through this street to go to the meat section, my chosen destination on this trip. The best Chorizo can be had in this market. Cebuanos swear by this. Every meat stall has these orange-hued orbs strung by the dozen hanging over their meat slabs. The Cebuano Chorizo is sweet with a hint of spiciness. This chorizo is mostly ground fat with some meat added. It is laden with garlic, pepper , salt and sugar. They have a spicy version now, which I suppose has a handful of Siling Kulikot (scientific name is Capiscum frutescens) in it.
We can’t seem to appreciate the efforts of legitimate meat establishments to introduce us to their healthier version. Give us the cholesterol laden spicy Chorizo from Carbon!
The best way to cook Cebuano Chorizo is to boil them first in water for a good 10 minutes, during which time one should pierce the skins all over with a fork or pointed knife to prevent the chorizo from bursting during frying. Remove the water and fry in oil. The heat should be low so the sugar will not immediately caramelize and thus result in half-cooked chorizo. Fry for 10 minutes.
This is perfect paired with Sinangang or fried rice for breakfast. A true blue Cebuano will want to have some fried buwad nga Danggit on the side with a saucer of Siete Biyernes ( vinegar made from Coconut sap which has been fermented for seven Fridays)to dip it in and a cup of Sikwate. In the absence of Buwad Danggit we will make do with Inun-unan nga Isda ( Paksiw na Isda to the Tagalogs).
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