Martes, Mayo 8, 2018

Leftover Streetfood and Leftover Thoughts


I've been away for a while and didn't have enough time to catch up with my blog here. It's like cooking streetfood---it may seem easy but it really takes a lot of work, time and street-smart thinking. You got to have enough time to stay long and decide how many pieces to cook and what kinds. You must estimate how much of your items can be sold today because you cannot afford too many leftovers.

Fishballs and squidballs? They're delicious as long as they're freshly cooked. But if you serve them again the next day, it's a different story. The same with kikiam and siomai. You know why some streetfoods get tough to the bite? Because they've been reheated too many times. The same with barbecues, banana cues and lechon manok. Some popular grilled chicken were like that, but they have improved so far. Good for them.


Even a lot of fastfood breaded chicken get tough to the bite because they're just leftovers, probably reheated 3 to 4 times. So the tip here is eat in a fastfood outlet that's always overcrowded. You may have to stand in line a long time and have difficulty finding available seat but you can be sure the food items are always sold out. So what they serve the next day is freshly cooked.

You use the same strategy when buying streetfood. Buy where crowds gather to buy them. You can be sure the items are fresh and not just reheated. I so hated reheated barbecue when I still ate pork. The meat was as tough as cardboard. As tough as plywood, even. And hotdogs were crumpled. I also hated leftover rice cakes like puto that had more air in it than soft bread.

So, when I don't have time to write, I rather not write anything at all than write something haphazardly just for the sake of making a blog entry for the day. It's like leftover streetfood---article written with leftover thoughts. Or written with leftover mind energy.

But there's risk here, too---don't stop writing too long either. You stop cooking streetfood too long and you get used to being free from the hard work of streetfood cooking. And also, you don't earn anything. The same when you stop writing too long. You see, writing has this need for a time duration for gathering momentum, and once that momentum kicks in, you need to remain in that inspiration. Hence, when you stop too long, you'd often find it hard to recoup that momentum.

So you see, cooking streetfood is really an art like composition. You don't just cook right away or sit down to write. You got to have a right heart for it and a right moment when that heart starts pouring life into the PC screen, or frying pan, as the case may be.

STREETFOOD MANILA is not just streetfood in Manila but stories, life experiences and reflections that remind me of streetfood. Streetfood and life in Manila have lots of things in common. Sometimes, they're connected, sometimes they're intertwined. I may also post something on streetfood whenever I feel like it, so I hope you often visit Streetfood Manila.