16 January 2009

Breaking The Ice With Kakanin

Sharing food and stories.

A couple of months ago, I heard Michael Pollan talk about how different cultures eat for many reasons other than the "medical" or health motivation-- it was basically a rant against nutritionism. It reminded me that many instances of eating in the Philippines are for community, for the beautiful (and maybe riotous) act of getting together.

Shortly after I listened in, I found myself sitting in a NAIA airline office waiting for my ticket to be rescued from the limbo caused by the Thai airport hooha. After waiting for more than an hour in silence, the lady beside me produced a plastic bag of kakanin from her native Laguna. She passed it around our sofa of bored and waiting people. Stories began to surface about where we were going, why, and eventually, about our lives in general.

Laguna suman, with some ube in the background.

The suman I chose was truly delicious, moist and not too sweet. Thanks to the lady, I was able to avoid a trip to the dreaded Manila airport food gutter, and also fill my imagination with stories about lesbian daughters who get themselves impregnated by Italian internet boyfriends and dump them for local chicks.

Popular Posts