Sunday, September 4, 2011

a tip to save on food while creating memorable connections while traveling

I love to eat! We all love to eat!

I'd like to believe that food holds the key to unlocking the richness and complexity of a culture. Wow, that.statement.was.brainfuck!

In practical sense, let's face it, food eats (pun intended) a big chunk of a traveler's budget. Alcohol and drugs come close at second spot. Of course, I'm kidding on the alcohol and drugs part! hahahaha. That is just silly statistics.

I call myself the sleeveless cook for no reason! lol

Don't be fooled by the sheer opening lines of this post. This entry is really about cooking while on the road. To save on food expenses while traveling long term, Do-It-Yourself cooking is the way to go! I just can't survive on toast and marmalade free breakfast in hostels. I want just a cup of rice any given meal (that's the undeniably Pinoy me) and I'm good to go. I save on breakfast and then maybe lunch and then splurge on dinner! How's that flashpacker united?

I've tried cooking a hundred times whenever I travel. And because I try to cook as much as I can, I look for accommodations with cooking facilities. By far, cooking for my home-stay family in Batanes was the most memorable episode!

The food below I prepared them myself. They are awesome, surefire conversation (and at the same time edible) pieces over lunch or dinner. A bit of trivia: Do you know that avocado originally came from (just like mango) Mexico? The galleon trade brought the fruit to our shores. Or do you know that fern salad commands a hefty price tag in New York? (<-- a friend said. Not sure on this, haven't been to New York meself!)

freshly squeezed passion fruit to boost immune system while on the road!

dessert comes first with my avocado with feta cheese, raisins, honey, fresh mangoes and condensed milk!

my bamboo shoot with black beans dish. at cost, Php50.00. can feed 6 hungry travelers.

fern salad (blanched in brine) in pinakurat vinegar dressing. this one with cheese topping. 

unripe jack fruit (langka) in coconut milk. with anchovies, laurel, pepper and lemon and then some secret ingredients 

On our last night in Basco, our hosts, a lovely old couple, invited me and W for dinner. In exchange of the warm hospitality the couple showed us, W and I volunteered to cook a dish or two for them. W and I had to make do of whatever was available in the public market. With a very limited array of ingredients, we selected the ones we were very familiar with. To cut the story short, tatay was so impressed how W made the lowly fern frond taste first class! He kept telling nanay to ask W about the recipe and the secret ingredient. W and I just smiled in the corner.

W is the kind of person who cooks (gourmet or otherwise) for other people she has met and made memorable connections with while she is on the road. I got this good habit from her. Unoriginal na kung unoriginal. Cooking is her turf, eh. Mine is what ba? I just pimp myself to score discounts and upgrades! hahaha

Seriously, I also cook several Filipino dishes. Those food shown above. I still have to learn though how to cook sunny side up and bacon in electric iron! That would be the ultimate budget travel tip! So, should you come visit my corner of the world, let me know. I can probably cook for you. We split the cost of ingredients of course.

As they say, citizenship is determined by the memories of food in your childhood. I silently agree. I grew up with those food I just posted. Every time I miss home, I simply cook and relive home and childhood again through those dishes.

Do you also cook? What's that one special food that created a lasting memory in your travels? Do share.


  1. Wow! Claps for you. talagang nakahanap ng feta cheese at honey sa Batanes?! ang galing. Natuwa naman ako dito. I love to cook as well so I can totally relate to this post. Haven't tried paco (fern-salad) with cheese. I'll try that tomorrow. (tomorrow talaga?! lol!) Ginutom ako dito.

  2. hahaha. no idea. hindi "made in batanes" ang lahat ng menu sa post na to :D

    sa fern salad naman, make sure e blanch with salt para malutong ang salad mo. nagutom akong bigla at mag aalas dyis na pala! lol

  3. : It's the first time I've heard something like a Fern Salad. Ferns!

  4. i know how to prepare few things like salad, pasta, coffee jelly, sandwiches and omelettes. mga mix and stir lang. i noticed puro vegetarian dishes ang mga nasa post na ito.

  5. maayo man diay ka nga cook! ataya, lami lagi nang kilawin.


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