Street Foods: Tasty Simple Pleasures

Street Foods:    Tasty Simple Pleasures

While growing up, summer means looking forward to afternoons eating foods sold in the street.  In our neighbourhood, street peddlers are not allowed to stay that long hence, kids like me need to have keen ears to hear their momentary loud calls, bell ringing or their music playing in their cart speakers.

 During school days, I don’t have access to street foods since these were not allowed in the premises. And students were not allowed to go out of the school gates.  Only during school fairs do we get to eat these small servings of tasty simple pleasures.

 My most favourite and which I am most cautious of eating, is the fried fish balls with sweet and spicy sauce.  These days, they use serving spoons to put sauce in the dimsum sticks which makes it less of a health hazard. 

 “Dirty” ice cream which has become more expensive these days brings back memories of lining up with other kids to get some ice cold treats during the summer.  There is also the pinkish milk ice sherbet with chocolate syrup and marshmallow topping called the scramble. 

I’m also an avid devourer of warm corn on the cob and the less appealing “binatog” with coconut gratings.  Usually, the “cow bell”-like sound of the mini gong in the bikes of binatog peddlers is enough to awaken my afternoon naps when I was a kid. 

Among all forms of rice cakes sold in the street, nothing beats “palitaw” on my list.  I’m not a fan of rice cakes but I could never pass up “palitaw”.  I could finish five pieces and still want to have some more.

There’s probably no place in Manila where you can’t find banana fritters or “turon” which are not only found in the streets but also in concessioners in building offices and menu of some restaurants.   It is perfect with vanilla ice cream on top or with ice cold coffee. 

thin slices of banana and NO langka for me 🙂

Who hasn’t tried the boiled quail or chicken eggs covered in orange batter and deep fried?  Queck-queck (spell check please) are sometimes eaten in place of a full meal.  Imagine eating whole eggs for snacks.  For those who are into body building, this is definitely a good source of protein.  It’s just too bad that it’s also a good source of bad cholesterol.  I’m not into snacking on boiled eggs so I have very limited experience with “queck-queck”.

Mojos, although not originally considered a street food, has also been sold in food carts with varied flavours.  I remember I get to eat a full-plate of mojos for the price of Php25.00 while I wait for my next class in college. 

I wouldn’t be able to drink “taho” if I had to go to school early in the morning.  I like three servings of the caramelized liquid in my 250ml glass of taho.

 Late nights mean the last shift for street vendors.  Oh yes, theirs is still one street food that is sold as late as ten in the evening.  “Balot” or rotten duck eggs is a Filipino delicacy mostly eaten late at night.  Although, I haven’t tried it with beer, it has been portrayed in local movies to be the main course during a drinking spree.  I on the other hand, eat it with eyes closed.  I don’t think I have ever eaten any part besides the yellow portion. 

 My husband highly recommends this one street food that is not really my favourite while growing up. In his former neighbourhood, there is a vendor selling “lumpia gulay” and “lumpia ubod”.  He prefers the “lumpia ubod”.  Knowing that I’m going to snack on vegetables, I wasn’t thrilled about him bringing some of them home.  But he was right; it was really good especially while it is still hot.  It was crispy outside and the filling taste so meaty even if there was no meat in it but only vegetables.  I thought Lapid’s vinegar would be really good with it.

Don't like snacking on vegetables? This made me change my mind.

There are numerous street foods around Metro Manila and all over Asia.  When a tourist takes a tour around an Asian city, more or less likely, he has encountered a couple of vendors grilling skewed meat, vegetable or any other processed foods.  Every little thing is a nice surprise.  Thanks to the business-minded people with very low capital, people like me can enjoy street foods any time of the day.


5 Responses to “Street Foods: Tasty Simple Pleasures”

  1. my favorite streetfood are taho, ice scramble, binatog, siomai, qwek qwek, betamax, isaw, and bbq. nom nom nom! good thing most of these are now available at the malls so we don’t have to wait until may maglako. although my hubby says nothing beats the stuff bought along the streets talaga, they taste better! 🙂

  2. Isaw at siomai naman mga paborito ko. 😀

  3. taho, dirty ice cream, turon, banana or camote-q and kakanin! 😀

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