Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Azucena





I still recall how the old men in our neighbourhood would spend the entire day preparing this delicacy for their pulutan in the evening:

First order of business is to find a suitable canine they could slaughter. It doesn't matter if its the neighbor's dog, (the one who usually barks at strangers, or snaps at kids playing in our narrow street) as long as its ex-owner gets invited to the feast.

The fun part (at the time) is when the butcher stabs the hapless dog with a knife on the throat. Seldom was I able to see the unceremonial blood-letting, but the other kids say the dog wiggled and sprayed urine as it dies in front of the spectators. The butcher then leaves the carcass in peace as he prepares the blow torch to be used to skin the animal.   

Animal hair never goes well with any dish, and before the flesh could be cut into small pieces, the fur must be eliminated first. For more than an hour, the dog - now in a spit gets a flame bath with a blow torch. The hair falls off leaving the outer skin burnt and crisp with the smell of char-boiled meat wafting in the air. 

At this step in the preparation, most kids give up in watching the spectacle to resume their other juvenile pursuits. Some including me, would still drop by once in a while to see how the toasting is being done. 

When all the hairs have finally fallen, the partially burnt dog is then carried over to the makeshift table. The butcher, now armed with a glistening machete cuts the animal just below the gut. The innards are taken out - the intestines and body cavity hosed down, including the kidneys and the liver. These organs are then chopped into small pieces to be stir fried and served as appetizers.

The gall bladder is excised because the men claim it tastes bitter. The putrified smell of blood and digestive juices sloshing from the table repulses everyone except for the butchers who are tasked to prepare the dog. To bear with the stench, a bottle of gin makes rounds among the men. The stoves are then readied for the entrées.

It's almost evening and the dog, which began as a breathing, barking animal has now been reduced to slabs of meat. The revellers, some who have come elsewhere gather in another table. Stories fly while drinks overflow. The dishes laid out on the table include azucena in tomato-based stew and grilled dog meat. Bopis and adobong aso also appear in the buffet table.



source



Dogs in those days were eaten because it was a delicacy. We were told that dog meat was an aphrodisiac and it makes your body strong. For us kids, to taste even just a morsel of the meat was a rite of passage. Our eagerness however came with a forewarning: Local beliefs tell that dogs know when a person ate their kind.

The canine-eating days have come to pass, and the practice has become a kind of taboo especially in the cities. Animal rights activists have succeeded in changing everyone's perception. After all, nobody in his right state of mind would eat man's "best friend?"

While there are those who think that we shouldn't forbid the ethnic groups in Benguet to follow their tradition. For the rest of us, modern customs have finally prevailed.

All it took was a single generation for beliefs to change.



MANILA, Philippines – Around 60 slaughtered dogs intended for meat trading were seized by authorities in Pugo, La Union on Monday.


Pugo PNP said suspect Anson Cayat, who was driving the van carrying the dogs, was arrested at a checkpoint around 5:30 am.


ABS-CBN News


18 comments:

Mr. Hush Hush said...

In Cebu, dog-eating did became popular (even with cats, there was a time when it was rumored that meat used in siopao were cats), and I became wary of going to carenderias, paranoid that the viands came from dogs :(

I can't imagine eating Boozer :(

Mr. Hush Hush said...

Mugen! Gusto ko magcomment about Banchetto :p

Dati, doon din kami ni marxus nag.ha.hangout, since he worked nightshift, and at 12mn, I take him out for lunch. Warm memories :)

Pero ngayon, di na nga maganda Banchetto sa Ortigas. It's far (and wala na cute na mga pips *sad*). Try Mercatto sa Taguig :) May aircon pa, though the food, not so good compared to the old banchetto. Couple of eye-candies though, I like ^_^ hehehe

bien said...

Mugen, have you seen the movie Amores Perros? It's directed by Innaritu- the brilliant director of Babel and 21 grams.

Or the pinoy film Azucena

the green breaker said...

Kuya Joms,anong lasa?

ZaiZai said...

I can't bear it when people kill or even hurt dogs, or any other animal. Pwera insects, sila pwedeng patayin lahat and I won't feel bad.

Edgar Portalan said...

Mugen , dati nung bata pa aketch , pasalubong ito ni Father sa amin lagi galing sa sabungan ... and innocently I would take a bite ... but eversince kinatay yung favorite pet ko nuon na si Jumbo ... nasusuka na ako kapag nakakakita nito ... even sa smell ay naaaalibadbaran na ako ...
thank you for this entry ...

red the mod said...

@bien I know that! I watched Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch) back in college. The context was so gritty and in-your face, and the opening scenes really shocking. Plus, it has Gael Garcia Bernal (of Y Tu Mama Tambien fame) playing Octavio.

Leo said...

eating dogs is so backward.

jetlander said...

The smell of burning fur and flesh is embedded in my senses. In our province, delicacy ang aso at kambing. The procedure of butchering and preparation is the same, pati na ang luto. I like kaldereta and pulutang kambing pero sa province,I'm wary of eating the above mentioned viands kasi di mo alam kung meat ng aso or kambing, kumakain lang ako pag ang alaga naming kambing ang linuto.

dabo said...

i thought i was engrossed in some natgeo episode

partida sa words pa lang ito..

ıǝɹɯɐı said...

i hate the thought of people eating dogs. parang tinatanggal spine ko.

COLORBLIND said...

i was in senior high when i had my first slice of dog-meat. i was told that it was a dog but i ate it just the same (for 'art's' sake hehe). perhaps it's the way they cooked. it tasted and smelled nothing repulsive at all. if not for the rabies scare, malamang uulit pa ako. but then it also proved to be my last bite (so far) of the chunky dog-meat.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little perturbed when you refer to the indigenous groups in Benguet as "tribes". That is not entirely politically-correct. There are no "tribes" in the Philippines. What we have are ethno-lingguistic groups and not "tribes".

Mugen said...

Kuya D:
Our values are different then. Hehe. So how does it taste like?

Rei:

Meron pa ba kumakain ng dog meat ngayon? It's been almost 2 decades na since I saw the butchering.

Dabo:

Sobra ka naman. Ibang level na ang Nat Geo. Pero thanks sa complement Repa.

Cheers!

Jetlander:

Lemme guess, Ilocano ka? Tama? Hehe. Same lang ang preparation nga ng kambing and asusena.

Mugen said...

Anon:

I would appreciate it if you would introduce yourself, but just the same, thanks for the correction. I will make the necessary changes immediately.

Leo:

For some its a way of life. But, we already have laws banning the consumption of canines.

Edgar:

Walang anuman sir. Gaya nga ng sabi ko, iba ang values natin noon. Iba na rin ngayon. :)

Zai:

Maniniwala ka ba na berdugo ako ng mga pusa dati. As punishment, kapag nakakakita ako ng pusa ngayon, lagi akong nagmi-miyaw. Hahaha.

Mugen said...

Green Breaker:

Di pa ako nakatikim eh. Wala rin akong balak. :)

Bien:

Di pa eh. Anu meron dun?

Mr. Hush:

Went to Mercato once, with Baabaa. Iba naman experience yun. Hehe. One time, I will return and trace back our footsteps. Hehe. Thanks!

As for the Miyawpao, yeah, dati sabi sa amin, pag mura ang siopao magduda ka na. Lol.

ZaiZai said...

bakit ano ginagawa mo sa mag pusa dati? bad ka! pero buti good ka na ngayon :)

Mugen said...

Zai:

I'll save it for another blog entry (or did I blog it before?) Lolz