Food Tour - a culinary journal is the first book by Claude Tayag. It is a collection of his columns published in the Philippine Star. Tayag is a painter, sculptor, furniture designer, chef, and foodie.
In the following excerpts, he described his food tour in SoCSarGen with a group of "self-styled foodies."
"Having settled into their respective rooms at East Asia Hotel, the group then drives out to Alson's Aqua Farm -- probably the biggest in the whole of Mindanao, if not the Philippines -- for a tour of its extensive fishponds. They are greeted by Operations Manager Emilio Yulo . . . The meal starts off with a kinilaw of freshly-caught prawns, then the table starts to groan as one dish after another is laid on it -- grilled sea bass, soyed bangus belly with onions, sinigang na bangus, steamed prawns, steamed pompano with ginger and leeks, adobong eel, pako (fiddlehead fern) salad, and of course, not to be outstaged, a whole lechon!"
"Continuing their sortie, the foodies next head northwest to check out the fresh fruit market at Tupi. They pass through rolling hills and seemingly endless pineapple plantations, with Mount Matutom (sic) on the horizon. After all, they are right smack in the middle of Dole country. The market is located right along the highway, nestled under the canopy of giant fruit-laden marang trees. Upon seeing the finger-fat asparagus, the passion fruits, and the marang on sale, the travelers go on a buying spree. Then they proceed to Kablon Farms, where the owners (the Pantuas) offer them a generous sampling of their products . . . passion fruit juice, durian jam, shredded macapuno, and chocolate tablea."
General Santos City:
"They head up to the roof deck (of Sydney Hotel), where the restaurant is located and are greeted by the sight of a counter laden with all sorts of seafood. At the forefront is a fairly large sargent (sic) fish. This fish, when cut into cross sections, is similar in appearance to yellowfin tuna steaks. But that's where the similarity ends, for the sargent (sic) fish is also known by its local sobriquet "sitsiritsit" due to its very fatty meat that is reputed to cause an oil spill in the toilet.
Whatever plans the foodies have of keeping their dinner light quickly dissipates at the sight of the tempting spread before them. Adhering to their strict "see-food" diet, they promptly order everything they see. Needless to say, they have to waddle theur wat back to the hotel for a long-awaited respite after a very FULL day. Burp!"
Food Tour is available in all National Book Stores branches.