I bought dried fish from the Filipino Sari-Sari Store the other day…my craving for a Filipino breakfast overcame my apprehensions about getting one of good-quality. This wasn’t so bad. But man…was it salty! My tastes must have changed more than I realized. I used to enjoy dried fish.
This was dried “bisugo” fish. It’s very potently fishy. In fact, I remember we would sometimes say it tasted like iodine, “lasang iodo” we would say. I opened all the windows in the house and turned on all the exhaust fans so it wouldn’t stink up the house so much. But when I put those fishes in the hot oil…..wheeeee….it reminded me of home! I started salivating as I was frying it up.
I have a theory this package was actually saltier than what you can get in the Philippines because it was meant to last longer…being for export and all. I hope so…because I always enjoyed my daing breakfasts…with that native vinegar…yummy. I’m not put off totally…disappointed yes. More so because this package of 4 dried fishes cost $3.99 – before the 6% sales tax!
I also have another theory that my predisposition to salt was affected by my conscious efforts to use less salt and sugar in cooking as a consequence of an experience with a family member’s health concerns.
Before I moved to the US, that family member got sick and the doctor ordered a strict, no-salt diet which I had to oversee. I was just terrified of going back to the hospital after several confinements and was determined we were going to have the blandest diet the other side of Salt Lake City. I even came up with this theory that one should drink as much water as could possibly manage only to find out water retention is another detriment to your health!