At last, Daing na Bangus in Colorado! But of course it has to be Daing na Bangus, the milkfish did come from the Philippines after all….it’s that special a milkfish!
The milkfish is known as the Philippine national fish. I’ve tasted milkfish from Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan and none of those compare to the Philippine milkfish from Bonoan town in Pangasinan province. My mother specially ordered bangus from Bonoan when my sisters and I were there for a short visit in April this year.
She had it waiting for us when we got home. It was Inihaw na Bangus, grilled over coals. It was all stuffed with local tomatoes and onions, wrapped in banana leaves before grilling. I arrived in the morning but was too tired from the trip to eat. I also got started on a talking jag and promptly let out all the “kwentos” and you could say my mouth just got to busy to eat.
My two other sisters arrived later that night. It was only then, when one sister partook of the bangus, did I realize how hungry I had become after the long trip and day. I sat down beside her and started eating kamayan-style with a relish I haven’t experienced in years….
I’ve never had a dish have such an effect on me. Please pardon the drama…my sisters did call me Vic Pacia when I was a kid after all. (BTW, does anyone remember Vic Pacia, always overacting (OA) comedian of Philippine television during the 60’s and 70’s?)
Anyway, as I was saying…It totally surprised me how delicious Bonoan bangus could be. I had totally forgotten how sweet and tender the flesh is. I totally forgot how heavenly a combination grilling your fish wrapped in banana leaves and over charcoal, with those tomatoes and onions inside that heavenly fish could be. I had totally forgotten and each bite I took of that meal was pure and total pleasure wrapped in disbelief, nostalgia and who knows what else…or maybe it was the jetlag…
So now I’ve written too much for just one post….more on the daing na bangus tomorrow!