Saturday, April 10, 2021

Just In Time For Breakfast: The Bicol Express Longganisa

Just In Time For Breakfast: The Bicol Express Longganisa

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The long wait is over and the Bicol Express is here to stay–as a longganisa!

That’s exactly what the Bicol Express Longganisa–developed by the same team behind the now-famous Laing Longganisa (after gaining social media momentum and a massive outing as one of the top ten products during the 2019 Ultimate Taste Test by Our Awesome Planet)–is all about.

Bicol Express and its roots

Like many other Filipino dishes, the Bicol Express has several iterations. What remains constant however is its use of pork, balao/balaw, or local salted baby shrimps, coconut milk, chili, and aromatics.

In some areas of Bicol, versions of it may incorporate vegetables such as string beans, winged beans, and bell pepper.

Some would add pineapples, adding a layer of sweetness to the dish. Others have versions of the Bicol Express as sauteed and pan-fried with little coconut milk, while others would be in its original stew version.

While the origin of the dish (and its name) is widely debated (others credit its roots to a non-Bicolana cook who was inspired by Bicol’s Gulay a Lada, or Sinilihang Gulay during her stay in the region in her youth), it is a fact that the Bicol Express has become synonymous to the region’s cuisine alongside Laing/Katanga/Nantong and Pinangat.

 

Onboard the regional cuisine trend/train

“We wanted to bank on the booming national and global interest towards local cuisine,” Rica Buenaflor of Que Rica says, “and we started with the Laing Longganisa.”,

With a massive response towards that idea of regional cuisine being made available and easy to prepare, her team has invested in the development and packaging of Pili Nuts (also a hit) in novel flavors such as Truffle-Pecorino Cheese.

After several successful product launches (bottled ready-to-eat meals such as Sinantolan (minced cotton fruit in coconut milk), Vegan Laing (shrimp- and meat-free dried gabi leaves in coconut milk), and other meat products such as the Pineapple-Cured Chicken Tocino) in events, bazaars, and in the digital space, the Que Rica team is taking Bicol cuisine to new, greater heights.

“The Bicol Express Longganisa is one of the five (5) new products we have developed recently while in quarantine,” she quips, “and instead of pork we used chicken to cater to customers who like healthier options.”

Several products are also in the pipeline and who knows–we’d all end up as passengers to such Bicol Express-sions of food!

Order the Bicol Express Longganisa, in a pack of 8pcs or 350g, here.

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