Thursday, June 18, 2009

the best bagnet in the universe

Let me start off with a discussion about food-- specifically the ubiquitous, delicious, high-cholesterol bagnet of Ilocos.

Bagnet is NOT lechon kawali, although they look the same. Sometimes they even taste the same, but that's a fake bagnet. Bagnet is deep-fried pork belly with the skin on. Once you've tasted it, you'll know that there's a world of difference between it and lechon kawali.

The best way to eat bagnet is with a side of KBL (kamatis bagoong lasona). That's a salad of chopped tomato, fish sauce and sliced shallot.

The most wonderful bagnet in the universe is served at the La Preciosa restaurant in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The crackling is super crispy, the meat is fork-tender, and the whole thing is not a bit oily. Plus their KBL is to die for.

The second best bagnet is at Saramsam Cafe, on the same street at La Preciosa. It sticks to the teeth, which I don't like so much.

We also tried another version at the Cafe Bigan in the Vigan Plaza Hotel. It's actually binagoongang baboy (pork with fish or shrimp sauce) but instead of regular pork, they used bagnet.

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