Taste Test

I am probably the LEAST ‘visual’ person you’d ever run into. I can describe something well with taste or words, but ask me to draw, paint, or compose a picture? Don’t bother. Just ask anyone who’s attempted to decipher my ‘drawings.’

Frustrated artist woes aside, I realized the age of digital cameras (and working for a digital photography magazine) lets me cheat this lack of talent. I should really use this to my advantage, as the house has been blessed with a Canon point-and-shoot. But for now, in my attempt to be more visual, I shall steal photos from my more equipped friends.

Last Saturday, my college friends and I hit the much talked about Mercato Centrale at the Fort.

Pan de bagnet from Bale Dutung’s booth 😀

Walking into Mercato felt like walking into Fully Booked High Street–I had no idea where to begin! Thankfully, the choice was obvious with Bale Dutung’s booth being the first one we saw at the entrance. I had read of Bale Dutung from Johna‘s Lonely Planet Philippine’s article on Pampanga, and finally, I got to taste its awesomeness without making the trip! Biting into this pork sandwich felt healthfully sinful! I loved the touch of vinagrette, which perfectly complemented the juicy, crispy pork slices. 
The meat fest did not end there. After walking four times around the vicinity, I finally decided on a roast duck meal for a reasonable Php150. The duck was plentiful, with two kinds of sauce included in the meal. The salty taste was rather strong, but bearable and deliciously savory towards the end. Having eaten the pan de bagnet, milk tea, kebab and suso (the local term for snails) before the duck, I needed a little help from my friends to finish it. But then again, isn’t that the point of having a foodie fest? Being able to taste different dishes at one go, letting your mouth explode in decadent flavors?
If I could not go home or had my dad along to drive me back, I would have chowed down on the Paella Negra or some ice cream. For another weekend, I guess. See you next time Mercato! My stomach is already oh-so-hungry for you.
Photos care of Sam Modina

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