DUMAGUETE: CHICHARON BULAKLAK
While walking along Real Street from Robinsons Dumaguete, we were told that a particular area sells lechon along the road. I saw from across the street, I small store with a couple glass casings displaying what I thought was chopped lechon. When I got there, I found out it was deep fried pork intestines… that doesn’t sound so appetizing, doesn’t it? Trying to make conversation, I asked the lady what she was selling. She told me it was chicharon bulaklak. Maybe it was my poor grasp of the Cebuano dialect that got lost somewhere in translation .. but deep fried intestines is called chicharon bituka (as far as I know).
Chicharon bulaklak on the other hand are cracklings made from mesentery or the fold of the peritoneum (membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen) attaching the stomach, small intestine and other organs to the posterior wall of the abdomen. It is the thin, web-like structure that supports the small intestine while allowing for the changes in their size and position. When the intestine is detached from this mesentery, the outside thin part of the latter forms a frill or ruffled-like ornament resembling a flower, hence the name of the meat and dish. I guess, describing it, doesn’t make it sound so appetizing at all… but it does. It’s sinfully addictive.
Out of courtesy we bought two packs of chicharon bituka from the lady… after taking photos of the tubs and piles of chicharon. I’ve never seen (what seemed to me) a whole intestine deep fried… It looked like a big ball of rope. She broke off a portion and wrapped it in small plastic bags and handed it to us. Good luck to us! We were nowhere half of our mid-day photowalk and here we are about to snack on uric acid laden goodies.
I didn’t really like it… it was hard to chew rather than crispy and tasted a bit on the bitter side. Oh well! it was a curious sight nonetheless.