In conjunction with Madrid Fusion Manila, the city of Tacloban held its very first Hinatukan Festival last April 07 to 08, 2017 at Plaza Rizal. A food festival showcasing variety of dishes from appetizers to viands to desserts that use coconut milk or what the Visayan’s commonly know as “hatok” as the main ingredient.
This cultural and food festival dubbed as , “Flavors of the Philippines Taste Eastern Visayas Food Market, ” celebrates Tacloban’s primary agricultural crop, the coconut. Hence, the festivities showcased coconut in its many forms.
During the mini trade fair in front of the iconic Sto. Niño Church, participants presented assortment of dishes that highlights Coconut in its many forms and flavors.
Tacloban Entrepreneurs Associated Marketing Cooperative (TEAM Coop) brought forth coconut juice in its fermented form or as Vinegar. Coconut Sap Vinegar or Sukang Tuba is essential in cooking Adobo, making vinaigrette and for cooking “paksiw” as this has particularly sharp, acidic taste with a slightly yeasty note.
The same team also showcased Coconut milk as dessert, together with a rootcrop Cassava, forming Cassava Cake, and together with rice and tablea, creating Moron. Moron is my idea of what Tacloban or Eastern Samar food is.
I am lucky to have been invited to join this festival, as I’ve always wanted to try Moron. Let me just say, I have finished 5 pieces of this delicacy in one day. 🙂
Two dishes presented by “Dahil Sa Iyo” sparked my curiosity. One is Kilawin sa gata, but look how rich that coconut milk is. Usually, the coconut milk in kilawin is just an after thought. Second is their Puto Tapul with Gata, which is brown/black rice, rice cake mixed in with coconut milk.
Grub Trike took inspiration from Chicken Curry, and cooked it with coconut milk and served with sweetened banana. The contrast of tropical flavors, and taste contradictions made this dish exceptional.
Stephanie’s Smoke Haus took the very western idea of Carbonara and fused it with local flavors such as Coconut creating this very creamy luscious pasta.
Lastly, the hotel I stayed in XYZ hotel (highly recommended when in Tacloban), featured my now fave delicacy Moron as a Gelato, topped with Chocolate Syrup. Two scoops during the event was only at 30php, 🙂 and may I just add that they are highly sought after by everyone who attended the fair.
Hungry diners were amazed with variety of Hinatukan food as well as native delicacies on the surrounding tents which housed food vendors. To make the dining experience more enjoyable, there was live music from local guest artists and bands.
Thanks to the City Government under Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez and with the efforts of Department of Tourism (Region 8), Tacloban City is not far from being recognized as an ideal destination for food lovers and other gastronomy-related events.
Nathaniel C. Uy