Sunday, September 4, 2016

The ancient smoked ham of the Philippines

etag – (é-tag; Ilocano and Cordilleran [Ifugao, Igorot, Kankanay, and Benguet] preserved) (also spelled as itag in IIocano; a.k.a. innasin in Ilocano) [n.] cured and aged slab of pork; An indigenous smoked or sun-dried salted slab of pork.

....With due respect to customs and traditions of all the ethnic groups of Cordillera and northern Luzon, the process of making etag and how long the aging process would take to complete reminds me of the Fire Mummies (a.k.a. Kabayan Mummies) of Benguet. The mummification process of fire mummies was unique compared to on how mummification was done in Egypt and the rest of the world. It was like the natives were preserving their dead in a process similar to when making an etag. The mummification would begin right after a person died, whom they would let ingest a very salty drink. The corpse was washed and set over a fire in a seated position to dry out bodily fluids. The dead was also subjected to smoking process. Tobacco smoke was blown into the mouth to dry further the inside of the body including the internal organs and then herbs were rubbed into the body before the mummified body was placed in a ... (Read and see more here)

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.

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