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Something About Sisig

 

It’s been a while and I think a food-related post is long overdue.

So things have been a little rough and anti-routine lately since I had to make the big move to Paranaque because of my new job (which I won’t discuss much here because like I said earlier, this post is about food). Anyway, just to give you a bit of an update before I launch into something nonsensical about the stuff I have been putting in my mouth lately (ew not those things, you perv), I am still alive and thriving, thank you very much. Still swimming.

That said, we have to sit down and discuss the matter of KFC’s sisig bowls, which, I must say is the best thing to have come out of their weird succession of ethnic-inspired Asian rice bowls (the Gangnam-style chicken would be a close second).

As you may know, I gave up pork 3 years ago and if there is anything I badly miss about the pork diet more than SPAM, a sweet Cebu-style chorizo, or cold cuts to go with cheese, it would be sisig. Sisig is like a persistent ex that you somehow still love but you know is also terrible to your sense of self-worth. You take a bite and feel bad about it afterwards.

Sisig is just one of those few saving graces for being a Filipino. You know, we have a shitty government and an equally shitty Passport that doesn’t allow us to travel anywhere fun and exciting without a visa. But at least we have sisig, this savory and delectable pork dish that had Anthony Bourdain dishing out platitudes about something created from offal and technically, kitchen refuse. Sisig, according to everyone’s favorite tito and life peg, could rival any premium dish any chef in the world can think up. Yeah, I get the appeal. It’s creating beauty out of otherwise ugly innards and stuff like pig faces, ears, cheeks, and other things that define snout-to-tail (which is starting to get annoying, bee tee dubs).

I gave up pork because of a variety of reasons, but the point is, I do miss sisig every once in a while. It’s hard not to miss. You know how they say studies show that among the myriad food aromas, the scent of popcorn is the most easily recognizable? Gurl, these wack “scientists” have never had sisig. There could be a fella sprinkling calamansi juice on a hot plate of sisig a mile away, and you will still recognize it for the faint notes that waft through the air. It’s unmistakeable. It’s appetizing. It’s nostalgic.

I tried KFC’s sisig bowl tonight, and man, everything is so on point.  One sniff was all it took to bring me back to those drunken weeknights in a Leon Guinto watering hole that my friends and I frequented back in college. Marivic’s Bistro had a really crunchy and yummy sisig that had a noticeably higher percentage of liver, but it really just worked. It was the perfect accompaniment to piss-warm Red Horse beer and our teenage angst. We had that shit every night and didn’t grow tired of it.

So anyway, back to KFC. This sisig bowl is just genius: from the smell, to the texture, to the overall satisfaction you get from eating a good sisig, minus the nasty residual smell or the inevitable burn from the sizzling plate. I was shocked when I lifted the lid. I was like, duuude, this cannot be halal, right?! It smells just like the real thing. But the crew reassured me it’s all chicken and virtually no pork. Carry on, Muslim brothers.

I don’t eat a lot of fast food anymore these days, but wow, this was really a revelation. I don’t even have to worry about effing grease splatters! Sseeing as this is as close as I’m gonna get to eating sisig albeit through some lab-grade chemical formulations in the sauce that really mimics the smell and taste of pork, it tastes tremendously close.

Also, just a thought. We should be given arm guards every time we get sisig somewhere. If crab and shrimp shacks have those bibs and Buffalo wing places have those nifty plastic gloves (utensils, whut?), sleeves like those tricycle drivers wear should now be standard issue because nobody wants grease burns. Gerry’s Grill, get this done!

Good job, KFC. I’m a fan.

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