Whenever I go home to Bacólod City, I would never forget to do a “ritual” that I consider is a must, eating authentic and original chicken inasal from where it came from – Manokan Country. Manokan Country is where the best Inasalans are and certainly is a food “pilgrimage” place. Though with the proliferation of Chicken Inasal restaurants, with some taunting the rather erroneous “original” and the horrible tocino-taste with suspicious amounts of blood, I choose to wait for my next trip to Bacólod to savor inasal in its unbastardized original. Fresh chicken fed with natural feeds or leaves, exquisite marinades with secret ingredients I still refuse to divulge and the smiles of the waiters is what makes authentic and original Inasal from Bacólod so distinct. I decided to tag along again my cousin Erika for an inasal fix with me at the famous Aida’s Manokan.
We order a pecho for me and two paa for her and her friend. The usual inasal eating ritual goes that you make your dipping sauce or sawsawan from soy sauce, squeezed calamansi juice, crushed chili peppers and spiced vinegar. My practice is that I would usually dip my finger on the concoction to know if the taste of the sawsawan is just right. When our order arrived, we feasted on the inasal like a pack of wolves. Of course, I have another ritual at hand before doing that which is to put chicken oil with sauteed with anatto seeds on my rice. Sounds like I am up to a cholesterol fight but inasal experience is not the same without that. My tongue must have missed authentic and original chicken inasal for I swear, it tickled a bit with food pleasure. In no time, we finished our inasal and faster than I have been. Craving for sweets, my cousin asked if we can eat dessert with her.
Our search brought us to the nearest Bob’s branch in SM City Bacólod. I immediately saw raisin pudding which I immediately order. If there is anything I love the most, it’s raisins and couple it with pudding which I also love. Well, didn’t have any much choice as well since it was just past Christmas and almost New Year’s Eve so there only a few cakes left for the plate. Raisin Pudding was an enjoyable treat, not too sweet and filled with a lot of raisins, just as I’d love they would. I think my dessert was a good finish for my inasal dinner. For me, inasal has been the most overpromoted heritage food of Bacólod City but I would understand why. If you ask me if how an authentic and original inasal tastes like, I’d either tell you to just go here and taste for yourself. This April will be the Panaad sa Negros Festival, Negros Occidental’s mother of all festivals so come and drop by.