Guinobatan town in Albay is poised to emerge as a culinary hub in the Bicol region for its popular pork sausage.
“Longganisa de Guinobatan” is among the region’s food delicacies being promoted under the government’s One Town One Product (Otop) program, said Lourdita Llanto, coordinator of the “Guinobatan Longganisa Culinaria Making and Cooking Contest” held at the municipality’s Sports Center on Monday.
Unlike the native sausages of Lucban town in Quezon and the City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, Llanto said Guinobatan’s product was being made manually. “We don’t use meat grinders in making the sausage, we chop the meat by hand,” she said.
Only over two inches long, the longganisa de Guinobatan has two types: regular (50-percent lean meat and 50-percent fat) and special (80-percent lean meat).
A kilo of pork produces at least 35 sausages that sell at P5 apiece, said Llanto, who also teaches meat processing at Bicol University College of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Nate, Ravago, Padre, Ogayon and Paliza families are the known pioneers in the native sausage processing business in the town. A recipe varies for each family, but the basic ingredients are the same—pork, small intestine casing, salt, sugar, garlic, prague powder (a type of preservative) and black pepper.
Some 20 meat processors and cooking enthusiasts joined Longganisa Culinaria, which consisted of an on-the-spot sausage making and cooking, to kick off the weeklong Guinobatan Longganisa Festival.
In the one-and-a-half-hour cooking contest, four pupils, aged 10 to 11 years, challenged their adult competitors, including 65-year-old Concepcion Olayon, who owns a meat shop in the town market. They were asked to prepare dishes that would showcase the unique style of cooking Guinobatan Longganisa and its distinct taste.
The contest produced the Longganisa Stuffed Pocket Pie, Shanggalo (“lumpia” rolls), Naked Hot Longganisa de Guinobatan Surprise, Cordon Bleu Stuffed Longganisa with Mashed Potato, Longganisa Express, Menudo and Longganisa Shanghai.
Susan and Sean Eduardo Paliza’s Longganisa Express, a twist of the popular dish Bicol Express which uses longganisa instead of plain meat, earned the judges’ nod. “This was the first time I made a dish out of longganisa,” Susan said.
The Palizas own a “tapsilog” eatery in the public market and has been selling longganisa since 2009.
Second-placer was Naked Hot Longganisa de Guinobatan Surprise, created by Geroncio Sampaga Jr. and Ryan Balmaceda. It consisted of longganisa minus its casing, which was layered with vegetables and topped with cheese, plus a side dish of eggplant salad.
Longganisa de Guinobatan with Chicken and Pineapple Juice was third. It was concocted by John Eric Vargas and Myla Manlapaz.
For the sausage-making tilt, the participants were given one kilo of pork each and ingredients to make as many sausages within an hour.
Sonia Pabilonia and Sean Paliza won first price; Concepcion Ogayon, second; and Christian Mangampo and Mark Dhon Moraleda, third.