Family stamps own brand on ‘tapa’
MANGALDAN, Pangasinan—Mention this town’s name, and “tapa” quickly comes to mind.
“For more than a hundred years, making beef tapa has been a common venture among old families in this town’s local meat industry. Each family has its own distinct taste and personal touch,” says Mayor Herminio Romero.
Councilor Alfredo Soriano, who owns a tapa business (MOS Food Products), says his grandmother and his wife’s parents were tapa makers, and his family has continued the business.
“That is mostly the case here, so the secret of tapa making of each family is passed on to generations, making the tapa in Mangaldan special,” he says.
Tapa (“Pindang” for Mangaldan folk) is processed beef strip, which is traditionally prepared by curing the salted and heavily seasoned meat directly under the sun.
Fried tapa has been part of the traditional Filipino breakfast meal “tapsilog” or tapa, sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg).
Each strip of tapa comes from selected meat parts of either carabao or cow.
Manufacturers here prefer carabeef, or carabao beef, because it is tastier and more tender than tapa made from cow meat.
Tapa, a top seller throughout the year here, is Mangaldan town’s One Town One Product.
“Cela’s Meat Products (Mangaldan’s Best)” is the brand that led the pack in the local meat industry with its superior quality and taste.
The shop’s owner, Marcela Barrozo, has been in the business for more than 40 years, making her one of the remaining original tapa makers in town.
Her backyard factory, which was given an “AA” rating by the National Meat Inspection Commission (NMIC), also processes other meat products such as “tocino,” hot dog, “embutido” and native sausages.
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