Monday, October 24, 2005
Lasang Pinoy 3: MRT Streetfood
[Chocolate Marbled Suman]
My UP org batchmate, who subsequently became a best buddy and college days karamay, or life-saver, to be more apt, and on to being a constant movie and food adventures companion, is featured here today. He actually wants to start his own blog, but hasn't gotten the motivation to do so yet, so I sort of twisted his arms so he could join LP3 sans a blog. Being the best friend that he is, he didn't say a word, and came up with this entry.
MORON: The Reluctant Street Food
By Edwin S. Estrada
Kai was a bit hesitant when I told her that the street food I was going to write about for Lasang Pinoy 3 is moron, a sticky rice delicacy from Leyte that’s been sprouting in Metro Railway Transport (MRT) stations all over Metro Manila. I sensed that the crux of her hesitation was probably that my suggested subject matter didn’t quite fit her notion of what a street food should be – popular, ubiquitous, cheap and found along, well, the streets. (Should I include dirty-looking as one of the characteristics of a true-blue street food?)
Moron is not that popular yet, being fairly new in the street food business (though it’s slowly gaining recognition among the middle-class). I only started noticing the moron stalls a couple of years back. It’s ubiquitous in a way, if you consider the MRT as a major transport mode today for hundreds of thousands of commuters in the metropolis. Cheap it is, at ten pesos per piece. The only conceptual hitch is that moron is not sold along the streets but in MRT stations. But who cares? Personally, street food does not necessarily have to be sold along the streets. As long as it’s cheap, popular (or starting to be), and found along accessible transport routes, it is street food!
So why did I pick moron as my subject matter? To be honest, I wanted to choose a more traditional Filipino street food like fish balls or banana-que. Kai wanted a more exotic type. When we passed by an MRT station one afternoon, I found my topic like it’s the missing puzzle to the mysteries of the universe. Right in front of us was a moron stall, with a bundle of moron neatly presented on a folksy wooden container. I bought some for us to taste. It had a delicate taste, quite simple but flavorful. It’s made from grounded malagkit rice flavored with high-grade chocolate and wrapped in banana leaf. It looks like a big fat cigar actually, sans the harmful substances. I’ve heard that almost every town and city in the province of Leyte produces the tasty and filling snack. It’s perfect to eat anytime of the day – in the morning if you’re in a hurry to get to work but haven’t taken breakfast yet, during lazy afternoons for a quick energy-booster, and in the evening as a pang tawid-gutom (stomach-filler) before having dinner.
I quite developed a liking for moron. It’s a street food that’s tasty, filling, healthy, and above all, uniquely Filipino.
Lasang Pinoy 3
Kai's Homemade Moron Recipe