Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Siling Labuyo

Having been acquainted with the "pointless" sili in Cagayan Valley, I came home to Cavite to find pots and pots of the real stuff - siling labuyo, all abloom and sprouting young fruits - at my public market suki, who sources vegetables from Tagaytay City.

My suki said this is the authentic siling labuyo - short, stubby, and so fiery it'll cut your tongue off. I got so scared I didn't buy a pot, to avoid any accidental run-ins with the bunso who's fond of picking flowers from our lawn. So I just took photos, and consoled myself by buying more fruits since I was able to save Php150 per pot of sili.

The emphasis that this is authentic siling labuyo is apparently needed, because there are impostors out there, and they outnumber the real one. Generally termed siling pula, the more common sili are longer, red, and not as hot.

By the looks of the leaves, this is not the species where the sili tops that are indispensable in tinola and sinuwam come from.

I think siling labuyo is related to the halang-halang that abounds in Samar-Leyte and Negros Oriental.

Variously known in English as bird chili, bird's eye chili, bird pepper, hot chili, cayenne (scientific name Capsicum frutescens), siling labuyo bears attractive flowers that bely its inner heat, originating from the pith where the seeds nestle. Nasa loob ang kulo, as they say.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the blog. We chatted a while back about heirloom tomatoes as well. I finally got a chance to grow siling labuyo this year and I really enjoyed it. Great in stir fry or salsa. It made me want sisig really badly but alas I do not have the culinary skills for that. Here are a few pics of my plants.