So the title of this blog may make it sound like I’m going to talk about dancing, but that’s not exactly the case. Okay, so the merengue and salsa are not even traditional dances of the Philippines, but it is a good segway into today’s blog about making salsa! Now, the salsa I made isn’t your stereotypical salsa. Lola’s recipe is actually eggplant salsa. You might shy a way from this recipe based on the ingredients, but it’s actually a salsa that pairs with anything and not just tortilla chips.
When I first learned how to make this, Lola told me she had been eating this salsa for a week straight, mixed with rice. At first, I thought it couldn’t be as addicting as she made it out to be, but man was I wrong. She taught me how to make this recipe, as with all of the dishes, by having me watch her cook it. She never instructed using measurements, she made me learn a dish by sight and she would verbally tell me what came next as I watched her. I wasn’t even allowed to pick up a spoon! T
his approach to teaching might sound extreme, but there was a method to this madness. By the time she finished and we sat down to taste the dish,she would ask me, “Do you remember what is in this?” I would end up listing ingredients, as she had described them while she cooked and I listened. She then would ask me, “What goes first, and what do you cut?” I would reiterate to her the next steps. By the time I cooked the dish myself, I already remembered the recipe just from listening to her describe how the dish was made. Who needs recipe cards when you can subconsciously know a recipe?
The reason why she made me watch and listen to her cook is because that is the way she learned how to cook. She had learned by watching and listening to her parents and grandparents while they cooked, and that is how she taught me. She once said, “hese recipes were never written down on paper, they have been passed down from generation to generation by oral instruction.”
Back to my initial doubt that this salsa could be addicting enough to eat for a week, turns out it is pretty addicting. It’s a type of salsa that’s not extremely hot, but it’s not a mild salsa where there isn’t any kick. It’s a nice balance, yet it is savory because of the eggplant. It may be odd, but it’s best paired rice and with any protein. You might not think these two would go together, but it is quite filling. The best way I can describe it, is that it’s like Filipino sarciado, but without the fish. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well…
Until the next post…
Kain Tayo! (Let’s Eat!)