When I was a kid, my mother took me and my sibs to yearly or trips to her “motherland” 🙂 – Mountain Province. We’d spend a week or two in the ‘ili’ doing ‘ili’ stuff. We’d stay most of the time at the house she built on top of a mountain. It was without electricity and water was from the piped in from uhm– springs? Cooking was just as “traditional”. Pot and pan bottoms were black with soot from firewood. Everything we cooked always had this distinct “woody” flavor. This flavor would always remind me of those mandatory vacations 🙂 my sibs and I would take with our mother in the “ili” . Oh boy this kinuday has made me so sentimental! Haha
Here’s where I had a lot of firewood cooked meals!
Pop and Mac’s Kinuday did just that to me. It took me home! This signature dish is sooo deceptively simple — pork, broth and greens. On my visit , it was a big bowl filled with Kinuday goodness and my favorite greens – Tongsoy or Water Cress. It’s the most uncomplicated meal I’ve written about. But it takes expertise to get the Kinuday right.
Acccording to ygolottes.weebly.com :
Kinuday is a local term in Benguet for their traditional smoked meat. The process of smoking the meat has long been practiced by the Ibaloi families in the province. There is no standard as to how long the meat should be smoked and how it should be smoked. Families who have been making kinuday for their own consumption have different strategies in making their own version of smoked bacon.
My celebrity chef friend Aguinaya, who specializes in Cordillera cuisine explains the difference between etag and kinuday. Typically, you add etag to a dish to give it that oooomph – in most cases, it is added pinikpikan. Eating etag by itself is not a usual practice. Plus it’s saltier and the etag making process is different too.
Anywho, I also ordered Marky’s Pancit.It’s basically pancit that uses glass noodles or sotanghon. The flavor was a bit too strong though. I suspected magic sarap or vetsin but Aguinaya explained they probably didn’t water down the meaty broth.
As soon as I entered I remarked, ” Parang asa Sagada lang ah”. Super simple set up, really. Great place to hang out. For 50 bucks (Coffee) you can enjoy Cordillera ambience and hospitality. It’s no Starbucks. But I’d say it’s one of those places in Baguio City who are more serious about the food than decoration ;).
And since I’m feeling very sentimental, here’s a bonus. We’ve covered kinuday and etag. Here’s another Igorot meat specialty – Watwat. Pics were taken years ago on my maternal lola’s funeral.
The men butcher carabao and pig and throw everything into a huge pot of sorts.
And we’re baaaaack — to Pop and Mac. Pop and Mac Cafe is located at the basement of Laperal Building. Entrance is through Diego Silang Street. Same street you find the DENR office.
Check out their witty menu!