Oct 3, 2012
Smoked Longganisa and Tocino Breakfast : Product Review
There's something with Filipino-style breakfasts that never fails to wake me up even after staying up late from last night. There's daing, those wonderfully tasty salted and dried fish, and tapsilog which goes extremely well with spicy-sweet vinegar. And then there's tocino and longganisa, two favorite breakfasts in our home, but seldomly served because we're trying to cut back on our fat consumption, and everyone knows that commercially bought tocino and longganisa are laden with chunks of fat and lots of sodium, and processed in a way that defeats the essence of traditionally prepared ones like my mom used to make.
But it's not that bad to have them occasionally, and I got the opportunity to review one of the new names in the processed meat industry. I have featured Frabelle Foods in my previous post, and it's about time I put their claims to the test with our longganisa, tocino, and poached eggs breakfast. Their Longganiza Hamonado was surprisingly mellow in taste, so if you're used to eating too salty foods then at first it may give you an impression that it lacks taste. It's sweet with just the right amount of salty, peppery flavor that's not cloying at all. It has a distinct smoky taste, which went well with the poached eggs, and it doesn't have huge chunks of fat you normally see in other longganisa.
Their Longganiza Recado, on the other hand, packs a stronger flavor that's garlicky, peppery, and a little more salty. It also contains small visible chunks of fat, and turns out with a sticky coating when cooked. There's also some notes of smoky flavor, but not too much, which makes you eat a few more pieces to have it linger in your mouth. In terms of preference, they both taste great, almost as good as those we buy from the provinces, but of course still not quite the same.
When I saw the tocino in its packaging, it was seriously red. Deep red processed meat often turns me off, but Alex insisted that it's just this once anyway. I make tocino at home without the use of chemicals (curing salt / saltpeter) and food coloring, so this one's a challenge. But I do want to know what's different with this one since it says it's made from ham leg. I think I misunderstood it and thought it's made from ham :p
When cooked, it turned to this deep reddish-pink color that I attempted to leave the review to Alex's disposal. According to him, it tastes a lot milder than the usual tocino, but what he really emphasized was that it has no strips of cured fat in the whole package, and that the tocino is very tender and not almost rock-hard like the ones they buy at the supermarket. I tried one, and it's pretty much true, the meat is very tender and mildly sweet and savory. I might start eating tocino more if it tastes like this, and if the color doesn't put me off first. :)
We did try the other products, but my camera failed me and the photos became corrupted, and now I'm getting a bit sleepy so a quick rundown would help. The Yummy! Hotdogs, Cheesedogs, Hickory Smoked Bacon and Honey Ham are pretty much the same with other brands except they have this distinct smoked flavor, and they have a soft but firm texture even when cooked, if you know what I mean. I guess it really made the difference, since my brothers said that there's something new with the hotdogs (they didn't know it was a different brand) and that they like it better.
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