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TOM PARKER BOWLES


MANILA — After eating sisig, kare-kare, adobo and sinigang, the son of the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles, Tom Parker Bowles, raved about Filipino dishes in an article he wrote for a magazine in the United Kingdom.

Bowles, food editor of Esquire magazine, visited Manila recently to have a taste of Philippine cuisine.

He also dined with former First Lady Imelda Marcos who, he said, was “clever, funny and charming.”

In the article titled “Anyone for Filipino?” in Esquire’s Aug. 11, 2011 issue, Parker Bowles talked about dishes he enjoyed in Pampanga and Manila, food ingredients such as sili, bawang, sibuyas and calamansi, and heirloom recipés.

He also gave recipés of Pampanga’s crunchy sisig and Manila’s adobong manok.

He also found delight in balut, which most, if not all, foreigners dread eating.

“Street food is not a big draw here, certainly when compared to Thailand or Vietnam. But then, there’s balut, the pavement equivalent of Animal Farm, the porno version you saw as a teenager on grainy VHS. It’s a fertilized duck egg, complete with embryo,” he wrote.

And finally, there’s lechon, a great shiny roasted pig, he said.

“It’s the finest piece of pigskin I’ve ever eaten. One of the best things I’ve ever tried, full stop. It’s a celebratory dish, but also a very traditional one, eaten before the Spaniards arrived.”

Parker Bowles also praised Filipino food prepared for him by top chefs such as Claude Tayag, Margarita Fores and Juanita Vazquez.

He also toured Market, Market! in Taguig where one can have a taste of food from various regions of the country.

And in his tours, culinary masters and historians Joel Binamira, Ivan Henares and Ivan Man Dy guided him.

“Manila’s a city with a pockmarked face and a horrible limp, a place of erroneous preconceptions. But it has a heart of gold,” Parker Bowles concluded.


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Chicken adobo.