Must-Try Foods in Pangasinan
With every travel plan, food eventually finds its way into the discussion. Food, after all, is the reward we all get after a day’s worth of sight-seeing and fun activities. Also, trying out food from different places is an exciting and satisfying activity.
In the province of Pangasinan, food is diverse and delicious—as a result of the different topography and culture of its regions. With a wide variety of food choices to choose from, it can get overwhelming to plan out what you’re eating on your Pangasinan trip.
This bite-sized article includes the top 6 must-try foods in Pangasinan.
Pigar-pigar is thin beef slices sauteed in onions and cabbage. It is a popular pulutan in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. It is also commonly served on top of hot rice. Because of its light seasoning, it is usually served with a dipping sauce of fresh chili, calamansi juice and soy sauce.
I can’t quite compare this to any mainstream Filipino dish. It’s oily, beefy, saucy and delicious all at the same time. In my opinion, the best pigar-pigar in Dagupan can be tasted in Puzon’s Pigar-pigar, located along the highway of Lucao District.
Bagoong is fermented fish sauce that is used as a cooking condiment or sauce to accompany fried food or green mango. Bagoong is produced in various parts of the country. However, the home of bagoong is located in Lingayen, the capital town of Pangasinan. Lingayen is also one of the largest bagoong exporters in the country.
It was in 2019 when the innovation that is lechon bagoong was unveiled to the public. It was even featured in a segment of Unang Hirit, when they came to visit the town.
Lechon bagoong is a fish sauce twist to the grilled whole pig delicacy that all Filipinos are familiar with.
Puto is a steamed rice cake and its a famous Kakanin in Pangasinan. It’s usually white but flavors such as pandan, ube, and strawberry have been added to this traditional Filipino kakanin. While I have tasted puto from other parts of the country, nothing beats Puto Calasiao.
In fact, Puto Calasiao is considered to be its own specific recipe of puto. Calasiao is a small town in Pangasinan. Puto Calasiao refers to the special puto that is produced in this town.
The best place to buy Puto Calasiao are the collection of puto stalls, nearby the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church of Calasiao.
Tapa is one of the components of our favorite breakfast dish, tapsilog. While tapa is produced all over the country, Mangaldan Tapa is elevated and certainly worth a try.
Tapa is cured and marinated beef that is cooked by pan-frying. It is usually served with rice, veggies or fried egg.
Mangaldan tapa offers tender beef that is seasoned perfectly. It’s not too salty or sweet but is the perfect balance of the two tastes. The best tapa in Mangaldan is from Celia’s, a small-time home cook who turned her tapa recipe into a household business.
San Jacinto Corn
When traversing the main road from Dagupan City to Manaoag, one will be able to notice a line of corn highway vendors in the quiet town of San Jacinto. Sweet corn, fresh from the husk, is sold by these highway vendors.
Corn is one of the main crops of San Jacinto. Farmers and neighbors boil this corn to sell hot to passing travelers.
You can park your car on the side of the road and the vendors will accommodate you. You can even bring some unboiled corn back at home.
Longganisa is the Filipino version of sausage. There are a lot of variations of longganisa all over the country. They usually vary in fat to meat ratio, a combination of meat cuts, as well as the seasonings that marinate the meat.
Alaminos has its own version of longganisa. The city is not only known for its Hundred Islands but also for its delicious and one-of-a-kind take on the longganisa.
Alaminos Longganisa is unique, as it is more orange in color than regular longganisa. Moreover, instead of each individual pieces being separated by knots, they are held together by small sticks.
It’s characterized by large amounts of pepper and garlic, as opposed to the usual sweet longganisa taste. But that’s what makes it delicious.
It’s time to eat your fill in Pangasinan. Those were the 6 must-try foods that you should eat when you visit this charming province.