Sunday, September 30, 2007


Satti has sting. Satti has class. Satti has soul.

Of all the food that I can bring to Manila, it is SATTI that I am most passionate about in introducing to the ``Metro Palate'' and eventually the whole country. Actually you can call this mission as the ``Sattination’’ of the Philippines and the world.

Satti to me represents what Mindanao is today – chaotic, troubled yet there is something to it that attracts people to its shores, its culture, its food and people. Satti specifically characterizes the spirit of Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu where satti can be found.

Think of satti as the forbidden fruit which has the state of being forbidden as its main attraction. It’s like a chocolate cake to a dieter, steak to a vegetarian, a beautiful parishioner to a priest; and needle to a balloon.

Non-Mindanaoans who have tasted satti call it ``pagkaing apoy’’ and therein lies the temptation to taste it. The knowledge that its peanut-based-soup is spiced up with loads of siling labuyo – but which also taste sweet -- is what draws the un-initiated to satti.

What adds mystery to this food is the fact that its recipe is a well-guarded secret handed down by an Indian-Arab to a Chinese-Muslim family in Sulu. Yes, I’ve seen some recipes in the Internet, but I dare you to compare them with the satti in Zamboanga and which we now have at the SM Fairview Food Court in Quezon City

Thus, satti has history and mystery boiling in its red-blood spicy soup.

It also has wide popularity in Southeast Asia where it is known as Satay and Sate. Although the ones in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand also goes with grilled chicken or beef, their peanut sauce are generally served as gravy or a dip and not served as soup as satti is.

Many Asian countries also serve their satay with regular rice, but it is only in the Philippines and Malaysia where the grilled meat and sauce are served with coconut ``puso’’ or rice cooked and served in coconut leaves.

Furthermore, it is only in the Philippines where the rice is dunk in the steaming bowl of satti sauce – Oreo style.

So, on the whole, you have a gastronomic experience not only unique but one taken on the wild side as well.

I have already tasted the different varieties of all the satays in different countries in Asia, the US, Canada and Europe and I tell you the Philippine version tastes the best. Don’t take my word for it, taste satti and compare it with satay and I promise you that you will be hooked. Don’t say I did not warn you.

Go ahead; admit it, what is forbidden almost always taste better ….

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