Monday, December 26, 2011

White Guys and Their Filipino Store Adventures

If you're just tuning in, I'm married to a white Midwestern guy. You see I grew up in the Philippines and just like any Filipino who moved to another country I miss my Filipino food (more than my family..but shhh! Don't tell them that.) Fortunately, I live in LA where there are a lot of Filipino stores. The nearest one, located in Koreatown is a 15 minute drive from my apartment. Seafood City is probably one of the most popular Filipino stores in the US. They have stores all over LA, San Diego, NorCal and Las Vegas. Yes. Whether you like it or not we are everywhere (don't worry we only bite when provoked!). Now going back to the whole point of this blog. Once a month my husband and I drive to Seafood City to get my Filipino food fix. I call it the Tour De Freak only because I think I kinda freak him out with the stuff I expose him to. I bring him along because I want him to experience my culture (plus he's my chauffeur). My husband is such a good sport. He eagerly walks around the store with me. Most of the time he is the only white dude in the store and everyone gives him that look -- like WTH-is-this-white-guy-doing-here look. The first few times I brought him along he would have this confused/shocked/amused look on his face and would ask me a lot of questions -- What is this? How do you eat this? Is this food or decoration? What is this called? How do you pronounce that? Why is the fish staring back at me? You actually eat those? WTH are fish balls? Why does shrimp paste smell like old fish?. That was before. Now he's more acclimated and comfortable.

Today was one of those Tour de Freak days. My husband waited in the car while I went shopping. In the seafood section I saw a white guy with his Filipino wife. While the woman was shopping the guy stood in one corner with their cart. He had the same confused/shocked/amused look on his face. It seems to me that he wasn't enjoying this adventure at all. I can't blame him. If you're not Filipino, there is some weird stuff in that store that will give you nightmares. For example:

  1. Chicken feet - Especially with the nails on, they are freaky.
  2. Pig Blood - When cooked it actually looks like chocolate but doesn't taste like chocolate.
  3. Liver, heart, kidneys, intestines, tripe - In other words ORGANS that you don't see in your local grocery store.
  4. Duck eggs (Balut) - Hello? They made it to Fear Factor.
  5. Fish head - They stare back at you but they smile at you.
A newbie might find Filipino food to be a little overwhelming, but it's time to take a break from Olive Garden, Applebees and Panera Bread Company.

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