Glutinous purple mountain rice and exotic Pinikpikan. This is how our adventures started in the laidback town of Sagada… by indulging in local flavors. And it was a savory treat considering it was already three in the afternoon when we arrived and we just spent the last 7 hours on the treacherous roads from Baguio, without any proper meals in between.
What is Pinikpikan?
Pinikpikan, which originated from the word pikpik (a process of light beating), is a local delicacy popular in the mountainous region of Cordillera. Simply put, it is a chicken stew with a smoky, salty flavor. What made it special though is the locals’ controversial way of preparing it.
A live chicken is beaten black and blue with a stick, under its wings, to let the blood coagulate and to prevent it from spilling when the chicken is butchered. After this the chicken is killed, its feathers burned off and removed, the meat is cut into smaller pieces then finally cooked. The locals believed that the clotted blood resulting from the beating will add tremendous flavor to the dish.
In the earlier days, the preparation of Pinikpikan is also considered a ritual by the Cordillera tribes to determine their fate and their courses of action. Upon killing the chicken, the bile and the liver will be taken out. After this the tribe leader will perform a sort of “reading” on these organs. A visible bile generally signifies a good omen.
Pinikpikan was simply divine. It was so good that we literally cleared our plates in a matter of a few minutes. Gutom na gutom lang? LOL! As for the taste, it pretty much reminds me of Batchoy with a fusion of Tinola sans the Sayote and the Ginger.
For a dish whose preparation is frowned upon by animal advocates, it certainly packs a lot of flavor. Definitely a must-try dish when in Sagada!
Where to eat Pinikpikan?
Since Pinikpikan is quite famous in the Cordilleras, you can find it easily in several restaurants in the area. If your in Sagada however, you may opt to try eating this exotic cuisine at Pinikpikan Haus.
Video of Pinikpikan
WARNING: The video is quite graphic!
Savoring Sagada. February 9 – 13, 2012. A series of posts featuring the charms and beauty of Sagada; the place, the culture and the people. With travel buddies Lancy, Elaine, Kat, Mage, Julie, Eileen, Jim, Piolo and Louie.
4 Comments to “SAGADA | The Savory Pinikpikan”
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