Oh no! You’re planning to go to Ilocos but don’t know which delicacies you want to try out? Worry not, gayyem. This article is here for you!
There’s so much to do, so much to see, and so much to eat in Ilocos! But for now, let’s focus on how to give your taste buds a taste of the place.
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Best Ilocos Delicacies
What better way to start off this list than with the infamous (and diet-sinful) bagnet!
Crispy, juicy, and super delicious! This deep-fried slab of pork belly is gonna make your mouth water with delight even from just smelling it! After you try it, you’ll definitely understand what the deal is with those “Got Bagnet?” shirts. They’re THAT good that they deserve a fan shirt!
These delectable little snacks are a wonder-pasalubong when it comes to last-minute decisions on what to bring home to the family.
A soft and chewy base with a slightly burnt and crispy cheesy surface, which would for sure make you want more! Nothing could ever go wrong with buying these delicious goodies! (Unless of course, you’re allergic to cheese. But let’s face it. You’d want to take the risk!)
You’ve probably had sweet corn, binatog, popcorn, or even a good ol’ corn on the cob; but have you ever had a crunchy corn snack made similarly like chicharon?
A drinking session in Ilocos wouldn’t be complete without this snack, since it’s become a staple inuman snack to the locals! You could pick between spicy or original (though I recommend the spicy ones!) to bring home to the fam and friends because it’s not only good for inuman– but also for movies as well!
A visit to the Ilocos regions isn’t really complete without tasting their empanadas!
But what makes them so special? Well, they cost way cheaper but way more hearty than anywhere else! Packed with a generous amount of shredded green papaya, minced vigan longgansia, and even an egg, you’ll surely feel the busog with just one of these! Great for having lunch on-the-go!
If you love the Ilocos Empanadas, then you’ll surely love these crispy delights! They’re really not hard to find since wherever empanadas go, okoys follow! Just ask where you’ll buy your empanadas if they have okoy (and most probably, they sell that too!)
As you may know, most of the Ilocos municipalities are located near the beach, so you know what that means. Fresh shrimp! The best way to enjoy okoy is when it’s cooked with fresh shrimp! Don’t forget to dip these tasty snacks in Ilocos Sugar Cane Vinegar!
If you already like the usual pinakbet taste you’re familiar with, then you’ll surely love the Ilocos pinakbet!
As Ilocos is known to be full of field crops, the abundance of vegetables in their pinakbet is already a given! But surely, it’s not just the variety of veggies that give their pinakbet its flavour profile, because Ilocanos tend to mix bagnet in it as well! The crunchy texture mixed with fresh veggies is just *Chef’s Kiss*.
A meatless dish that vegetarians need to try! This simple delicacy makes use of the creative and innovative minds of Ilocos natives when it comes to coming up with more vegetable dishes!
It may not be the most pleasant-looking vegetable dish, but I guarantee that it’s a taste you’ll never forget (And would never want to, either.)! Tasting the mashed eggplant brimming with flavour together with onions and tomatoes makes you wanna eat this everyday!
Set aside your picky eating habits and try out sinanglao! Surely some people would find eating a dish composed of bile and cow innards seem disgusting, but I assure you, it’s quite delicious!
Sinanglao is best eaten in the morning when the ingredients are fresh and the pot is hot! A whole variety of textures ranging from the soft and tender meat to the chewy skin; an abundance of flavours from the sourness of kamias to the sweetness of fats would surely make you want more!
Some delicacies come in plastic wrappings or in a banana leaf, but with tinubong, you’ll have to work hard to get your sweet treat!
This delicacy tastes just like sinuman but with burnt, crispy, yet delicious parts in it. But there’s a twist. You have to break open the bamboo that encases it! Talk about hard to get!
Do I really need to introduce this delicacy already known nation-wide? Of Course I do. Because this delicacy is so good you’ll be craving it for weeks!
Get a taste of “Sukang Iloko” (Local sugar cane vinegar) and “The white gold of Ilocos” (Ilocos grown garlic) with every bite out of these delicious sausages! It pairs well with just about anything. With pandesal? With rice? With pasta? Sky’s the limit! Stimulate your creativity and cook up the best longganisa dish ever!
This isn’t the end of the list of delicacies you should try out. But rather, just the beginning! Compiled in our list are must-try delicacies. But it doesn’t mean that these are the only things you should try out!
If you found something you like, then what’s stopping you from getting a taste of these wonderful dishes? File that leave asap and come on over to Ilocos for a whole new gastronomic experience!
Rei is a bundle of anxiety who loves to read manhwa, novels, and play online games all day long. Although pretty timid to strangers, he gets really talkative when he gets to know them. You’ll always find him trying to extract some tea from his friends.