A FUSION of Codilleran flavors is being offered at the first Mangan Taku Cordillera Food Fair at the Rose Garden in Burnham Park from April 8 to 14.
The most flavorful dishes from Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Benguet, Baguio, Mountain Province and Ifugao are available to the public.
During the opening ceremonies on Monday, April 8, Marie Venus Tan, COO of the Philippine Tourism Board, lauded efforts to highlight heritage cuisine.
“Culture and tradition should be part of tourism and food is the center of culture,” she said.
Dubbed as “Mangan Taku: Cordillera Food Fair,” the event is a project of the Department of Tourism Cordillera in a bid to promote Cordillera’s heritage food culture.
DOT-CAR, which was then under Tan, started with a Cordillera Cuisine project in 2016, which aimed to catapult local cuisine into the mainstream by inviting chefs to immerse into local food and find inspiration in the highlands to create a dish using ingredients and techniques by the locals.
For three years, a Cordilleran culinary journey was embarked by the academe, media and chefs to bring into the limelight traditional ingredients, methods and flavors into the consciousness of the present.
Then, Tan hoped to inspire chefs and restaurant owners to fuse Cordilleran ingredients into their menu and bring the food of the mountains into restaurants.
At Mangan Taku, the food of Cordilleran forefathers is now available in the provincial booths filled with traditional eats and mainstream restaurant’s fusion with heritage recipes.
Pasil town in Kalinga offers organic food and recipes from the municipality known for its slow food and earthen jars.
Apayao province features a fusion of traditional and modern in the father and daughter pizza creation of Cesar and Aiyana Agbayani from Pudtol flavored pinalatan, binanayan and pinaltit flavored pizzas based from local food made from pork and pomelo leaves with chili.
Abra’s iconic handmade miki mami has likewise drawn crowds since opening day.
Among the local restaurants, Green Pepper features a kiniig sisig and gourmet blood sausages while Lihim ni Maria offers kesong puti ice cream.
The University of Baguio displays their chocolate infused with smoked pork and sagada oranges in dark and white variants.
University of the Cordilleras College of Hospitality And Tourism Management under Dean Laarni Andam presents their grilled pork rubbed with coffee and spices.
Jovi Ganongan, OIC of the DOT regional office, said “Mangan Taku” is both a social call and a greeting in the highlands, inviting people to partake of a home cooked meal.