MANILA – After sampling the offerings of the homegrown fast food chain Jollibee, the staff of the American social news website BuzzFeed got a taste of typical street food in the Philippines.
A video of the taste test, titled “Americans try Filipino street food,” was uploaded by BuzzFeed on YouTube on Tuesday and has more than 77,000 views as of writing.
In the nearly three-minute clip, the BuzzFeed staff tried Filipino street food such as fish balls, turon, kwek kwek, kikiam and isaw.
One taste tester described the fish balls, which is made of deep-fried fish paste, as “like a weird sponge,” while another called it “the fish version of a chicken nugget.”
Most of the BuzzFeed staff liked the turon or sweet banana spring rolls, as well as the kwek-kwek or deep-fried quail eggs.
However, they had mixed views about the kikiam (ground pork and vegetables wrapped in bean curd sheets and deep fried) and isaw (grilled intestines).
“It tastes like a flat egg roll… I don’t know what’s going on,” said one taste tester of the kikiam.
“It’s like 'Fear Factor' right there,” another commented, referring to the isaw.
In 2009, the travel website of CNN (then called CNNGo) dubbed Manila as one of Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities.
Aside from fish ball, isaw, kikiam and kwek-kwek, other must-try street food items listed on the website include chicharon (deep-fried pork rinds), taho (silken tofu with sugar syrup and tapioca pearls), balut (fertilized duck egg), silog (garlic fried rice, fried egg and a viand), sago’t gulaman (tapioca pearls with caramelized sugar water and agar jelly) and banana cue (deep-fried banana coated in brown sugar).