Thursday, October 16, 2014

Espesyal na Longganisang Lucban from Eker & Ely

Longganisa is  sausage in Tagalog  and various towns throughout the country have their own homegrown recipes, some more popular and sought after than  the others.  
Longganisang Lucban is one of the more popular varieties and you just cannot go to Lucban without buying some to take back home. 
This sausage has a distinctive garlicky and slightly sour flavour.   Atsuete or annatto seeds give it a reddish tinge and oregano and other herbs like local basil, tanglad or lemongrass give it its unique taste.  
While you can buy it just about anywhere and everywhere in Lucban,  it still helps to have your very own "suki" (favourite vendor) --  that produces the best quality, authentic tasting longganisa.

 On this last trip to Lucban, everyone I asked had different opinions as to who sold the best longganisa.  I finally decided to go with my sister-in-law's recommendation.  She told me to look for
Eker & Ely --  their store is easy to find, it's right on the street right behind San Luis Obispo church.

 The store had other Lucban pasalubong specialties for sale but I zeroed in on this scene behind the counter -- dozens of strings of  longganisa, hanging from two bamboo sticks were being wrapped in paper, ready for the many customers who were lined up to buy.
Lucban longganisa is sold by the dozen -- P75 for twelve pieces. The jumbo variety, slightly bigger, sells for double that amount.

 Back in Manila, Sunday morning was the perfect time to open up a pack and enjoy this treat for an unhurried breakfast.
Uncooked, the regular sized longganisa is just about 4 inches long.  Cooked, it shrinks to half that size.
Because longganisang lucban has quite a bit of pork fat, it's best to simmer it first in a little water.
As the water evaporates and the fat slowly seeps out, prick the longganisa to release more of the fat  but move away from the stove unless you want your shirt splattered with the red atsuete juice that will squirt out from the casing.
Don't add any cooking oil but let the longganisa cook in its own fat.

 Once the longganisa starts to fry, cut each in half to allow the meat, and yes the pieces of pork fat, to cook more thoroughly.  As to the degree of doneness -- my family likes their longganisang lucban  well cooked till it's very crunchy.
Doesn't this remind you of  chorizo?  I find that the garlicky, slightly tart flavour has similarities to its spanish cousin.

After removing  the longganisa from the pan, I quickly stir in a few beaten eggs to cook in the  drippings. The scrambled eggs pick up the reddish tinge plus the last little bits and pieces of crunchy sausage.  It's longsilog for Sunday breakfast, Lucban-style!
Kain na!

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