Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Journey of the Happy Pomelo

After a few harsh realizations of apartment living and the post- holiday w(h)ines, I resolved to breathe my enthusiasm back. Now that our pad (and our sacred purple fridge) is squeaky clean, it is time to resume my little preoccupation on food writing.
For some adventurous spirit, driving down the countryside is the ultimate food experience. Packed lunches, great music, great company, crossing towns- never boring- and you will even find the best food in unexpected places. Like my so- called experience with the “happy pomelo”. Who would have thought that I’d find perfect SeƱoritas (term for the large- size fruit) in Camarines Sur- when all I know is that the Mindanao area is the land of this delightful, pink citrus? We were having our tank filled up in a nearby gasoline station. When I went down the vehicle to get a little muscle stretch, these kids started calling, “Ma’m, 3 for 100! 3 for 100” (3 pcs. For 100 pesos- a little over 2 dollars with the current exchange rate). Then the rest of the pack started gathering around me so I summoned my brother, “Go, get some for the family!” I also bought a few for myself because the kids were really funnily pushy!

My brother actually did all the buying from the little stall, and myself, dealing with the kids. They were just that happy, proud of their wares. For who wouldn’t be happy? At closer look, I noticed that the fruits were close to perfect. The skin, a little moist with a lot of zest and visually free of the awful rind-borer damage. I was far from worrying about how they were farmed.

So during the ride home and everyone was enjoying the juicy find, I was thinking of other things to do with it- there was just a lot of them at the back seat.

What does a hunter do in the event of excess food at hunt?
A. Reserve some for future use
B. Give to neighbors
C. Get creative and gather the tribe for a feast!

My personality goes for letter C. So this is where the pomelo went:
Happy Pomelo Salad with Honey Vinegar Dressing

1 head iceberg lettuce
About 3 wedges pink pomelo
1 pc medium size orange
1 C ripe mango cubes
1 C white sweet turnip, julienne cut
1/3 C red cabbage, cut into strips
1 T Salad oil (optional. Although this is a classic salad staple, I prefer this version to be really "squeaky" to the palate and a little fruity)
½ - 3/4 C Honey- vinegar (We have a bottle of coco- nectar vinegar with raw wild honey given by a family friend who makes them. It’s just perfect for this. However, you may also make your concoction from scratch : cane vinegar or apple cider, then honey, at a ratio of 1:1. Shake well.)

1) Wash the lettuce clean and dry thoroughly. With clean hands, tear into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl.
2) Peel pomelo, remove all white membrane, deseed, and with your hands, just separate into chunks. Do the same with the orange. Throw in the two fruits into the salad bowl with the lettuce, followed by the cubed mango, turnip, and red cabbage.
3) Drizzle the honey vinegar like summer rain – gently, all over. You can also squeeze in a little fresh orange juice. Toss. Best served chilled.

Enjoy. It’s the feeling that counts :)


Anonymous said...

Wow, i love those pictures! Sounds like you had a wonderful road trip and to be rewarded with such beautiful pomelos made it even more special.

I never heard of Coco-nectar vinegar but i bet it's incredible. Lucky you! I imagine the fresh, bright and clean flavors of your salad and i'm drooling. Can't go wrong with such ingredients! :-)

foodhuntress79 said...

Zen, definitely it was wonderful. I think I was the one too happy after that, not the pomelo. Haha. :) You know, I truly had in mind featuring here the coco nectar vinegar after this salad post. What a fine coincidence with your curiosity :)

Anonymous said...

I have psychic abilities when it comes to anything food related! Haha ;-)