Foods that smell good are the most popular in the world. Like for instance, the world’s most favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla because of its cool and enticing smell and fragrance. There are some foods that really smell bad but people seem to enjoy and love them. For others, smelly foods are simply the best.
Here are some of the smelliest foods in the Philippines that many Filipino people love to eat.
1.) Tataet or Tinataitan
I am pretty sure this is your first time to encounter this term. Tataet, or sometimes called Tinataitan, is derived from the Ilocano dialect word “pinapaitan” a popular Ilocano delicacy. Pinapaitan is a goat or beef stew dish made from beef or goat meat and innards. Tataet is actually a combination of “Kilawin” or “Kappukan” and Pinapaitan. Grilled goat meat and boiled innards are finely chopped and seasoned with spring onions, vinegar, salt and red chili peppers. Freshly extracted and strained liquid from the animal’s stomach and intestine is then poured into the mixture and serve. The smell is comparable to that of a male goat right in front your nose.
2.) Stinky Pig’s Head (Burong Baboy)
I just thought this sounds more unusual than the first on the list. It is customary for some tribes in the Philippine Cordilleras to preserve meats in the most unusual way. The traditional method of preserving meat on this mountainous area is by curing or by storing them on running waters such as streams and rivers. But the most unusual way is the preservation of pork by fermenting them in a container called “burnay” or large earthen jar.
Head or heads of butchered pigs are kept in a “burnay” for several days. Naturally, after few days, maggots are visible; a sign that the meats are ready for harvest. The smell is similar to a rotten dead animal. The harvested meats, together with the maggots, are then boiled and served for consumption.
3.) Fermented Rice with Fish (Burong Isda)
Uncook Burong isda
You might have heard of this food already. Fermented Rice with Fish is called “burong isda” in the Filipino language. It is a Filipino exotic food made from pre-cook rice, salt and carefully cleaned fish such as mud fish, catfish, tilapia, gourami and other species. The ingredients are stored in a closely tight container and fermented for 2 weeks or more, depending on the size and fish species. Opening the fermented product will surely be a not-so-nice experience for first-timers because it doesn’t smell good at all. Some people still don’t like the smell of it even after it has already been cooked with spices such as garlic, ginger and onions.
4.) Durian (The King of Fruits)
Almost 100% of all fruits smell good, but this fruit is truly indifferent. Durian is so-called the “king of fruits” because of its strong and unusual smell. If it’s your first time to eat this fruit from Mindanao, Philippines and neighboring Southeast Asian countries, I am pretty sure you will not enjoy it. Disregarding the smell of Durian, it is actually one of the best tasting fruits in the world. But to be honest, I wasn’t able to convince my two kids to eat it no matter how hard I tried.
5.) Salted Eggs ( Maalat na Itlog or Itlog na Pula)
Salted Egg is a popular Filipino food usually eaten with fresh tomatoes and sprinkled with salt. Salted Egg or locally known as Itlog na Maalat or Itlog na Pula due to its red coloration. A salted egg in the Philippines is colored red to emphasize that it is a salted egg. It is a wrong notion that it is salty because it is red in color. The smell of salted egg is really stinky if there is something wrong with the preparation. If the eggs are properly fermented they will not smell bad, although there is still a slight unusual smell. Pateros, in Metro Manila, is the center of eggs and other duck egg related products such as balot and penoy.
6.) Shrimp Paste (Alamang)
Shrimp Paste or Shrimp Sauce is commonly called Alamang or Shrimp Bagoong in the Philippines. It is also popular among other Asian nations. It is made from fermented ground shrimp. It is also popular in many Southeast Asian countries.
Alamang only smells repulsive when uncooked. It is used in many Asian dishes and is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Kare-kare, Manggang Hilaw and others is well-associated with Alamang.
7.) Bagoong Monamon
Bagoong Monamon or Fish Bagoong may not smell good to others but it definitely tastes and smells good to many Filipinos especially the Ilocanos in the Philippines and in many parts of the world. It is made by fermenting salted anchovies. This kind of condiment which can be extremely repulsive to others is used to flavor several popular dishes such as Pinakbet, Buridibod, Inabraw or Dinengdeng and others. Due to poverty, it is also eaten raw with rice by the poorest of the Filipinos.
8.) Bagoong Terong
Bagoong fermenting in burnay jars in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Bagoong Terong or simply Bagoong is called Bugguong in the Ilocano dialect. This is made by salting and fermenting the Bonnet Mouth Fish. This type of bagoong is coarser than Bagoong Monamon, and contains fragments of the salted and fermented fish but they are similar in flavor and odor. Like Alamang, Bagoong only smells repulsive when uncooked.
9.) Patis (Fish Sauce)
Patis is a popular condiment in the Philippines and other Asian countries. It is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces and can also be used in mixed form as a dipping condiment, and it is done in many different ways.
10.) Burong Mustasa (Fermented Mustard)
Burong Mustasa or fermented mustard leaves is also popular fermented vegetable in some regions of the Philippines. The leaves are soaked in brine for at least one week. It can be eaten as it is when harvested. It can be stir fried or cook as Torta – stir fried added with egg. It smells repulsive but the odor is gone when already cooked.