Finally I could managed to visit the Quiapo Market in Manila. The Market is the center point of many Filipinos, because, here you can buy everything you need from A to Z.
The prices are really cheaper compared to the price of the supermarket. Furthermore if you haggle there is always a discount. But as I did not know all the fruits and things on my own, I decided to explore the market with a guide. Jessy from Smokey Tours did a great job in this and showed me around the crazy jungle of philippine fruits and huge variety of delicacies.
he Quiapo Market is next to Intramorus and part of Manila´s old town. The easiest way to go there is by cab. As I arrived there on Saturday morning the vivid market life was already in full progress. Wherever I look, huge crowds of people pushed themselves through the narrow streets and at every corner you could hear pop music playing from the CD vendor shops.
Here are some highlights of the most hilarious, but delicious pieces I found at the market.
Suman is a rice cake that is cooked in coconut milk and often wrapped in palm leaves and steamed.
The sweet and sticky rice has a form of a candy bar and is usually eaten together with a paste made out of sugar, shredded coconut or latik (reduce coconut milk until white lumps form and simmer until golden brown).
Salted Duck Egg
Salted Duck Egg is not originally a Filipino food, but chinese. You can find it everywhere. To help people distinguish them from fresh eggs the Filipinos color it red. The salty taste comes from soaking the duck eggs in brine. The salt equilibrating in the batch by osmosis. You eat the hard-boiled egg later on with red onions, tomatoes and vinegar. Delicious taste guaranteed and ideal snake bite.
Also mangosteen is Malaysian fruit. The pulp taste more sharp than Rambutan, but the fruit is known as an all around medicine, which means it could be antiphlogistic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-SCLC, debilitating tumor, debilitating ulcer, debilitating allergie, protection against liver damage and anti-rhinoviral. The taste is similar to that of the gooseberry.
I ate it on the market together with chilli salt, which is a great combination.
The fresh fruit is hard to get in Europe so when you are in Asia you better make sure to try one.
The most famous and most shocking food should be mentioned last but not least: Balut. Balut looks like the usual egg, but when you open it you will find a developed duck embryo inside. It´s sold as street food in the Philippines and people eat it as a snack. Some love it, others hate it. The best way to find out what fits for you is to simply try it.
The visit of the market was interesting for me because you could discover a lot of new things, fruits and odors. But you could get immersed into the philippine day-to-day-life. Like in many other countries the market is not only the place where goods are traded, but also the place where people share the latest gossip and stories. The market plays an important role to stay connected, particularly for people who don’t have access to news and media or who don’t have many relatives left. To really dive into the philippine daily life a visit of a market is obligatory!