Novi recepti

Žena dobija kaznu od 200 dolara za to što je pojela bananu dok je zaglavljena u saobraćaju

Žena dobija kaznu od 200 dolara za to što je pojela bananu dok je zaglavljena u saobraćaju

Vozačica je optužena da je ugrozila druge vozače jedući bananu dok je njen automobil bio zaustavljen na kružnom toku

"To je najskuplja banana koju sam u životu jeo", rekao je Harris.

Žena iz Velike Britanije koja je pojela bananu dok je bila u automobilu zaustavljena u saobraćaju, kažnjena je sa 145,00 funti (približno 206 USD) jer "nije imala odgovarajuću kontrolu nad vozilom tokom vožnje".

Stanovnica Christchurcha, Elsa Harris, zapravo je dobila kartu prošle godine, kada je "na trenutak skinula malo kore od banane i nastavila jesti i voziti" dok se zaustavila na kružnom toku, a brzo ju je opkolio neoznačeni policijski automobil.

Harris je prošle godine za ITV rekla da je već djelomično ogulila voće prije nego što se odvezla na posao, ali je primijećena kako "ljušti bananu dok vozi bez ruku na volanu, riskirajući sigurnost drugih učesnika u saobraćaju", prema policiji Dorset.

Harris je dobio kaznu od 100 funti i mogućnost da dobije tri boda na dozvoli ili da završi kurs za sigurnost vozača, ali je odlučio osporiti slučaj na sudu. Kasnije je Harris odlučio priznati krivicu po savjetu advokata, a nakon toga je dobio licence, kao i veću kaznu.

"To je najskuplja banana koju sam u životu jeo", rekao je Harris za ITV prošle godine. Policija u Dorsetu, koja je u ažuriranju Facebooka objavila vijest o priznanju Harrisove krivice, "koja bi se mogla svidjeti našim sljedbenicima", iskoristila je priliku da zamoli vozače da "dobro razmisle prije nego što pojedu i piju za volanom".


Ne želite jesti kao turista? Putujuća žlica omogućava posjetiteljima da pripremaju obroke - i uspomene - u lokalnim domovima.

MANILA, FILIPINI - Nož u ruci, odsečem tanki patlidžan i krilati pasulj kupljen pre sat vremena na užurbanoj subotnjoj jutarnjoj pijaci u centru Manile.

Nalazim se u mirnom odjeljenju, kuham u kuhinji na otvorenom - što nije neobično za domove na ponekad toplim Filipinima. Staccato zvuk povrća usitnjenog usitnjavanjem ublažava cvrkut ptica i nježan vrtlog stajaćeg električnog ventilatora.

"Moji gosti obično nemaju pojma šta je filipinska kuhinja, pa je zabavno pokazati im recepte moje porodice", kaže Isi Laureano, polažući mliječne ribe na krevet od aluminijske folije.

Isi, 36, živi u ovoj kući. Kao i njeni roditelji, brat i 14-godišnji sin. Tri generacije pod jednim krovom. Opet, nije ništa neobično za Filipine. Sa svojim robusnim vrtom i drvećem sa sitnim zelenim plodovima kalamansija, njen dom u ovom rezidencijalnom dijelu Quezon Cityja osjeća svjetove udaljene od gušećeg prometa, mega tržnih centara i općeg kaosa samo nekoliko milja južno u središtu Manile.

Isi radi za Traveling Spoon, kompaniju sa sjedištem u San Franciscu čiji slogan glasi “Travel off the Eaten Path”. Koncept-koji je čvrsto ukorijenjen u rastućoj potrazi turista za autentičnim doživljajima-jednostavan je: Omogućite posjetiteljima domaće jelo u lokalnoj kući.

Na Traveling Spoon sam se prijavio iz dva razloga. Volim da kuvam i znatiželjna sam. Šansa da provedete nekoliko sati u strančevoj kući u dalekoj zemlji - da vidite kako je ukrašena, koje su knjige na policama, kakvi magneti na frižideru (ja "srčani" štreberi) - bila je podjednako mučna kao i kulinarska komponenta.

"Smislene veze"

"Ljudi vole ući u domove mještana, to je divan način da se pogleda svijet", rekla je suosnivačica Traveling Spoon Aashi Vel, koja je kompaniju pokrenula prije skoro šest godina sa Steph Lawrence. Par je ispunio plan dok je magistrirao na Berkeleyju.

Osvrćući se unatrag, Vel se sjeća da je imala jedan aha trenutak u Meksiku, na putovanju koje je provela neposredno prije početka poslovne škole.

"Bila sam u Playa del Carmen -u i teško sam pronašla autentičnu meksičku kuhinju", rekla je. Dok je odlazila u restoran po još jednu porciju gastronomskog razočarenja, Vel je prošla pored jedne kuće. Vidjela je ženu kako kuha u kuhinji. “Pogledao sam u prozor i pomislio:‘ Želim jesti s njom i čuti ona priče. '”

Traveling Spoon ima domaćine u više od 150 destinacija raspoređenih u 50-ak zemalja, od kojih su mnoge u Aziji. Velika većina domaćina strastveni su kuhari, a ne profesionalni kuhari. Vel je rekao da su svi podvrgnuti strogom postupku provjere koji uključuje posjetu licu mjesta radi provjere uslova i kušanja konačnog proizvoda.

Gotovo svi domaćini govore engleski. Nekoliko njih koji ne koriste prijatelja ili člana porodice koji govore engleski za prevođenje.

Kupci mogu izabrati samo obrok ili dodati čas kuhanja i posjet lokalnom tržištu. Cijena varira ovisno o lokaciji, između ostalog.

Kupci rezerviraju putem web stranice Traveling Spoon i plaćaju unaprijed u američkim dolarima. Moj petosatni obilazak tržnice sa Isi koštao je 68 dolara.

Ne brinite o tome da ćete morati podijeliti svoje iskustvo s gomilom kolega turista kada rezervirate domaćina, taj domaćin je vaš.

"Naša misija je uspostaviti smislene veze putem hrane", rekao je Vel. "Teško je to učiniti s grupom od osam do 10 ljudi."

Pojeo sam to

Isi i ja smo se dogovorile da se nađemo na subotnoj tržnici Salcedo u naselju Makati prekrivenom neboderima. Tržište nije daleko od mog hotela, The Peninsula Manila, gdje se ne mogu nahvaliti da rezerviram sobu u objektu s pet zvjezdica za 150 USD po noći. Skoro sve se čini kao pogodba u Manili.

Dolazim na tržnicu prije nego ona, pa provedem nekoliko usamljenih krugova oko štandova sa šatorima, ispreplićući ražnjeve cvrčavog mesa i hrpe egzotičnog voća, poput kvrgavog jackfruta velikog poput malenog djeteta i zloglasnog mirisnog duriana, s mirisom koji se često uspoređuje na mokre teretanske čarape.

Kad stigne Isi, zajedno obilazimo tržište i čini se kao da moj crno-bijeli film postaje Technicolor. Ukazuje na stvari koje sam propustio, a ja je zatresem pitanjima. Isi odgovara odgovorima i uzorcima.

Šta ima u tim tamalama? Ona ispaljuje nekoliko pezosa i daje mi jedan. Oljuštim lišće banane kako bih otkrila ljepljiv fil poput riže od mljevenog manioke i kokosa.

Šta je to što izgleda kao jogurt, a taj tip vadi iz velikih aluminijskih kanti? Pridružujemo se nizu kupaca, a Isi mi daje kratak pregled tahoa, svojevrsni puding za doručak, napravljen od svilenog tofua i preliven umakom od smeđeg šećera i slatkim biserima sago palmovog škroba. To je poput toplog pokrivača za vaš trbuh.

Kupujemo namirnice, a Isi nas vodi do nje, koristeći vrijeme zaglavljeno u prometu od odbojnika do objašnjavanja kako je filipinska kuhinja OG fuzijske hrane. Okusi i stilovi vuku se iz zapanjujućeg niza različitih kultura i zemalja, ponajviše Kine i Španije. Potonji je vladao ostrvskom državom - nazvanom po kralju Filipu II - više od tri vijeka.

"Španski su nas naučili kako se pravi hljeb", kaže Isi, čija je rodbina nekada vodila sada zatvoreni Betsy's Cake Center u Čikagu i prigradskom naselju Naperville.

Uvlačimo se u njenu zajednicu sa zatvorenim vratima, a ona me vodi u obilazak vrta, gdje uberemo malo citrusa calamansi kako bismo dodali mlaz kiseline u mliječnu ribu koju ćemo ručati. Kiselost je zaštitni znak filipinske hrane, a ta trpkost bit će glavna komponenta u još jednoj stavci na našem jelovniku: adobo povrću.

"Adobo je nezvanično izvorno jelo na Filipinima", kaže Isi dok idemo na posao u vanjsku kuhinju. Ona kombinira češnjak, ocat, soja sos, lovorov list i zrna crnog papra u ovu sveprisutnu marinadu koja se koristi za kuhanje plodova mora, ali i mesa.

"Uglavnom obožavamo sve", dodaje ona, napominjući da je adobo i jelo i tehnika. Metoda je postala način da se hrana brzo ne pokvari - veliki plus u tropskoj klimi gdje je bilo malo hlađenja. "Jelo možete jednostavno izostaviti jer ga ocat čuva."

Isi me poziva unutra da jedem. Dok ona donosi zdjelu za zdjelom hrane na porodični trpezarijski sto, ja zaokupljam okolinu. Sunčeva svjetlost izvire iz visokih prozora u dnevnoj sobi sa visokim stropom. Velika kolekcija cipela uredno složenih ispod stepenica tera me na pomisao na Imeldu Marcos. U blizini, TV monitor prikazuje snimke sa više sigurnosnih kamera postavljenih izvan kuće. Isi kaže da je susjedstvo općenito sigurno, sistem nadzora samo je mjera opreza. I to joj omogućava da vidi koje komšije krišom pomažu sebi u njenom calamansiju.

Na ukusnom ručku na kojem ja jedem najviše razgovaramo o hrani, politici i aktuelnim događajima, poput nedostatka vode koji muči ovu zemlju sa preko 7.500 ostrva.

"Ironično je, zar ne?" Kaže Isi. "Filipini su okruženi vodom, ali nemamo ih dovoljno."

Saznao sam da Isi ima puno sporednih problema. Ona je stilist hrane i fotograf i razvila je liniju proizvoda iz Čilea. Traveling Spoon je evoluirala u njenu glavnu svirku.

"Sada je to moj kruh i maslac", kaže ona.

Isi mi za suvenir daje bocu svog kečapa od ananasa. Pomaže mi da naručim GrabCar, filipinsku verziju Ubera, da me odveze do hotela.

Proveli smo samo nekoliko sati zajedno, ali sam otišao iz njene kuće s boljim razumijevanjem filipinske hrane - i života.


Ne želite jesti kao turista? Putujuća žlica omogućava posjetiteljima da pripremaju obroke - i uspomene - u lokalnim domovima.

MANILA, FILIPINI - Nož u ruci, odsečem tanki patlidžan i krilati pasulj kupljen pre sat vremena na užurbanoj subotnjoj jutarnjoj pijaci u centru Manile.

Nalazim se u mirnom odjeljenju, kuham u kuhinji na otvorenom - što nije neobično za domove na ponekad toplim Filipinima. Staccato zvuk povrća usitnjenog usitnjavanjem ublažava cvrkut ptica i nježan vrtlog stajaćeg električnog ventilatora.

"Moji gosti obično nemaju pojma šta je filipinska kuhinja, pa je zabavno pokazati im recepte moje porodice", kaže Isi Laureano, polažući mliječne ribe na krevet od aluminijske folije.

Isi, 36, živi u ovoj kući. Kao i njeni roditelji, brat i 14-godišnji sin. Tri generacije pod jednim krovom. Opet, nije ništa neobično za Filipine. Sa svojim robusnim vrtom i drvećem sa sitnim zelenim plodovima kalamansija, njen dom u ovom rezidencijalnom dijelu Quezon Cityja osjeća svjetove udaljene od gušećeg prometa, mega tržnih centara i općeg kaosa samo nekoliko milja južno u središtu Manile.

Isi radi za Traveling Spoon, kompaniju sa sjedištem u San Franciscu čiji slogan glasi “Travel off the Eaten Path”. Koncept-koji je čvrsto ukorijenjen u rastućoj potrazi turista za autentičnim doživljajima-jednostavan je: Omogućite posjetiteljima domaće jelo u lokalnoj kući.

Na Traveling Spoon sam se prijavio iz dva razloga. Volim da kuvam i znatiželjna sam. Šansa da provedete nekoliko sati u strančevoj kući u dalekoj zemlji - da vidite kako je uređena, koje su knjige na policama, kakvi magneti na frižideru (ja "srčani" štreberi) - bila je podjednako mučna kao i kulinarska komponenta.

"Smislene veze"

"Ljudi vole ući u domove mještana, to je divan način da se pogleda svijet", rekla je suosnivačica Traveling Spoon Aashi Vel, koja je kompaniju pokrenula prije skoro šest godina sa Steph Lawrence. Par je ispunio plan dok je magistrirao na Berkeleyju.

Osvrćući se unatrag, Vel se sjeća da je imala jedan aha trenutak u Meksiku, na putovanju koje je provela neposredno prije početka poslovne škole.

"Bila sam u Playa del Carmen -u i teško sam pronašla autentičnu meksičku kuhinju", rekla je. Dok je odlazila u restoran po još jednu porciju gastronomskog razočarenja, Vel je prošla pored jedne kuće. Vidjela je ženu kako kuha u kuhinji. “Pogledao sam u prozor i pomislio:‘ Želim jesti s njom i čuti ona priče. "

Traveling Spoon ima domaćine u više od 150 destinacija raspoređenih u 50-ak zemalja, od kojih su mnoge u Aziji. Velika većina domaćina strastveni su kuhari, a ne profesionalni kuhari. Vel je rekao da su svi podvrgnuti strogom postupku provjere koji uključuje posjet mjestu radi provjere uslova i kušanja konačnog proizvoda.

Gotovo svi domaćini govore engleski. Nekoliko njih koji ne koriste prijatelja ili člana porodice koji govore engleski za prevođenje.

Kupci mogu izabrati samo obrok ili dodati čas kuhanja i posjet lokalnom tržištu. Cijena varira ovisno o lokaciji, između ostalog.

Kupci rezerviraju putem web stranice Traveling Spoon i plaćaju unaprijed u američkim dolarima. Moj petosatni obilazak tržnice sa Isi koštao je 68 dolara.

Ne brinite o tome da ćete morati podijeliti svoje iskustvo s gomilom kolega turista kada rezervirate domaćina, taj domaćin je vaš.

"Naša misija je uspostaviti smislene veze putem hrane", rekao je Vel. "Teško je to učiniti s grupom od osam do 10 ljudi."

Pojeo sam to

Isi i ja smo se dogovorile da se nađemo na subotnoj tržnici Salcedo u naselju Makati prekrivenom neboderima. Tržište nije daleko od mog hotela, The Peninsula Manila, gdje se ne mogu nahvaliti da rezerviram sobu u objektu s pet zvjezdica za 150 USD po noći. Skoro sve se čini kao pogodba u Manili.

Dolazim na tržnicu prije nje, pa prolazim nekoliko usamljenih krugova oko štandova sa šatorima, ispreplićući ražnjeve cvrčavog mesa i gomile egzotičnog voća, poput kvrgavog jackfruta velikog poput malenog djeteta i notorno mirisnog duriana, s mirisom koji se često uspoređuje na mokre teretanske čarape.

Kad stigne Isi, zajedno obilazimo tržište i čini se kao da moj crno-bijeli film postaje Technicolor. Ukazuje na stvari koje sam propustio, a ja je zatresem pitanjima. Isi odgovara odgovorima i uzorcima.

Šta ima u tim tamalama? Ona ispaljuje nekoliko pezosa i daje mi jedan. Oljuštim lišće banane kako bih otkrila ljepljiv fil poput riže od mljevenog manioke i kokosa.

Šta je to što izgleda kao jogurt, a taj tip vadi iz velikih aluminijskih kanti? Pridružujemo se nizu kupaca, a Isi mi daje kratak pregled tahoa, svojevrsni puding za doručak, napravljen od svilenog tofua i preliven umakom od smeđeg šećera i slatkim biserima sago palmovog škroba. To je poput toplog pokrivača za vaš trbuh.

Kupujemo namirnice, a Isi nas vodi do nje, koristeći vrijeme zaglavljeno u prometu od odbojnika do objašnjavanja kako je filipinska kuhinja OG fuzijske hrane. Okusi i stilovi vuku se iz zapanjujućeg niza različitih kultura i zemalja, ponajviše Kine i Španije. Potonji je vladao ostrvskom državom - nazvanom po kralju Filipu II - više od tri vijeka.

"Španski su nas naučili kako se pravi hljeb", kaže Isi, čija je rodbina nekada vodila sada zatvoreni Betsy's Cake Center u Čikagu i prigradskom naselju Naperville.

Uvlačimo se u njenu zajednicu sa zatvorenim vratima, a ona me vodi u obilazak vrta, gdje uberemo malo citrusa calamansi kako bismo dodali mlaz kiseline u mliječnu ribu koju ćemo ručati. Kiselost je zaštitni znak filipinske hrane, a ta trpkost bit će glavna komponenta u još jednoj stavci na našem jelovniku: adobo povrću.

"Adobo je nezvanično izvorno jelo na Filipinima", kaže Isi dok idemo na posao u vanjsku kuhinju. Ona kombinira češnjak, ocat, soja sos, lovorov list i zrna crnog papra u ovu sveprisutnu marinadu koja se koristi za kuhanje plodova mora, ali i mesa.

"Uglavnom obožavamo sve", dodaje ona, napominjući da je adobo i jelo i tehnika. Ova metoda postala je način da se hrana brzo ne pokvari - veliki plus u tropskoj klimi gdje je bilo malo hlađenja. "Jelo možete jednostavno izostaviti jer ga ocat čuva."

Isi me poziva unutra da jedem. Dok ona donosi zdjelu za zdjelom hrane na porodični trpezarijski sto, ja zaokupljam okolinu. Sunčeva svjetlost izvire iz visokih prozora u dnevnoj sobi sa visokim stropom. Velika kolekcija cipela uredno složenih ispod stepenica tera me na pomisao na Imeldu Marcos. U blizini, TV monitor prikazuje snimke sa više sigurnosnih kamera postavljenih izvan kuće. Isi kaže da je susjedstvo općenito sigurno, sistem nadzora je samo mjera opreza. I to joj omogućava da vidi koje komšije krišom pomažu sebi u njenom calamansiju.

Na ukusnom ručku na kojem ja jedem najviše razgovaramo o hrani, politici i aktuelnim događajima, poput nedostatka vode koji muči ovu zemlju sa preko 7.500 ostrva.

"Ironično je, zar ne?" Kaže Isi. "Filipini su okruženi vodom, ali nemamo ih dovoljno."

Saznao sam da Isi ima puno sporednih problema. Ona je stilist hrane i fotograf i razvila je liniju proizvoda iz Čilea. Traveling Spoon je evoluirala u njenu glavnu svirku.

"To je sada moj kruh i maslac", kaže ona.

Isi mi za suvenir daje bocu svog kečapa od ananasa. Pomaže mi da naručim GrabCar, filipinsku verziju Ubera, da me odveze do hotela.

Proveli smo samo nekoliko sati zajedno, ali sam otišao iz njene kuće s boljim razumijevanjem filipinske hrane - i života.


Ne želite jesti kao turista? Putujuća žlica omogućava posjetiteljima da pripremaju obroke - i uspomene - u lokalnim domovima.

MANILA, FILIPINI - Nož u ruci, odsečem tanki patlidžan i krilati pasulj kupljen pre sat vremena na užurbanoj subotnjoj jutarnjoj pijaci u centru Manile.

Nalazim se u mirnom odjelu, kuham u kuhinji na otvorenom - što nije neobično za domove na ponekad toplim Filipinima. Staccato zvuk povrća usitnjenog usitnjavanjem ublažava cvrkut ptica i nježan vrtlog stajaćeg električnog ventilatora.

"Moji gosti obično nemaju pojma šta je filipinska kuhinja, pa je zabavno pokazati im recepte moje porodice", kaže Isi Laureano, polažući mliječne ribe na krevet od aluminijske folije.

Isi, 36, živi u ovoj kući. Kao i njeni roditelji, brat i 14-godišnji sin. Tri generacije pod jednim krovom. Opet, nije ništa neobično za Filipine. Sa svojim robusnim vrtom i drvećem sa sitnim zelenim plodovima kalamansija, njen dom u ovom rezidencijalnom dijelu Quezon Cityja osjeća svjetove udaljene od gušećeg prometa, mega tržnih centara i općeg kaosa samo nekoliko milja južno u središtu Manile.

Isi radi za Traveling Spoon, kompaniju sa sjedištem u San Franciscu čiji slogan glasi “Travel off the Eaten Path”. Koncept-koji je čvrsto ukorijenjen u rastućoj potrazi turista za autentičnim doživljajima-jednostavan je: Omogućite posjetiteljima domaće jelo u lokalnoj kući.

Na Traveling Spoon sam se prijavio iz dva razloga. Volim da kuvam i znatiželjna sam. Šansa da provedete nekoliko sati u strančevoj kući u dalekoj zemlji - da vidite kako je ukrašena, koje su knjige na policama, kakvi magneti na frižideru (ja "srčani" štreberi) - bila je podjednako mučna kao i kulinarska komponenta.

"Smislene veze"

"Ljudi vole ulaziti u domove mještana, to je divan način da se pogleda svijet", rekla je suosnivačica Traveling Spoon Aashi Vel, koja je kompaniju pokrenula prije skoro šest godina sa Steph Lawrence. Par je ispunio plan dok je magistrirao na Berkeleyju.

Osvrćući se unatrag, Vel se sjeća da je imala jedan aha trenutak u Meksiku, na putovanju koje je provela neposredno prije početka poslovne škole.

"Bila sam u Playa del Carmen -u i teško sam pronašla autentičnu meksičku kuhinju", rekla je. Dok je odlazila u restoran po još jednu porciju gastronomskog razočarenja, Vel je prošla pored jedne kuće. Vidjela je ženu kako kuha u kuhinji. “Pogledao sam u prozor i pomislio:‘ Želim jesti s njom i čuti ona priče. '”

Traveling Spoon ima domaćine u više od 150 destinacija raspoređenih u 50-ak zemalja, od kojih su mnoge u Aziji. Velika većina domaćina strastveni su kuhari, a ne profesionalni kuhari. Vel je rekao da su svi podvrgnuti strogom postupku provjere koji uključuje posjetu licu mjesta radi provjere uslova i kušanja konačnog proizvoda.

Gotovo svi domaćini govore engleski. Nekoliko njih koji ne koriste prijatelja ili člana porodice koji govore engleski za prevođenje.

Kupci mogu izabrati samo obrok ili dodati čas kuhanja i posjet lokalnom tržištu. Cijena varira ovisno o lokaciji, između ostalog.

Kupci rezerviraju putem web stranice Traveling Spoon i plaćaju unaprijed u američkim dolarima. Moj petosatni obilazak tržnice sa Isi koštao je 68 dolara.

Ne brinite o tome da ćete morati podijeliti svoje iskustvo s gomilom kolega turista kada rezervirate domaćina, taj domaćin je vaš.

"Naša misija je uspostaviti smislene veze putem hrane", rekao je Vel. "Teško je to učiniti s grupom od osam do 10 ljudi."

Pojeo sam to

Isi i ja smo se dogovorile da se nađemo na subotnoj tržnici Salcedo u naselju Makati prekrivenom neboderima. Tržište nije daleko od mog hotela, The Peninsula Manila, gdje se ne mogu nahvaliti da rezerviram sobu u objektu s pet zvjezdica za 150 USD po noći. Skoro sve se čini kao pogodba u Manili.

Dolazim na tržnicu prije nje, pa prolazim nekoliko usamljenih krugova oko štandova sa šatorima, ispreplićući ražnjeve cvrčavog mesa i gomile egzotičnog voća, poput kvrgavog jackfruta velikog poput malenog djeteta i notorno mirisnog duriana, s mirisom koji se često uspoređuje na mokre teretanske čarape.

Kad stigne Isi, zajedno obilazimo tržište i čini se kao da moj crno-bijeli film postaje Technicolor. Ukazuje na stvari koje sam propustio, a ja je zatresem pitanjima. Isi odgovara odgovorima i uzorcima.

Šta ima u tim tamalama? Ona ispaljuje nekoliko pezosa i daje mi jedan. Oljuštim lišće banane kako bih otkrila ljepljiv fil poput riže od mljevenog manioke i kokosa.

Šta je to što izgleda kao jogurt, a taj tip vadi iz velikih aluminijskih kanti? Pridružujemo se nizu kupaca, a Isi mi daje kratak pregled tahoa, svojevrsni puding za doručak, napravljen od svilenog tofua i preliven umakom od smeđeg šećera i slatkim biserima sago palmovog škroba. To je poput toplog pokrivača za vaš trbuh.

Kupujemo namirnice, a Isi nas vodi do nje, koristeći vrijeme zaglavljeno u prometu od odbojnika do objašnjavanja kako je filipinska kuhinja OG fuzijske hrane. Okusi i stilovi vuku se iz zapanjujućeg niza različitih kultura i zemalja, ponajviše Kine i Španije. Potonji je vladao ostrvskom državom - nazvanom po kralju Filipu II - više od tri vijeka.

"Španski su nas naučili kako se pravi hljeb", kaže Isi, čija je rodbina nekada vodila sada zatvoreni Betsy's Cake Center u Čikagu i prigradskom naselju Naperville.

Uvlačimo se u njenu zajednicu sa zatvorenim vratima, a ona me vodi u obilazak vrta, gdje uberemo malo citrusa calamansi kako bismo dodali mlaz kiseline u mliječnu ribu koju ćemo ručati. Kiselost je zaštitni znak filipinske hrane, a ta trpkost bit će glavna komponenta u još jednoj stavci na našem jelovniku: adobo povrću.

"Adobo je nezvanično izvorno jelo na Filipinima", kaže Isi dok idemo na posao u vanjsku kuhinju. Ona kombinira češnjak, ocat, soja sos, lovorov list i zrna crnog papra u ovu sveprisutnu marinadu koja se koristi za kuhanje plodova mora, ali i mesa.

"Uglavnom obožavamo sve", dodaje ona, napominjući da je adobo i jelo i tehnika. Metoda je postala način da se hrana brzo ne pokvari - veliki plus u tropskoj klimi gdje je bilo malo hlađenja. "Jelo možete jednostavno izostaviti jer ga ocat čuva."

Isi me poziva unutra da jedem. Dok ona donosi zdjelu za zdjelom hrane na porodični trpezarijski sto, ja zaokupljam okolinu. Sunčeva svjetlost izvire iz visokih prozora u dnevnoj sobi sa visokim stropom. Velika kolekcija cipela uredno složenih ispod stepenica tera me na pomisao na Imeldu Marcos. U blizini, TV monitor prikazuje snimke sa više sigurnosnih kamera postavljenih izvan kuće. Isi kaže da je susjedstvo općenito sigurno, sistem nadzora je samo mjera opreza. I to joj omogućava da vidi koje komšije prikriveno pomažu sebi u njenom calamansiju.

Na ukusnom ručku na kojem ja jedem najviše razgovaramo o hrani, politici i aktuelnim događajima, poput nedostatka vode koji muči ovu zemlju sa preko 7.500 ostrva.

"Ironično je, zar ne?" Kaže Isi. "Filipini su okruženi vodom, ali nemamo ih dovoljno."

Saznao sam da Isi ima puno sporednih problema. Ona je stilist hrane i fotograf i razvila je liniju proizvoda iz Čilea. Traveling Spoon je evoluirala u njenu glavnu svirku.

"To je sada moj kruh i maslac", kaže ona.

Isi mi za suvenir daje bocu svog kečapa od ananasa. Pomaže mi da naručim GrabCar, filipinsku verziju Ubera, da me odveze do hotela.

Proveli smo samo nekoliko sati zajedno, ali sam otišao iz njene kuće s boljim razumijevanjem filipinske hrane - i života.


Ne želite jesti kao turista? Putujuća žlica omogućava posjetiteljima da pripremaju obroke - i uspomene - u lokalnim domovima.

MANILA, FILIPINI - Nož u ruci, odsečem tanki patlidžan i krilati pasulj kupljen pre sat vremena na užurbanoj subotnjoj jutarnjoj pijaci u centru Manile.

Nalazim se u mirnom odjelu, kuham u kuhinji na otvorenom - što nije neobično za domove na ponekad toplim Filipinima. Staccato zvuk povrća usitnjenog usitnjavanjem ublažava cvrkut ptica i nježan vrtlog stajaćeg električnog ventilatora.

"Moji gosti obično nemaju pojma šta je filipinska kuhinja, pa je zabavno pokazati im recepte moje porodice", kaže Isi Laureano, polažući mliječne ribe na krevet od aluminijske folije.

Isi, 36, živi u ovoj kući. Kao i njeni roditelji, brat i 14-godišnji sin. Tri generacije pod jednim krovom. Opet, nije ništa neobično za Filipine. Sa svojim robusnim vrtom i drvećem sa sitnim zelenim plodovima kalamansija, njen dom u ovom rezidencijalnom dijelu Quezon Cityja osjeća svjetove udaljene od gušećeg prometa, mega tržnih centara i općeg kaosa samo nekoliko milja južno u središtu Manile.

Isi radi za Traveling Spoon, kompaniju sa sjedištem u San Franciscu čiji slogan glasi “Travel off the Eaten Path”. Koncept-koji je čvrsto ukorijenjen u rastućoj potrazi turista za autentičnim doživljajima-jednostavan je: Omogućite posjetiteljima domaće jelo u lokalnoj kući.

Na Traveling Spoon sam se prijavio iz dva razloga. Volim da kuvam i znatiželjna sam. Šansa da provedete nekoliko sati u strančevoj kući u dalekoj zemlji - da vidite kako je uređena, koje su knjige na policama, kakvi magneti na frižideru (ja "srčani" štreberi) - bila je podjednako mučna kao i kulinarska komponenta.

"Smislene veze"

"Ljudi vole ulaziti u domove mještana, to je divan način da se pogleda svijet", rekla je suosnivačica Traveling Spoon Aashi Vel, koja je kompaniju pokrenula prije skoro šest godina sa Steph Lawrence. Par je ispunio plan dok je magistrirao na Berkeleyju.

Osvrćući se unatrag, Vel se sjeća da je imala jedan aha trenutak u Meksiku, na putovanju koje je provela neposredno prije početka poslovne škole.

"Bila sam u Playa del Carmen -u i teško sam pronašla autentičnu meksičku kuhinju", rekla je. Dok je odlazila u restoran po još jednu porciju gastronomskog razočarenja, Vel je prošla pored jedne kuće. Vidjela je ženu kako kuha u kuhinji. “Pogledao sam u prozor i pomislio:‘ Želim jesti s njom i čuti ona priče. "

Traveling Spoon ima domaćine u više od 150 destinacija raspoređenih u 50-ak zemalja, od kojih su mnoge u Aziji. Velika većina domaćina strastveni su kuhari, a ne profesionalni kuhari. Vel je rekao da su svi podvrgnuti strogom postupku provjere koji uključuje posjetu licu mjesta radi provjere uslova i kušanja konačnog proizvoda.

Gotovo svi domaćini govore engleski. Nekoliko njih koji ne koriste prijatelja ili člana porodice koji govore engleski za prevođenje.

Kupci mogu izabrati samo obrok ili dodati čas kuhanja i posjet lokalnoj tržnici. Cijena varira ovisno o lokaciji, između ostalog.

Kupci rezerviraju putem web stranice Traveling Spoon i plaćaju unaprijed u američkim dolarima. Moj petosatni obilazak tržnice sa Isi koštao je 68 dolara.

Ne brinite o tome da ćete morati podijeliti svoje iskustvo s gomilom kolega turista kada rezervirate domaćina, taj domaćin je vaš.

"Naša misija je uspostaviti smislene veze putem hrane", rekao je Vel. "Teško je to učiniti s grupom od osam do 10 ljudi."

Pojeo sam to

Isi i ja smo se dogovorile da se nađemo na subotnoj tržnici Salcedo u naselju Makati prekrivenom neboderima. Tržište nije daleko od mog hotela, The Peninsula Manila, gdje se ne mogu nahvaliti da rezerviram sobu u objektu s pet zvjezdica za 150 USD po noći. Skoro sve se čini kao pogodba u Manili.

Dolazim na tržnicu prije nje, pa prolazim nekoliko usamljenih krugova oko štandova sa šatorima, ispreplićući ražnjeve cvrčavog mesa i gomile egzotičnog voća, poput kvrgavog jackfruta velikog poput malenog djeteta i notorno mirisnog duriana, s mirisom koji se često uspoređuje na mokre teretanske čarape.

Kad stigne Isi, zajedno obilazimo tržište i čini se kao da moj crno-bijeli film postaje Technicolor. Ukazuje na stvari koje sam propustio, a ja je zatresem pitanjima. Isi odgovara odgovorima i uzorcima.

Šta ima u tim tamalama? Ona ispaljuje nekoliko pezosa i daje mi jedan. Oljuštim lišće banane kako bih otkrila ljepljiv fil poput riže od mljevenog manioke i kokosa.

Kakve to stvari izgledaju u jogurtu koje tip izvlači iz velikih aluminijskih kanti? Pridružujemo se nizu kupaca, a Isi mi daje kratak pregled tahoa, svojevrsni puding za doručak, napravljen od svilenog tofua i preliven umakom od smeđeg šećera i slatkim biserima sago palmovog škroba. To je poput toplog pokrivača za vaš trbuh.

Kupujemo namirnice, a Isi nas vozi do nje, koristeći vrijeme zaglavljeno u prometu od branika do branika da objasni kako je filipinska kuhinja OG fuzijske hrane. Okusi i stilovi vuku se iz zapanjujućeg niza različitih kultura i zemalja, ponajviše Kine i Španije. Potonji je vladao ostrvskom državom - nazvanom po kralju Filipu II - više od tri vijeka.

"Španski su nas naučili kako se pravi hljeb", kaže Isi, čija je rodbina nekada vodila sada zatvoreni Betsy's Cake Center u Čikagu i prigradskom naselju Naperville.

Uvlačimo se u njenu zajednicu sa zatvorenim vratima, a ona me vodi u obilazak vrta, gdje uberemo malo citrusa calamansi kako bismo dodali mlaz kiseline u mliječnu ribu koju ćemo ručati. Kiselost je zaštitni znak filipinske hrane, a ta trpkost bit će glavna komponenta u još jednoj stavci na našem jelovniku: adobo povrću.

"Adobo je nezvanično izvorno jelo na Filipinima", kaže Isi dok idemo na posao u vanjsku kuhinju. Ona kombinira češnjak, ocat, soja sos, lovorov list i zrna crnog papra u ovu sveprisutnu marinadu koja se koristi za kuhanje plodova mora, ali i mesa.

"Uglavnom obožavamo sve", dodaje ona, napominjući da je adobo i jelo i tehnika. Ova metoda postala je način da se hrana brzo ne pokvari - veliki plus u tropskoj klimi gdje je bilo malo hlađenja. "Jelo možete jednostavno izostaviti jer ga ocat čuva."

Isi me poziva unutra da jedem. Dok ona donosi zdjelu za zdjelom hrane na porodični trpezarijski sto, ja zaokupljam okolinu. Sunčeva svjetlost izvire iz visokih prozora u dnevnoj sobi sa visokim stropom. Velika kolekcija cipela uredno složenih ispod stepenica tera me na pomisao na Imeldu Marcos. U blizini, TV monitor prikazuje snimke sa više sigurnosnih kamera postavljenih izvan kuće. Isi kaže da je susjedstvo općenito sigurno, sistem nadzora je samo mjera opreza. I to joj omogućava da vidi koje komšije krišom pomažu sebi u njenom calamansiju.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Price varies depending on location, among other things.

Customers book through Traveling Spoon’s website and pay in advance in U.S. dollars. My five-hour meal-class-market visit with Isi cost $68.

Don’t worry about having to share your experience with a bunch of fellow tourists when you book a host, that host is all yours.

“Our mission is to make meaningful connections over food,” Vel said. “It’s hard to do that with a group of eight to 10 people.”

Eating it up

Isi and I arranged to meet at the Salcedo Saturday Market in the skyscraper-studded Makati neighborhood. The market isn’t far from my hotel, The Peninsula Manila, where I can’t help but brag about booking a room in a five-star property for $150 a night. Pretty much everything feels like a bargain in Manila.

I get to the market before she does, so I take a few lonely laps around the tented stalls hawking skewers of sizzling meat and piles of exotic fruit, like bumpy jackfruit as big as a toddler and the notoriously odoriferous durian, with a scent often likened to wet gym socks.

When Isi arrives, we tour the market together, and it’s like my black-and-white movie turns Technicolor. She points to things I missed, and I pepper her with questions. Isi responds with answers and samples.

What’s in those tamales? She shells out a few pesos and hands me one. I peel back the banana leaves to uncover a sticky ricelike filling of minced cassava and coconut.

What’s that yogurt-looking stuff that guy is dishing out of big aluminum buckets? We join the line of customers, and Isi gives me the rundown on taho, a breakfast pudding of sorts, made of silken tofu and topped with brown sugar sauce and sweet pearls of sago palm starch. It’s like a warm blanket for your belly.

We buy our groceries, and Isi drives us to her house, using our time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic to explain how Filipino cuisine is the OG of fusion food. The flavors and styles pull from a staggering array of disparate cultures and countries, most notably China and Spain. The latter ruled the island nation — named for King Philip II — for more than three centuries.

“The Spanish taught us how to make bread,” says Isi, whose relatives once ran the now shuttered Betsy’s Cake Center in Chicago and suburban Naperville.

We pull into her gated community, and she gives me a tour of the garden, where we pluck some calamansi citrus to add a blast of acid to the milkfish we’ll have for lunch. Sourness is a hallmark of Filipino food, and that tartness will be a major component in another item on our menu: adobo vegetables.

“Adobo is the unofficial native dish of the Philippines,” Isi says as we go to work in the outdoor kitchen. She combines garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black peppercorns into this ubiquitous marinade used to cook seafood, and meat as well.

“We pretty much adobo everything,” she adds, noting that adobo is both a dish and a technique. The method became a way to keep food from quickly spoiling — a big plus in a tropical climate where refrigeration was scarce. “You can just leave the dish out because the vinegar preserves it.”

Isi invites me inside to eat. As she brings bowl after bowl of food to the family’s dining room table, I take in the surroundings. Sunlight pours in from tall windows in the high-ceilinged living room. A sizable collection of shoes neatly stacked under the stairs makes me think of Imelda Marcos. Nearby, a TV monitor shows footage from multiple security cameras positioned outside the house. Isi says the neighborhood is generally safe the surveillance system is just a precaution. And it lets her see which neighbors surreptitiously help themselves to her calamansi.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Price varies depending on location, among other things.

Customers book through Traveling Spoon’s website and pay in advance in U.S. dollars. My five-hour meal-class-market visit with Isi cost $68.

Don’t worry about having to share your experience with a bunch of fellow tourists when you book a host, that host is all yours.

“Our mission is to make meaningful connections over food,” Vel said. “It’s hard to do that with a group of eight to 10 people.”

Eating it up

Isi and I arranged to meet at the Salcedo Saturday Market in the skyscraper-studded Makati neighborhood. The market isn’t far from my hotel, The Peninsula Manila, where I can’t help but brag about booking a room in a five-star property for $150 a night. Pretty much everything feels like a bargain in Manila.

I get to the market before she does, so I take a few lonely laps around the tented stalls hawking skewers of sizzling meat and piles of exotic fruit, like bumpy jackfruit as big as a toddler and the notoriously odoriferous durian, with a scent often likened to wet gym socks.

When Isi arrives, we tour the market together, and it’s like my black-and-white movie turns Technicolor. She points to things I missed, and I pepper her with questions. Isi responds with answers and samples.

What’s in those tamales? She shells out a few pesos and hands me one. I peel back the banana leaves to uncover a sticky ricelike filling of minced cassava and coconut.

What’s that yogurt-looking stuff that guy is dishing out of big aluminum buckets? We join the line of customers, and Isi gives me the rundown on taho, a breakfast pudding of sorts, made of silken tofu and topped with brown sugar sauce and sweet pearls of sago palm starch. It’s like a warm blanket for your belly.

We buy our groceries, and Isi drives us to her house, using our time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic to explain how Filipino cuisine is the OG of fusion food. The flavors and styles pull from a staggering array of disparate cultures and countries, most notably China and Spain. The latter ruled the island nation — named for King Philip II — for more than three centuries.

“The Spanish taught us how to make bread,” says Isi, whose relatives once ran the now shuttered Betsy’s Cake Center in Chicago and suburban Naperville.

We pull into her gated community, and she gives me a tour of the garden, where we pluck some calamansi citrus to add a blast of acid to the milkfish we’ll have for lunch. Sourness is a hallmark of Filipino food, and that tartness will be a major component in another item on our menu: adobo vegetables.

“Adobo is the unofficial native dish of the Philippines,” Isi says as we go to work in the outdoor kitchen. She combines garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black peppercorns into this ubiquitous marinade used to cook seafood, and meat as well.

“We pretty much adobo everything,” she adds, noting that adobo is both a dish and a technique. The method became a way to keep food from quickly spoiling — a big plus in a tropical climate where refrigeration was scarce. “You can just leave the dish out because the vinegar preserves it.”

Isi invites me inside to eat. As she brings bowl after bowl of food to the family’s dining room table, I take in the surroundings. Sunlight pours in from tall windows in the high-ceilinged living room. A sizable collection of shoes neatly stacked under the stairs makes me think of Imelda Marcos. Nearby, a TV monitor shows footage from multiple security cameras positioned outside the house. Isi says the neighborhood is generally safe the surveillance system is just a precaution. And it lets her see which neighbors surreptitiously help themselves to her calamansi.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Price varies depending on location, among other things.

Customers book through Traveling Spoon’s website and pay in advance in U.S. dollars. My five-hour meal-class-market visit with Isi cost $68.

Don’t worry about having to share your experience with a bunch of fellow tourists when you book a host, that host is all yours.

“Our mission is to make meaningful connections over food,” Vel said. “It’s hard to do that with a group of eight to 10 people.”

Eating it up

Isi and I arranged to meet at the Salcedo Saturday Market in the skyscraper-studded Makati neighborhood. The market isn’t far from my hotel, The Peninsula Manila, where I can’t help but brag about booking a room in a five-star property for $150 a night. Pretty much everything feels like a bargain in Manila.

I get to the market before she does, so I take a few lonely laps around the tented stalls hawking skewers of sizzling meat and piles of exotic fruit, like bumpy jackfruit as big as a toddler and the notoriously odoriferous durian, with a scent often likened to wet gym socks.

When Isi arrives, we tour the market together, and it’s like my black-and-white movie turns Technicolor. She points to things I missed, and I pepper her with questions. Isi responds with answers and samples.

What’s in those tamales? She shells out a few pesos and hands me one. I peel back the banana leaves to uncover a sticky ricelike filling of minced cassava and coconut.

What’s that yogurt-looking stuff that guy is dishing out of big aluminum buckets? We join the line of customers, and Isi gives me the rundown on taho, a breakfast pudding of sorts, made of silken tofu and topped with brown sugar sauce and sweet pearls of sago palm starch. It’s like a warm blanket for your belly.

We buy our groceries, and Isi drives us to her house, using our time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic to explain how Filipino cuisine is the OG of fusion food. The flavors and styles pull from a staggering array of disparate cultures and countries, most notably China and Spain. The latter ruled the island nation — named for King Philip II — for more than three centuries.

“The Spanish taught us how to make bread,” says Isi, whose relatives once ran the now shuttered Betsy’s Cake Center in Chicago and suburban Naperville.

We pull into her gated community, and she gives me a tour of the garden, where we pluck some calamansi citrus to add a blast of acid to the milkfish we’ll have for lunch. Sourness is a hallmark of Filipino food, and that tartness will be a major component in another item on our menu: adobo vegetables.

“Adobo is the unofficial native dish of the Philippines,” Isi says as we go to work in the outdoor kitchen. She combines garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black peppercorns into this ubiquitous marinade used to cook seafood, and meat as well.

“We pretty much adobo everything,” she adds, noting that adobo is both a dish and a technique. The method became a way to keep food from quickly spoiling — a big plus in a tropical climate where refrigeration was scarce. “You can just leave the dish out because the vinegar preserves it.”

Isi invites me inside to eat. As she brings bowl after bowl of food to the family’s dining room table, I take in the surroundings. Sunlight pours in from tall windows in the high-ceilinged living room. A sizable collection of shoes neatly stacked under the stairs makes me think of Imelda Marcos. Nearby, a TV monitor shows footage from multiple security cameras positioned outside the house. Isi says the neighborhood is generally safe the surveillance system is just a precaution. And it lets her see which neighbors surreptitiously help themselves to her calamansi.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Price varies depending on location, among other things.

Customers book through Traveling Spoon’s website and pay in advance in U.S. dollars. My five-hour meal-class-market visit with Isi cost $68.

Don’t worry about having to share your experience with a bunch of fellow tourists when you book a host, that host is all yours.

“Our mission is to make meaningful connections over food,” Vel said. “It’s hard to do that with a group of eight to 10 people.”

Eating it up

Isi and I arranged to meet at the Salcedo Saturday Market in the skyscraper-studded Makati neighborhood. The market isn’t far from my hotel, The Peninsula Manila, where I can’t help but brag about booking a room in a five-star property for $150 a night. Pretty much everything feels like a bargain in Manila.

I get to the market before she does, so I take a few lonely laps around the tented stalls hawking skewers of sizzling meat and piles of exotic fruit, like bumpy jackfruit as big as a toddler and the notoriously odoriferous durian, with a scent often likened to wet gym socks.

When Isi arrives, we tour the market together, and it’s like my black-and-white movie turns Technicolor. She points to things I missed, and I pepper her with questions. Isi responds with answers and samples.

What’s in those tamales? She shells out a few pesos and hands me one. I peel back the banana leaves to uncover a sticky ricelike filling of minced cassava and coconut.

What’s that yogurt-looking stuff that guy is dishing out of big aluminum buckets? We join the line of customers, and Isi gives me the rundown on taho, a breakfast pudding of sorts, made of silken tofu and topped with brown sugar sauce and sweet pearls of sago palm starch. It’s like a warm blanket for your belly.

We buy our groceries, and Isi drives us to her house, using our time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic to explain how Filipino cuisine is the OG of fusion food. The flavors and styles pull from a staggering array of disparate cultures and countries, most notably China and Spain. The latter ruled the island nation — named for King Philip II — for more than three centuries.

“The Spanish taught us how to make bread,” says Isi, whose relatives once ran the now shuttered Betsy’s Cake Center in Chicago and suburban Naperville.

We pull into her gated community, and she gives me a tour of the garden, where we pluck some calamansi citrus to add a blast of acid to the milkfish we’ll have for lunch. Sourness is a hallmark of Filipino food, and that tartness will be a major component in another item on our menu: adobo vegetables.

“Adobo is the unofficial native dish of the Philippines,” Isi says as we go to work in the outdoor kitchen. She combines garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black peppercorns into this ubiquitous marinade used to cook seafood, and meat as well.

“We pretty much adobo everything,” she adds, noting that adobo is both a dish and a technique. The method became a way to keep food from quickly spoiling — a big plus in a tropical climate where refrigeration was scarce. “You can just leave the dish out because the vinegar preserves it.”

Isi invites me inside to eat. As she brings bowl after bowl of food to the family’s dining room table, I take in the surroundings. Sunlight pours in from tall windows in the high-ceilinged living room. A sizable collection of shoes neatly stacked under the stairs makes me think of Imelda Marcos. Nearby, a TV monitor shows footage from multiple security cameras positioned outside the house. Isi says the neighborhood is generally safe the surveillance system is just a precaution. And it lets her see which neighbors surreptitiously help themselves to her calamansi.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Price varies depending on location, among other things.

Customers book through Traveling Spoon’s website and pay in advance in U.S. dollars. My five-hour meal-class-market visit with Isi cost $68.

Don’t worry about having to share your experience with a bunch of fellow tourists when you book a host, that host is all yours.

“Our mission is to make meaningful connections over food,” Vel said. “It’s hard to do that with a group of eight to 10 people.”

Eating it up

Isi and I arranged to meet at the Salcedo Saturday Market in the skyscraper-studded Makati neighborhood. The market isn’t far from my hotel, The Peninsula Manila, where I can’t help but brag about booking a room in a five-star property for $150 a night. Pretty much everything feels like a bargain in Manila.

I get to the market before she does, so I take a few lonely laps around the tented stalls hawking skewers of sizzling meat and piles of exotic fruit, like bumpy jackfruit as big as a toddler and the notoriously odoriferous durian, with a scent often likened to wet gym socks.

When Isi arrives, we tour the market together, and it’s like my black-and-white movie turns Technicolor. She points to things I missed, and I pepper her with questions. Isi responds with answers and samples.

What’s in those tamales? She shells out a few pesos and hands me one. I peel back the banana leaves to uncover a sticky ricelike filling of minced cassava and coconut.

What’s that yogurt-looking stuff that guy is dishing out of big aluminum buckets? We join the line of customers, and Isi gives me the rundown on taho, a breakfast pudding of sorts, made of silken tofu and topped with brown sugar sauce and sweet pearls of sago palm starch. It’s like a warm blanket for your belly.

We buy our groceries, and Isi drives us to her house, using our time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic to explain how Filipino cuisine is the OG of fusion food. The flavors and styles pull from a staggering array of disparate cultures and countries, most notably China and Spain. The latter ruled the island nation — named for King Philip II — for more than three centuries.

“The Spanish taught us how to make bread,” says Isi, whose relatives once ran the now shuttered Betsy’s Cake Center in Chicago and suburban Naperville.

We pull into her gated community, and she gives me a tour of the garden, where we pluck some calamansi citrus to add a blast of acid to the milkfish we’ll have for lunch. Sourness is a hallmark of Filipino food, and that tartness will be a major component in another item on our menu: adobo vegetables.

“Adobo is the unofficial native dish of the Philippines,” Isi says as we go to work in the outdoor kitchen. She combines garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and black peppercorns into this ubiquitous marinade used to cook seafood, and meat as well.

“We pretty much adobo everything,” she adds, noting that adobo is both a dish and a technique. The method became a way to keep food from quickly spoiling — a big plus in a tropical climate where refrigeration was scarce. “You can just leave the dish out because the vinegar preserves it.”

Isi invites me inside to eat. As she brings bowl after bowl of food to the family’s dining room table, I take in the surroundings. Sunlight pours in from tall windows in the high-ceilinged living room. A sizable collection of shoes neatly stacked under the stairs makes me think of Imelda Marcos. Nearby, a TV monitor shows footage from multiple security cameras positioned outside the house. Isi says the neighborhood is generally safe the surveillance system is just a precaution. And it lets her see which neighbors surreptitiously help themselves to her calamansi.

Over a tasty lunch where I do most of the eating, we talk more about food, politics and current events, like the water shortage plaguing this country of 7,500-plus islands.

“It’s ironic, right?” Isi says. “The Philippines is surrounded by water, but we don’t have enough.”

I learn that Isi has a lot of side hustles. She’s a food stylist and photographer and has developed a line of chile products. Traveling Spoon has evolved into her main gig.

“It’s my bread and butter now,” she says.

Isi gives me a bottle of her pineapple ketchup as a souvenir. She helps me order a GrabCar, the Philippine version of Uber, to take me back to my hotel.

We only spent a few hours together, but I left her house with a better understanding of Filipino food — and life.


Don't want to eat like a tourist? Traveling Spoon lets visitors make meals — and memories — in local homes.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Knife in hand, I slice away at the slender eggplant and winged beans bought an hour ago at downtown Manila’s bustling Saturday morning market.

I’m in a quiet subdivision, cooking in an outdoor kitchen — not unusual for homes in the sometimes sweltering Philippines. The staccato sound of chop-chop-chopping vegetables is softened by chirping birds and the gentle whir of a standing electric fan.

“My guests usually have no idea what Filipino cuisine is, so it’s fun to show them my family’s recipes,” Isi Laureano says, laying milkfish on a bed of aluminum foil.

Isi, 36, lives in this house. So do her parents, brother and 14-year-old son. Three generations under one roof. Again, not unusual for the Philippines. With its robust garden and trees sporting tiny green calamansi fruit, her home in this residential part of Quezon City feels worlds away from the soul-sucking traffic, mega malls and general chaos just a few miles south in central Manila.

Isi works for Traveling Spoon, a San Francisco-based company whose tagline is “Travel off the Eaten Path.” The concept — one firmly rooted in tourists’ growing quest for authentic experiences — is simple: Provide visitors with a home-cooked meal in a local’s house.

I signed up with Traveling Spoon for two reasons. I like to cook, and I’m nosy. The chance to spend a few hours in a stranger’s house in a faraway land — to see how it’s decorated, what books are on the shelves, what magnets are on the fridge (I “heart” nerds) — was every bit as tantalizing as the culinary component.

‘Meaningful connections’

“People love going into locals’ homes it’s a wonderful way to look at the world,” said Traveling Spoon co-founder Aashi Vel, who launched the company nearly six years ago with Steph Lawrence. The pair hatched the plan while getting their MBAs at Berkeley.

Looking back, Vel remembers having an aha moment in Mexico, on a trip she took shortly before starting business school.

“I was in Playa del Carmen and had a hard time finding authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. While making her way to a restaurant for yet another helping of gastronomic disappointment, Vel passed by a house. She saw a woman cooking in the kitchen. “I looked in the window and thought, ‘I want to eat with her and hear ona stories.’”

Traveling Spoon has hosts in more than 150 destinations spread over 50-some countries, many of them in Asia. The vast majority of hosts are avid home cooks, not professional chefs. Vel said they’re all put through a stringent vetting process that includes an on-site visit to check conditions and taste the final product.

Almost all of the hosts speak English. The few who don’t use an English-speaking friend or family member to translate.

Customers can choose to just have a meal or add a cooking class and a visit to a local market. Cijena varira ovisno o lokaciji, između ostalog.

Kupci rezerviraju putem web stranice Traveling Spoon i plaćaju unaprijed u američkim dolarima. Moj petosatni obilazak tržnice sa Isi koštao je 68 dolara.

Ne brinite o tome da ćete morati podijeliti svoje iskustvo s gomilom kolega turista kada rezervirate domaćina, taj domaćin je vaš.

"Naša misija je uspostaviti smislene veze putem hrane", rekao je Vel. "Teško je to učiniti s grupom od osam do 10 ljudi."

Pojeo sam to

Isi i ja smo se dogovorile da se nađemo na subotnoj tržnici Salcedo u naselju Makati prekrivenom neboderima. Tržište nije daleko od mog hotela, The Peninsula Manila, gdje se ne mogu nahvaliti da rezerviram sobu u objektu s pet zvjezdica za 150 USD po noći. Skoro sve se čini kao pogodba u Manili.

Dolazim na tržnicu prije nje, pa prolazim nekoliko usamljenih krugova oko štandova sa šatorima, ispreplićući ražnjeve cvrčavog mesa i gomile egzotičnog voća, poput kvrgavog jackfruta velikog poput malenog djeteta i notorno mirisnog duriana, s mirisom koji se često uspoređuje na mokre teretanske čarape.

Kad stigne Isi, zajedno obilazimo tržište i čini se kao da moj crno-bijeli film postaje Technicolor. Ukazuje na stvari koje sam propustio, a ja je zatresem pitanjima. Isi odgovara odgovorima i uzorcima.

Šta ima u tim tamalama? Ona ispaljuje nekoliko pezosa i daje mi jedan. Oljuštim lišće banane kako bih otkrila ljepljiv fil poput riže od mljevenog manioke i kokosa.

Kakve to stvari izgledaju u jogurtu koje tip izvlači iz velikih aluminijskih kanti? Pridružujemo se nizu kupaca, a Isi mi daje kratak pregled tahoa, svojevrsni puding za doručak, napravljen od svilenog tofua i preliven umakom od smeđeg šećera i slatkim biserima sago palmovog škroba. To je poput toplog pokrivača za vaš trbuh.

Kupujemo namirnice, a Isi nas vozi do nje, koristeći vrijeme zaglavljeno u prometu od branika do branika da objasni kako je filipinska kuhinja OG fuzijske hrane. Okusi i stilovi vuku se iz zapanjujućeg niza različitih kultura i zemalja, ponajviše Kine i Španije. Potonji je vladao ostrvskom državom - nazvanom po kralju Filipu II - više od tri vijeka.

"Španski su nas naučili kako se pravi hljeb", kaže Isi, čija je rodbina nekada vodila sada zatvoreni Betsy's Cake Center u Čikagu i prigradskom naselju Naperville.

Uvlačimo se u njenu zajednicu sa zatvorenim vratima, a ona me vodi u obilazak vrta, gdje uberemo malo citrusa calamansi kako bismo dodali mlaz kiseline u mliječnu ribu koju ćemo ručati. Kiselost je zaštitni znak filipinske hrane, a ta trpkost bit će glavna komponenta u još jednoj stavci na našem jelovniku: adobo povrću.

"Adobo je nezvanično izvorno jelo na Filipinima", kaže Isi dok idemo na posao u vanjsku kuhinju. Ona kombinira češnjak, ocat, soja sos, lovorov list i zrna crnog papra u ovu sveprisutnu marinadu koja se koristi za kuhanje plodova mora, ali i mesa.

"Uglavnom obožavamo sve", dodaje ona, napominjući da je adobo i jelo i tehnika. Ova metoda postala je način da se hrana brzo ne pokvari - veliki plus u tropskoj klimi gdje je bilo malo hlađenja. "Jelo možete jednostavno izostaviti jer ga ocat čuva."

Isi me poziva unutra da jedem. Dok ona donosi zdjelu za zdjelom hrane na porodični trpezarijski sto, ja zaokupljam okolinu. Sunčeva svjetlost izvire iz visokih prozora u dnevnoj sobi sa visokim stropom. Velika kolekcija cipela uredno složenih ispod stepenica tera me na pomisao na Imeldu Marcos. U blizini, TV monitor prikazuje snimke sa više sigurnosnih kamera postavljenih izvan kuće. Isi kaže da je susjedstvo općenito sigurno, sistem nadzora je samo mjera opreza. I to joj omogućava da vidi koje komšije krišom pomažu sebi u njenom calamansiju.

Na ukusnom ručku na kojem ja jedem najviše razgovaramo o hrani, politici i aktuelnim događajima, poput nedostatka vode koji muči ovu zemlju sa preko 7.500 ostrva.

"Ironično je, zar ne?" Kaže Isi. "Filipini su okruženi vodom, ali nemamo ih dovoljno."

Saznao sam da Isi ima puno sporednih problema. Ona je stilist hrane i fotograf i razvila je liniju proizvoda iz Čilea. Traveling Spoon je evoluirala u njenu glavnu svirku.

"To je sada moj kruh i maslac", kaže ona.

Isi mi za suvenir daje bocu svog kečapa od ananasa. Pomaže mi da naručim GrabCar, filipinsku verziju Ubera, da me odveze do hotela.

Proveli smo samo nekoliko sati zajedno, ali sam otišao iz njene kuće s boljim razumijevanjem filipinske hrane - i života.


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