Will UNESCO add sisig to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list?
Maybe adobo’s next?
May 2, 2018
Aside from roasted and soaking in sarsa, we want our pork marinated in vinegar, salt, and pepper, fried, and then served crispy on a sizzling plate with chopped chicken liver.
Now, the city of Angeles in Pampanga hopes UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) wants sisig, too.
Last month, Angeles City, the home of sisig, proclaimed the dish an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” through Ordinance No. 405, Series of 2017. The ordinance includes programs and policies that will preserve the original recipe and preparation of the pork dish. No mayo and eggs, then.
“The passing of the ordinance is a great move for us to finally claim, not only by word-of-mouth but on [paper] that ‘Sizzling Sisig’ originated in our city,” said Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
The ordinance also mandates the city to set up an annual sisig festival or Sisig Fiesta every last week of April where schools and community-based cooks can compete.
In line with the city’s decree, the Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO) also plans to contend in this year’s UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy “to boost its claim as the culinary center of Central Luzon,” the mayor adds.
Sisig dates back to 1732, in a dictionary published by an Augustinian priest, Fr. Diego Bergaño. It was defined as unripe fruits or boiled pig ears or tails dipped in vinegar and eaten by pregnant women. And then in 1974, Lucia “Aling Lucing” Cunanan refined and popularized the dish. It became the favorite barchow of drinkers in her stall in Angeles City.
Aling Lucing holds the title “Sisig Queen” according to artist and chef Claude Tayag in his book Food Tour. “Cunanan invented the sisig as we know it today,” he writes.
Will UNESCO grant the Kapampangans’ wishes? Let’s just hope for the best.
Featured image courtesy of Gilbertdlee on Instagram
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