(September 03, 2005 to November 03, 2005)

A Favorite Ilocano Treat.

Empánada (n) – a half moon shaped pie made of rice flour stuffed with grated green papaya, parboiled mung beans (mongo), ground pepper, eggs, salt and garlic. Popular as an afternoon snack in Ilocos Norte.

When in Ilocos, do as the Ilocanos do, which, for the most part means eating heavily. At any given time of the day, Ilocanos are likely to be nibbling at a snack or having a feast.

The delectable empanada is described as a bright orange, half-moon shaped pie made of eggs and vegetables, wrapped in a crusty shell made from a rice flour mixture.  Although there is a variety of empanada recipes, the empanada with mongo beans and egg filling is one of the favorites. Through the years longganisa was introduced as part of the filling.  To add a zesty taste, it may be dipped in vinegar with hot chili pepper.  Empanada can be served as a morning, afternoon or after dinner snack and can be a meal in itself.

People from all walks of life specially the Ilocanos enjoy socializing over an empanada and an ice cold drink. It is not unusual to see tourists looking for an empanada stand. A added thrill is watching your empanada being prepared and cooked. You can even ask the cook to add a smidgen of your favorite ingredient while enjoying the experience.

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