Sadly, it was our last day in Zamboanga.
But the DOT Region 9 team was not yet done with letting us experience the culinary heritage of the city. Before heading to our hotel, they brought us to Dennis Coffee Garden, a local coffee shop that serves pastries and delicacies from Sulu.
Zamboanga is actually a fusion of different tribes, food, and culture within Mindanao, and one of them is Tausug delicacies which are from the province of Sulu.
Honestly, at that time, we were still full. They fed with so much good food when we were at Sta. Cruz island, the pink beach of Zamboanga. And we couldn’t believe that eating was not yet over.
We were ushered to one of the rooms, much like a conference room at the coffee shop. Then bang, the food just came in one after the other.
I tried it all. One of my favorites is Putlihmandai which is made of purple rice flour and coconut flakes.
Oh man, I almost gave up eating more, until the last batch of food was served, but then one dish caught my attention.
It looks like an empanada. You know, I have a thing for empanada. It’s my favorite, especially when I traveled to Ilocos.
I know that the dish looks filling and I wasn’t sure if I could still eat some more.
But when I saw my fellow bloggers eat this with a local vinegar in it. I decided that I could still take some more food. Hahaha! Our friends from Zamboanga said the food is called Pastil, and it is a popular dish in Zamboanga, especially during merienda. There are a lot of Pastil vendors in the city especially near the schools, a big hit among students and locals.
Pastil can be filled with togue or other kinds of vegetables. The one served to us is filled with togue, and the local vinegar was too inviting to resist.
So I took one, put in on my plate and poured vinegar on it. I just had one bite, and it was enough, enough to get me hooked. It was really good. It has vegetable and it blends so well with the sauce.
Yes, I was full but I was still able to eat two pieces. Damn. I still want more!
At the airport that night, we waited for more than an hour. I started to feel hungry and looked for the nearest store to buy some food. Then all of a sudden, the memory and aroma of vinegar came rushing to my senses. All of a sudden, I pictured myself eating pastil.
I couldn’t do anything but kept on telling myself that, man I should have brought some pastil to the airport.