Monday, March 21, 2011


May fave writers from the Philippine Daily Inquirer are Al Mendoza, Conrad De Quiros, Frank Cimatu, and Michael L. Tan.

Al and Conrad because I love their prose. Frank because he is Frank. And Michael because I learn much from the rich historical backgrounds of his essays. Like the following history of pansit in his essay on the evolution of to-go food in the Philippines that was published in the 20 March 2011 issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine:

... that the first recorded take-out food was illustrated in 1847-era prints attributed to a Honorato Lozano titled "Carinderia" and "Pancitero".

... that the term pancit did not originally refer to noodles but from the Hookkien Chinese pien sit which meant ready-made food.

... that the Chinese vendors then monopolized the herbal drugs and pancitero businesses.

... that pancit eventually evolved to mean a particular type of noodle including mami which means noodles with meat (although I prefer the version of meaning Ma's noodle or mami for which Ma Mon Luk became famous).

So that's Pansit 101 for us.

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