Bacolod City is known as the City of Smiles because the people are friendly and visitors experience very warm hospitality in the city. They are also known to be resilient and very optimistic. In fact, Bacolod is also known for its annual festival called MASSKARA – literally a sea of faces, but the word is a pun of the local term for masks. Every October since 1980, residents of the city along with visitors hit the streets with smiling masks to dance. But as famous as the festival is – the Bacolod chicken inasal is also a hit. Inasal is the local term for skewer or skewered meat, in this case, chicken.
The secret of the dish is in its freshness. Chicken is prepared dipped in special sauced for marination on the same day it’s cooked over blazing charcoal. It’s hard to really pinpoint a particular ingredient but from a third-party eater one can actually taste ginger and garlic and some lemon and soy sauce. The right amount of grilling locks in the juices of the barbecued chicken – roasted to perfection.
When you visit Bacolod, you can actually find a lot of chicken inasal stores around the city. Some in fine dining style but mostly an outdoor more rustic environment will add more color to the experience of tasting your first chicken inasal.
Before digging in, you need to prepare your personalized dip – a combination of vinegar or sinamak (vinegar with ginger, garlic and small pepper), calamansi and soy sauce. There is also a special chicken “oil” which comes from the drippings of the barbecue while the chicken is being grilled. The oil is mixed with white fluffy rice. You can ask for plain or garlic rice, and extra garlic.
The inasal can be different parts of the chicken but the most popular are what we call paa or chicken leg and pecho or chicken breast. The other delicious parts are the chicken liver and intestines, gizzard, dried blood, butt part and wings.
The best way to eat chicken inasal is by using your bare hands and of course, it’s the kind of food that’s best shared among family and friends. So visit Bacolod now to taste this really delicious treat. The good news is there is always a Bacolodnon who’ll be happy to buy you one. I guarantee. Call your friend who lives in Bacolod now.
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