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Burong isda, anyone?

- James Mananghaya () - March 9, 2003 - 12:00am
Candaba, Pampanga – If you see this pasty stuff on a plate served with boiled vegetables or broiled fish, do not think that your cat had too much of her dinner last night and had to throw up.

Just take a closer look, place your nose nearer the plate, and before you know it, you are already being lured into getting it inside your mouth.

A trademark of this town, the widely known fermented fish paste, commonly known in the province of Pampanga as "burong isda", made a mark recently in the local market after the municipal government, together with producers joined trade fairs that would help promote the product.

For decades, residents of this town, which is popularly known for "tilapia" or St Peter’s fish, catfish or hito and "dalag" production, have been producing "buro" , a practice that has become a tradition as the secrets of making it is passed on from generation to generation. It is a popular delicacy for the people of this town and a novelty to others.

It is a mixture of cooked rice, fish, and salt, fermented for eight days in clay jars. It is sauteed then served with boiled vegetables like string beans (sitaw), eggplants bitter gourds (ampalaya) and broiled fish like tilapia, dalag, or catfish (hito).

Mayor Normita Evangelista said the last month, their town’s product was included in the "Likha" Central Luzon Trade Fair at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, where "burong isda" stirred the curiosity of consumers because of its sour and spicy taste.

Evangelista told The .STAR that the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and the local government of Candaba have formed a partnership to further develop the industry of "buro" production, including the methods on how to prolong its shelf life, and enhancement of its flavor.

Alice Tayag, a "buro" maker since 1992 said they sell their product for P40 for a small jar while a bigger jar sells for P70. She said there are producers who sell "buro" for P150 per kilo.
ALICE TAYAG CANDABA CENTRAL LUZON TRADE FAIR DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY EVANGELISTA LIKHA MAYOR NORMITA EVANGELISTA PAMPANGA ST PETER
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