Foreigners have a love-and-hate relationship with dried herring or what is called “tuyo” in Tagalog because of its pungent smell when cooked. Most Filipinos, though, regard it as a staple breakfast. It’s easy to cook and quite cheap to have, making it a regular meal feature in a local household even in other times of the day.
With the recent makeover that it’s having as gourmet tuyo, the once scaly fish food has suddenly become a delicious bottled trend that even non-locals are raving about.
Ask any Filipina who has a foreigner husband and she’ll lament of her struggle to consume dried herring in secret like it was some contraband substance. She can even be quite mindful of neighbors abroad who sometimes complain about the distinct smell of the fried fish.
Thanks to the wave of tuyo lovers nationwide who have mastered the way of stuffing descaled and pre-cooked versions of it in olive oil-filled mason jars, anybody can now appreciate the dish in gourmet format more than once in a day and even the whole week.
In Pasig City, Ingrid Mediarito of Ingrid’s Sweet Haven Pâtisserie & Baking Supplies has finally come up with her own version of the bottled treat after exploring the Philippines’ seafood capital of Roxas City in one of her business trips. Metro Manila-based gourmet tuyo lovers can now drop by her restaurant called Buffalo Swing Café in Caniogan and easily buy the product for more than Php100 per bottle.
At Buffalo Swing Café, I’ve tasted the same content from the bottle via the restaurant’s Tuyo Pasta which made use of homemade pesto sauce. The pasta itself is firm and is an interestingly stubborn match to the initially overwhelming taste of the main flavor which is the dried herring. I particularly love the inclusion of tomato slices to balance the overall taste. After I finished the whole plate in just a few minutes, I realized that the bottled gourmet tuyo is not just great to have with steamed rice. It’s also sensational in pasta format!
Location of Buffalo Swing Cafe: Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave., corner Liwayway St., Caniogan, Pasig City
Phone: (02) 341-5288
Read more about Buffalo Swing Cafe here.