LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– A new food item that can replace pork meat for the traditionally preserved meat viand is being introduced by the town of Bakun, one of the 13 municipalities of Benguet.
The product, kini-ing chicken, is one of the town’s featured items in the agri-tourism fair that opened late afternoon on Monday.
“A resident of Gambang village tried it and introduced it to the municipal hall and in a snap, it was sold out,” Bakun town Councilor Edgar Ognaden said in Ilocano.
“He introduced it and when we tasted, it was good. It is now regularly being sold at the municipal hall canteen,” Ognaden said.
Several packs weighing one kilo worth PHP190 had been sold on day one of the Agri fair.
Kini-ing chicken is only sold on the second floor of the Bakun booth until November 23. The agri-fair is one of the activities of the 119th Foundation anniversary of Benguet.
“It is a blockbuster product. Some buy because they are curious while others want it because it is chicken,” he said.
“We have enough until the last day of the event,” Ognaden said, adding they brought the product to the event as a pork alternative in the wake of the African swine fever (ASF) scare.
“Kini-ing” is a preserved meat, originally pork, that undergoes smoking using pine wood. The meat is hanged above the fire used in cooking at a traditional kitchen that uses wood for three to four days.
Such a process of preservation has been practiced by several villages in the Cordillera as a means of preserving the meat from butchered animals, making them last for many months, ready for the rainy season.
The Cordillera adapts meat preservation which is all part of the native delicacy. Whether it is “Kini-ing”, “etag” or “kinuday” , they all come in pork, which is a “necessity” during gatherings.
Ognaden said the kini-ing is primarily added when cooking the traditional “pinikpikan“, native delicacy of the region which is the secret to the flavorful soup.
It is also used to add flavor to boiled vegetables, or when cooking legumes, simply sliced thinly as an appetizer when drinking “tapuy” (rice wine), or sautéed with onion as a stand-alone dish.
“For those who do not eat pork, this can replace the taste we are looking for when we eat pinikpikan,” Ognaden said. Liza Agoot / PNA – northboundasia.com