Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Taste of Home…Turon ni Em

Where we love is home,Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr

During my university days… (God knows when was that…but I refuse to dwell on that thought at the moment), there were timeswhen I would go home right about 3 pm tired and hungry. I would get off the jeep at the corner of Espana and Blumentritt. It would take a couple of blocks walk before I reach our house. On summer days this will always be a constant battle of will and physical exhaustion. However, in spite of all the resentment of having to walk under a scorching sun, I would always look forward on passing by the small stall of “Banana que”, “Camote que” and “Turon” right at the corner of Blumentritt and Piy Florentino Street. They are always a lovely treat after a days work.

Those were the old days. At least for me who is now living near the intersection of Pharmacy and St. Claire Avenue. And I do miss those sweet treats being sold on the streets of Manila. Yesterday was one of those days. I suddenly had a craving for “Turon”! The sad thing is, I can’t just go to the corner to buy it. I have to make my own…. with a lot of “buntunghininga” (sigh). I went to the Chinese Store to get myself some spring roll wrappers (thank God they have it), as well as some brown sugar. I can’t and will not be able to find the kind of banana that we use back home (we call it Saba) unless I want to use frozen or bottled ones. So, I found a substitute that they call Plantine bananas. The thing about these so called Plantine bananas is that I need to find the ripest ones or else I’ll end up having the hardest banana ever. Okay, I have made some substitution and hopefully it will bring me as close to the authentic ones.

I am yakking about Turon, expecting everybody to know what I’m talking about. So inconsiderate of me. My apologies. Turon is a sweet treat composed of bananas and brown sugar. This combination is then wrapped in spring roll wrapper and deep fried. It will look like spring rolls but unlike the flavorful taste of spring rolls, the turon is sweet. The only similarity of the two is that they both share the crispiness of the wrapper once fried.

This is my Turon. Fresh from the frying pan. I should say that my little exodus has sent me to the streets of Espana and Blumentritt for the briefest moment. A taste of home is all I need to get my heart all warm and fuzzy in the middle of winter.

PS. Even buddy love Turon now! :)


JTE said...

Turon in Toronto! It ryhmes, Ems! Where I am right now [at work :-), lunchbreak hehehe]is what you call turon paradise. If ever I have a craving, all I have to do is turn my head to the left or to the right and choose which turon stall is the best. I always choose the one with langka [jackfruit?] inside and sesame seed outside. With a bottle of Coke or glass of sago & gulaman, eating with a friend or alone, my turon experience is always perfect.

EM said...

JTE my dear, you just made me very jealous indeed!! You even mentioned sago & gulaman. It's weird, I have lots of shaved ice here but then i can't get a decent halo-halo much more a sago and gulaman! With all the snow around all I think about is halo halo and how i can send all these snow to the motherland so they can cooloff for a chance.

JTE said...

I heard an anecdote about a Japanese who asked about a halo-halo to his Pinay friend. He asked "Why do you eat snow?" So the Pinay explained thorougly that it wasn't snow but just shaved ice, plus the usual ingredients are added for flavoring. I couldn't remember if the Japanese ate the halo-halo offered to him. Anyway, some people here deserve not just snow but blizzard and snowstorm to cool their heads off, then disappear for good. And perhaps be given a one-way ticket to the North Pole.

EM said...

You are right. Some people do need more than to cool off. Well, i don't know if they are welcome here but I guess Santa in the North Pole wouldn't mind. He sure needs more help there.

Have an ice cold sago and gulaman JTE, and while you're at it, do help yourself with some Turon. Take an extra bite and sip for me too!

JTE said...

Santa has to think twice before allowing 'those people' to work with him!

Is there a champagne-flavored turon? How about sago & gulaman laced with tequila? That's your department! For now, we'll take the original flavor and the best part/portion is for you, Ems!