Lucban Turned Vigan Longganisa

Longganisa for breakfast!

On my first attempt to make the Lucban longganisa (after having bought the kitchen aid sausage stuffer), I failed. Miserably. I failed to make Lucban longganisa. But I think that I was able to make Vigan longganisa! For those who are not familiar with Filipino food, longganisa is the local sausage, breakfast sausage, you might call it. Meat is either ground or chopped, and mixed with a variety of flavorings and spices. And just like all the variety of German sausages, we can boast the same for the local longganisa. Lucban (a province in Quezon, about 3 hours south of Manila) is made with garlic and oregano. Vigan longganisa (a province north of Manila, about 12 hours away) is like Lucban, but with vinegar. Cabanatuan (3 hours north of Manila) is also salty, but with a tad lighter hand on the salt, and slightly sweet. But not as sweet as Pampanga (2 hours north of Manila). Then there is also the Cebu longganisa (Cebu is a place in the Visayas, a good hour’s plane ride from Manila) that is sweetish as well. That only speaks of those I am familiar with. So imagine the variety. But overall, I generally favor garlicky longganisa.

So I had about a kilo of pork butt minced (why not grind? For texture), with a head of garlic, and a handful of salt. And having none of the mild paprika on hand, I used a mix of paprika and annatto powder to make it redder. After allowing it to marinate overnight, I gave it a taste. Ewww. It was too salty. I added sugar and vinegar, and ended up adding about a cup of vinegar to it. I was afraid I just wasted a kilo of good pork.

The stuffing was another challenge, having a coarse but wet mix. The meat refused to go in the tube of the stuffer continuously and dismantling was done every 2 feet of the sausage. And every opening of the machine constituted of a downpour of vinegar (it would get squeezed out of the meat)!!! Imagine my horror at this machine!!!! I almost gave up, having ended up with gnarly, oversoaked fingers (from the vinegar). But I finally finished.

On the first time to try it, I was surprised! It was a bit dry, but tasted familiar. Vigan longganisa it was. Mom complained it being too dry. I wasn’t just happy that what I made came out edible. I was happy it came out good. It wasn’t really what I was going after, but this was a good surprise nonetheless!

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