One significant feature of Filipino cuisine is the abundance of condiments.
We don’t consider a viand complete when it leaves the kitchen and is served on our dining tables. Nope, we still keep the option of further enhance its flavor or add some spice, zing or texture to it, through the use of condiments.
In his article The Psychology of Condiments: A Review, food scholar Charles Pence posits that “the existence of condiments is probably also an acknowledgement of the very different worlds of taste in which we all live.”
After all, condiments allow us to personalize our food, adjusting its taste according to our individual preferences.
There’s little wonder then, that we Pinoys developed a wealth of condiments and dipping sauces that make our dining experiences all the richer.
Husband-and-wife team Juan Carlos Lontoc and Louwina Ann Balboa Lontoc grew their small enterprise of making and bottling sinamak into a fast-growing business they called Casa Lontoc.
Sinamak is the spiced vinegar which is aged with spices and aromatics, making it very flavorful. It is a perfect complement for the Ilonggo delicacy chicken inasal, as well as grilled and fried dishes such as liempo and seafood. Plus, it can also be used as a marinade for various dishes or as the acid in the local version of ceviche, such as the tuna kinilaw.
Casa Lontoc’s Mild Sinamak is the best bet for those who want a distinct Ilonggo flair for their grilled dishes. It is made from all-natural distilled cane vinegar and spices, inspired by a Lontoc heirloom recipe.
Similarly, the Spicy Sinamak, is made from the same recipe but has more heat to it, not only enhancing the flavor of the dishes it accompanies, but also bringing a lot more spice to them.
Casa Lontoc’s Sweet and Spicy Cane Vinegar, on the other hand, is quite distinctive thanks to its sweetness. This makes it quite a match to the Filipino penchant for sweetness and is a great salad dressing or vinaigrette for ensaladas, or a dipping sauce for finger foods.
Other Casa Lontoc products include:
- Spiced Tuba Vinegar
- Spiced Iloco Vinegar
- Chili Garlic
- Habanero Chili Garlic
Casa Lontoc’s all-natural vinegars and sauces certainly help to bring new dimensions of flavor to many Pinoy dishes.
Who knows? Maybe they can also introduce new sawsaw-sarap possibilities to foreign dishes as well!
Try them as dipping sauces for your everyday meals or as dressings or marinades for special dishes during your weekend family barbecues.
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.