The Best Dinuguan

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I was in Cubao on my way home when I passed by Goto King and saw the poster of puto and dinuguan outside the store. Without thinking twice, I went inside and order away. It was late and they've only got 2 pieces of puto left. I thought that wouldn't be enough for me and Tapioca. Mabibitin lang kami ng bongga. I though hard where else to find more puto. Hmmm, where else but another place that sells dinuguan, right? So I went to the next store that sells dinuguan, none other than - Goldilocks.

Luck was not on my side that night. Goldilocks' puto were all sold out for the day. I went to two Goldilocks's stores. One in Farmers and the other one was all the way in Ali Mall. Silly me decided to buy yet another dinuguan. While waiting in line to pay for my food, I though of Shopwise and all the kakanin vendors from that place. Ya know, when I want something so bad I would not stop until I got it to the extent that I'd become crabby and unreasonable. Who in their right mind would look for puto/kakanin late at night when these goods are made fresh early in the morning and it has limited shelf life. So yeah, I'm being impossible hunting down for puto when most of the stores were about to close. When I got to Shopwise and found not a single kakanin vendor, I came to realize how foolish I was for letting this delusion take over me.

After all the walking, I felt tired and miserable. Then, I spotted a happy place - Red Ribbon. Would you believe what happened next? I snubbed all the cakes and bought another dinuguan. My craving craze sent me to an adventure which made me buy all the dinuguan I can. Time for some taste test session!

When I got home Tapioca was surprised to see my loot. I told him what I had in mind. Let the test begin!

. . . Goto King's puto't dinuguan 

We tried Goto King's version first. It was a bit only and some blood coagulation were noticeable though not in the photo above. It was flavorful but the one thing that bothered us the most was the meat. I'd say the meat used was questionable. Can't tell if it's pork or innards or worse something else. I didn't want to think anymore. Just glad I bought two more dinuguan from other stores.

Goldilocks's dinuguan . . . 

Second was Goldilocks's version. Very oily but it was because they included the meat's fat. Despite the oil, it was very yummy. I think the fat added more flavor to the dinuguan. It's true what some or most chefs/cooks said that fat can improve a dish taste.

. . . Red Ribbon's dinuguan 

Last but not the least, Red Ribbon's version. First thing we noticed was the velvety smooth texture of the sauce. I liked it because it wasn't oily as they used mostly lean meat. However, I couldn't help but point out the missing flavor from the meat's fat.

The Winner. 

Both Red Ribbon's and Goldilocks's had it's hits and misses (I'm leaving out Goto King. Sorry!) but there has to be one winner. And the best tasting dinuguan (based on this taste test) is - Goldilocks. Yeah, it was very oily but it made me realize all the difference taste wise. If Red Ribbon would add more fat on their dinuguan I'm sure they'd accomplish the same taste. But the same texture and no oil? I don't think so.

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