Sauce Is All That Matters


When Chooks To Go was lauched, they became instant big hit because of their tag line. “Masarap kahit walang sauce”, Delicious even without sauce! I was thinking, perhaps they wanted to take advantage of the fact that most fried products are reliant on sauce. Most of the time the dependence is too much to point where the product loose its real identity. There are many fishball vendors in an area. Their product without the sauce basically taste all the same. People tendency is to patronize the one making the best sauce. I have been eating in many fastfood restaurants. All their fried chicken taste taste same. However, there are noticeable variations in gravy flavor. The very same reason why customers prefer one over the other.

There are unverified rumors that sometime you can get sauce from some Chooks To Go establishment. I tried it once but didn’t get any.

There was a place that I couldn’t remember. A similar broiled chicken business was beside Chooks To Go. Their tag line say, “Mas masarap pa din kapag may sauce” – With sauce is better. The latter focused on having the best of both worlds. They want customers to buy their product not just for the sauce or chicken alone but for both. Their slogan is amusing and may create a buzz to some extent. A great advertisement if someone make it trending on social media.

My wife brought home a pack of fishball. Unlike the common public market brands, it was plumbed it its raw state. The common are curvy flat which turn to round during frying. Then curvy flat again when cooled down. Trapped air inside every piece is responsible for it. Air expand when heated and compress when cooled. The method used to turn nitrogen to liquid form. These mass produce product is made by someone or machine with the science of baking in mind. The air packets are intentional, created by adding baking soda/powder or live yeast. It is also beneficial on cooking point of view. When frying, they are done when grew and float like a ball.

She told me, maybe it taste better. I replied, if it was budget friendly, then it is sure not. It turned out my expectation was right. It taste nothing but flour. When I was a kid. I was asking myself. The thing is called fishball. I must be made of fish and yet it never tasted like any real fish. I only realized the reason behind after growing up and studying. It has very little fish in it and mostly made of fillers. That must be its composition to be affordable. I can only eat premium fishball when I am making it myself.

Bytes. Our elementary teachers were discouraging us to buy fishball from vendors near school premises. They said it was bad for us. The food was made of shark. The pieces will fuse together, will become shark again and eat us from the inside. Poor me, I believed them at first. I thought the pieces can really volt-in like my favorite cartoon animation, Voltes 5. They were lying. They just wanted us to buy bread they were selling. The Nuri-Ban. I was Marcos project if I remembered it correctly.

When I was in highschool. I remember eating a real thing. It was not called fishball however. The vendor called it veggie balls and meat balls. She was making it herself at home. Perhaps her purpose was to be different from the rest of competition. They were five of them selling fishballs and sandwiches. Being a little different attracted loyal customers.

We grew up to our favorite food which are fried fish and pork. We were making spicy sauce concoction to the point fish and meat become insignificant. Eating were continued after all viands were gone, sauce and rice were enough. Subtracting items from the menu, fish sauce or soy sauce alone is good match for rice. True when budget is too tight or simply you don’t want what’s on the dining table.

I was was still safe from gout attack, my favorite fast food chain is KFC. I like gravy and they provide unlimited serving. Their gravy cup is large and can be refilled whenever empty. There are other restos that provide extra gravy, but their cup is ridiculously small. Coming back and forth and getting very small refill is rather inconvenient

Gravy goes to rice first. Then to fried chicken later. Typical Filipino like me do this.

Sadly, gravy is worst gout trigger.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.