I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food

I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food. Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck is a classic when it comes to humor. When I first picked up this quote, I said to myself, “this is me!”

I am a devout poster of #fatkidchronicles. I love food.

I will try anything once, on principle. If I hate it, at least I can say, “I ate it, and I hated it.”

I grew up on a lot of soup and rice. I didn’t realize it until someone pointed out to me that soup is a good way to feed a lot of people for cheap. Ma used to say we were poor growing up, but I never felt deprived. To me, poor is to be deprived of all of your creature comforts, stuff we would take for granted, a roof over the head, food on the table. We’ve never been anywhere near that. If we were, I never felt it. From what I saw, it always worked out. Maybe God was looking out for us.

Clearly, Ma’s idea of poor was vastly different from mine. I was happy with my meager childhood because I didn’t know any better. I never internalized comparing what was in our bowl to anyone else’s. I still don’t. I think that’s what Ma did: constantly comparing us to them (whoever them is based on the context). I had my dog, my kid brother, my bike and the biggest backyard on the block. That was enough for a creative soul like me. What more could a kid with her head in the clouds ask for?

I like sweet and/or savory foods. Sometimes at the same time! My parents used to threaten us with tabasco and I have refused to eat spicy foods because of it. If there’s a jalapeno anywhere near my food, I will remove it. If I don’t catch it in time, it’s the end of the world for me. My taco sauce is mild. That’s the strongest kick I can handle without crying like a baby.

My favorite Filipino dish is pork sinigang with a couple dashes of patis for that tongue-puckering salty flavor and a tall glass of milk on the side. I don’t care if it’s the dead of summer and I just came in from 100-degree heat. If I feel like it – or my Ma’s read my mind and made it – I will eat it and eat it and eat it until it’s gone. I’ve tried sinigang at Filipino restaurants, but there’s something about the way my Ma makes it that is both comforting and normal. You can’t fuck up sinigang. It’s impossible.

If there are leftovers of something I love, I’ll eat it for breakfast the next morning. And lunch. And dinner again, if there’s anything left!

Studio audience: what is your favorite food? Let me know below! As always, feel free to share the image anywhere you’d like!

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