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Pastel of Cotabato City

Fresh hot Pastel

YUMMY, SUMPTUOUS, EXOTIC LOCALLY MADE FOOD! That is one of the motivating factors that leads me to travel the long and intricate road of Mindanao. 

I am a big fan of local delicacy which breaks the usual type of prepared food from the fast food chains in the metro and in our locality.  Diving into the indigenous food and delicacy feels like being part of the community, giving me a perspective of the local’s reflection of their culture and tradition.

Cotabato City is not exempted with my search for delectable “common” food in the area. In my recent visit to the controversial city, I was introduced to some of the tasty delights that first time touched my taste buds.

In the second day of my stay in the city, Jafaar, my former student from LPU, took us to the inconspicuous Arsheed Cafeteria along the street of Sinsuat famous for its traditional PASTEL. Pastel is a Halal food savored with cooked chopped chicken or any meat other than port, wrapped inside of boiled rice that is similar to a sushi and covered with a banana leaf. It is somehow similar to a suman or white rice cake. I have encountered same one in Cebu but the preparation and taste is different.

One way to enjoy a pastel is to sprinkle a little of soy sauce to the rice to intensify the taste of the sandwiched meat inside. With a very affordable price at Php10.00, we munched on at least 2-3 pieces each paired with tortang talong. The locals of Maguindanao served this with no particular time of the day or occasion as long as there is a need to satisfy your surging appetite. You can have a hot Pastel during breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between at a very reasonable price.

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