I remember exactly what I ate during my third visit to Vigan City. With a few exceptions of having some bagnet and empanada, the thing that’s usually on my plate is a bunch of Vigan longanisa. Breakfast, lunch, dinner; I don’t really care for Vigan’s other culinary delights, I wanted my garlic longanisa with my fried rice.
This last visit to Vigan City, not only did I have my fill of their local sausage but I was also given an insider’s glimpse as to how they’re made. While I’m not really keen on seeing the gutty truth on how my favorite longanisa is manufactured, I went ahead with the group knowing we’d have a free taste later. Lol.
We visited the home of Jeannie Piamonte Criste, a Bigueña who has learned the art of making the local longanisa from her grandmother. Theirs is a backyard affair; a definite indication that each sausage is made with TLC. They’ve been at it for twelve years now, selling their products at the Vigan Public Market.
I never imagined how tiring it was to produce those little sausages that I so love.
From the hand-mixing of the ground pork meat with the right amount of garlic, salt and pepper (among other things), to manually filling the washed intestines with the mixed meat, right up to the final tying of each longanisa bit.
We all witnessed how much effort it took to produce a string of Vigan longanisa.
There are numerous kinds of longanisa all over the Philippines, with provinces proudly showing off their own versions of the said delicacy, so I’m quite curious as to how Vigan’s differ from the rest.
Just by looking at it, one can see that it is smaller than the average longanisa, measuring in at about three inches long. By taste, it is on the garlicky side with a hint of sourness. While there are a few garlic longanisa around the country, what makes Vigan’s different is due to the garlic they use which they simply refer to as native garlic.
After every piece of longanisa has been tied off, these are then air-dried before being sold to the market. The regular-sized ones go for Php100.00 per dozen, while the bigger ones are at Php120.00.
For tourists who don’t have the time of going all the way to the public market to do their longanisa shopping, these meaty delights are readily available at the numerous stores along Calle Crisologo for almost the same price.
And as expected, after all that mixing, pushing in and drying, it was time for my favorite part of the program. Now, let’s have some of that Vigan longanisa.
Vigan Public Market
Address: Jose Singson St. cor Alcantara St.,
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Contact Number: (077) 722 1953
Open Hours: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm
GPS Coordinates Map: 17°34'06.8"N 120°23'05.7"E