A typical merienda cena during Jose Rizal’s time
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Have you ever wondered what a typical merienda cena was during the era in which Jose Rizal lived? I was at the Rizal Shrine for a press launch of the My Rizal 150th birthday celebration on June 2. The long table set with blue and white fine dinner ware, laden with fruits, and Filipiniana decors along the balcony makes one reminisce of the food eaten during Rizal’s time.
Jose Rizal is widely known for his political writings, novels, and poems emphasizing his stand for equality, and his anger at injustice during the time of the Spaniards. As he struggled for justice, he never failed to mention Philippine cuisine in his revolutionary novels, making extensive mention of the prevalent cuisine of the time in the novel Noli Me Tangere.
The merienda cena hosted by Adarna Food and Culture for this press launch provided us with a representation of what a typical meal Jose Rizal would have during his time. The merienda cena was composed of the following:
Empanada de Kaliskis of Malolos
Pancit is known to be a favorite siesta food of Rizal. In addition, panciterias were popular in the country back then. There’s also the theory that he was part Chinese.
Grilled Kesong Puti wrapped in banana leaves with Jamon
This has got to be my favorite. I placed the kesong puti and ham into the pan de sal. Sipping the hot tsokalate along with the pan de sal is the perfect combination.
Authentic Malolos Pandesal and
Pan de sal during Rizal’s time is really tiny. Chef Giney Villar of Adarna restaurant related that it was extravagant to have large-sized pan de sal during those days.
Tsokolate de Baterol of Batangas.
I forgot to take a photo of the Tsokolate. To think that I took around 4 cups. It is interesting to note that Rizal’s breakfast comprised of hot chocolate (tablea de cacao, prepared as a hot drink) which he paired with sardinas secas (which is nowadays called tuyo) and a cup of rice. Lunch usually featured ayungin (silver perch). According to his Dapitan cook, Tinong, Rizal usually had three types of viands—the first was Pinoy fare like sinigang or paksiw, the second, Spanish, and the third was something he mysteriously described as “mestizo”.
Now if you are craving for this merienda cena, there might be a chance that you can taste some of these dishes at the My Rizal 150 Celebration at Fort Santiago today at 6:00 PM. Traditional food from the era in which Rizal lived will be sold by concessionaires Ilustrado, Barbara’s, and Adarna Food and Culture.
I will be there together with bloggers , Rizalistas and friends to celebrate Jose Rizal’s 150th birthday celebration with an evening of art, music, poetry and fireworks in Fort Santiago.
Feliz Cumpleanos Jose Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda!