Mino’s Napoli Pizza: It’s Italian, but it’s also Ilocano

Napoli pizza with tomatoes, olives and anchovies

What do Italian and Ilocano cuisines have in common? Smelly salted anchovies, in Ilocano,  “bugguong a monamon”. Many people may find the smell of this preserved fish ingredient repulsive, but it is what makes both cuisines excitingly flavorful.

Ilocanos can’t live without the funky smelling fish. They consume “bugguong” like crazy. They use it on “dinengdeng”, “pinakbet”, salads, or eat it plain with their rice. Ilocanos bring their “bugguong” wherever they go, even to America, to the consternation of their whole neighborhood.

Anchovies is also the backbone to numerous Italian dishes. Italians are wont to add anchovies to certain pizza and pasta dishes.

A native of Como in Italy, and married to an Ilocana, Mr. Giacomo “Mino” Iavorone, owner of Mino’s Italian Pizza in Badoc makes his own salted “monamon” condiment. It is present in his Napoli Pizza, which I adore. Not really a hole in the wall, the no-frills, relaxed Mino’s pizzeria has been around since January 1996, and it remains to be visited by Ilocos locals and travelers alike.

I asked him how do Ilocanos like his cooking, and he said, “At first, they were agkadiakadiay (flip-flopping). Now, they have accepted the Italian way. I don’t cook sweet spaghetti. I use only the freshest tomatoes, and I make my own dough and pastas.”

“I’m getting old. No, just this,” he said when I asked if he intends to open up another pizzeria like in Laoag.

Spinach ravioli in butter

Mino’s menu consists of spaghetti, cannelloni, ravioli, lasagna, tramezzini sandwiches, his own version of hamburger, and pizzas that come in two sizes and flavors such as napoli, margherita, capricciosa, seafood, al pesto, mushrooms, salami and cheese. The prices are easy on the pocket, nothing over fifty pesos for each serving of pasta, and his pizzas, big, P180-240 and small, P100-150.

White Pizza with white sauce, mushrooms, bacon and cheese

White pizza is his latest. The carbonara-like sauce was good. As usual, the crust was chewy and nice, not cardboard-like. He also has a new ravioli that comes in mushroom sauce which I have to try next time.

Mino’s down in Badoc is just so hard to ignore, the smell of anchovies in his napoli pizza calls time and again.

Mino’s Italian Pizza Badoc, Ilocos Norte (Open from Mondays to Saturdays) Tel. No. (077) 6700083 Cellphone  No. (0926)6464174
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

5 thoughts on “Mino’s Napoli Pizza: It’s Italian, but it’s also Ilocano

    • It’s good, not cloying. I ate the last piece of our take-out just now. When you’re back in Laoag, everything just seems yummier. I don’t normally eat the crust edges, but I ate everything.

  1. I love Mino’s. The owner’s son Coco is also our student.

    Off topic: I’ll visit Manila, finally, for book stuff. It’s been 28 months since the last time.

    Ergo, I can’t hold NSTP classes tomorrow. Can you kindly tell your son, and request him to inform his friends as well?

    They deserve a long weekend, too, esp. because midterm exams just ended.



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