Linamnam (from A-dams to Z-amboanga), by Claude Tayag and Mary Anne Quioc

When I first came across this new book titled Linamnam Eating One’s Way Around The Philippines, authored by foodie couple Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc, in one of the food blogs, I was clueless I would be “part” of the well-documented ultimate gastronomic adventure (from the top of the Philippines all the way to the bottom as seen in the map). Before I brought this beautiful, down-to-earth couple, along with former Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Officer Rene Guatlo and master restaurateur Sammy Blas of Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant, to the “Alps of Ilocos Norte”, upon the invitation of Rene and Sam, I didn’t even know Claude and Mary Anne would be among my passengers. And now that I got hold of an autographed copy from thoughtful Sam,  I was surprised to see my name in the last part of the first entry — the exotic mountain river cuisine of Adams, consisting of balbalusa, kiwet, ubog, aba, kardis, kokak, kukutit and upland rice. Just so cool of Claude and Mary Anne! My trusty-rusty Land Cruiser was also mentioned… if only it can talk to say thank you to the duo.

Claude Tayag and Mary Anne Quioc share an Ilocos empanada.

Discover Ilocano bagnet, empanada, crispy dinardaraan, bagbagis, chicharon, bituka, dinengdeng, poki-poki balls, pipian, sinanglao, papaitan, dinoydoy and other select entries from the Cagayan Valley, the Cordilleras, Central Luzon, and the Visayas and Mindanao regions. By the way, Sam’s Saramsam dinengdeng is also in the book.

Only genuine foodies such as artist/gourmand Claude Tayag and former Cathay Pacific flight attendant turned writer Mary Anne Quioc are able to pull together an outstanding Philippine food guide highly recommended to all the food lovers all across the globe. The book is available online at National Bookstore.

Linamnam, that wonderful pleasing taste, is also evident in Claude’s Claude’9 condiments manufactured by the duo’s Bale Dutung by-reservation only restaurant in Pampanga. They’ve mastered ma-linamnam.


The hubby and I wish to thank Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc for the endorsement and the mention of Ilocos sand dune adventure, Rene Guatlo and Sammy Blas for the invitation, and Sam for the book and the thought that went with it.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Easy but extraordinary shrimp recipe with Claude’9 XO Chili Sauce

Before meeting artist/chef/columnist Claude Tayag in the flesh, when we brought him and wife Mary Ann Quioc on a trekking and exotic food adventure in Adams more than a year ago, I’ve already tried one of his Claude’9 sauces, talangka, which I use for my spaghetti aligue. While we were feasting on balbalusa (wild eggplants), crablets and other Adams specialties by a creek in the forest, someone mentioned his versatile XO Chili Sauce. It stuck in my mind, but I’m also stuck in Laoag, getting fermented just like his buro dishes, so I haven’t tried using his Xtra Ordinary Chili Sauce until today. Thanks to  Sam of Saramsam, also one the guys in the group that explored Adams, for bringing in the sauce made from chili, Chinese ham and dried shrimps.

There’s no way I can get scallops, so I got a kilo of shrimps for my first attempt  at Claude’s XO sauce. Just wash the shrimps in running water, shell them and slit the backs for a pretty curl. You may want to keep the juicy heads for pancit or miki.

After preparing the shrimps, heat a little olive oil in a pan and a small scoop of the XO sauce and sauté the shrimps for a few seconds.

The result was a cross betwen gambas al ajillo and Chinese chili garlic shrimps. Piquant and provocative… and preparing it is a piece of cake.

Did I mention that Claude’9 Xtra Ordinary Chili Sauce is free of MSG and preservatives?

Photos  and recipe by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED