Ginabot - Gastro Obscura
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Prepared Foods

Ginabot

Deep-fried pork intestines make a crispy, salty snack on the streets of Cebu City.

Salted, battered, and deep-fried to golden perfection, pork intestines have never been this deliciously interesting. When paired with woven-leaf pouches of rice known as puso, ginabot is a full meal. It’s also enjoyed as an appetizer or pulutan, a term used for snacks that are usually paired with beer, in its home of Cebu City in the Philippines.

Ginabot is very cheap and accessible, so anyone can eat as much as they’d like, though it is highly advised to eat the cracklings moderately, as they are rich in cholesterol. Vendors cook the snacks in front of customers from street-side stands known as pungko-pungko (pungko means “squat,” a reference to how customers eat at the stalls’ low benches and tables). Often, they’ll have giant plastic containers with piles of grilled and fried fare, including ginabot, lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), and longganisa (spiced pork sausage).

Ginabot is best eaten with bare hands and customers are often encouraged to do so. With its blend of a crispy exterior and chewy, succulent interior, some say it tastes akin to fried chicken only with tougher textures. It’s often served with a dip of vinegar, crushed garlic, onions, salt, and chili pepper.

Having ginabot with friends is considered an important part of Cebu City’s urban culture and if you’re visiting, it’s a nice way to establish rapport with local people.

Need to Know

In Cebu City, ginabot street vendors are usually near local schools or hospitals, sometimes near commercial buildings. Outside Cebu, deep-fried pork intestines are known as chicharon bulaklak, and are typically sold in restaurants.

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