1. Purefoods Chorizo de Bilbao. Salty, sour, spicy, sweet, greasy, fatty, yummy. Kinda pricey though.
2. Purefoods Corned Beef. Beef without the aftertaste. Not stringy. Not runny. (I can't imagine having eaten any other brand of corned beef but when I was younger, I used to eat King Sue corned beef. Probably not a good idea now, as I remember it being too wet. Eesh.).
3. Phillips Meat Loaf. Comfort food on a budget.
4. Reno Liver Spread. Can't be beat. Hot pan de sal and a good coffee short of breakfast heaven.
5. Century Tuna Hot and Spicy. The best tuna. In a sandwhich, or pasta. Or with rice. Ginisa or straight from the can. The only canned fish that rocks.
6. SPAM. Spam, spam, spam!
7. Purefoods Chinese Style Luncheon Meat. Takes the place of Ma-Ling. (I don't think Ma-Ling has ever recovered from that smear campaign during the 90s that implicated it in serious cases of food poisoning. Then again, maybe that's just all in my head. Basta, I remember I stopped buying and eating Ma-Ling during the 90s 'cause I didn't want to die. But I still call luncheon meat Ma-Ling. As in Purefoods Ma-Ling.).
8. Phillips, Purefoods, or Gusto Vienna Sausage. Fried or straight from the can. I love sausages.
9. Victoria's Spanish Style Bangus. Uh-uhm! Aces. I'm not a big bangus fan like my sister (who orders daing na bangus when she eats out. Who the hell orders daing na bangus in a restaurant?!? I swear, that will always remain a mystery to me.) but I love the timpla of this de lata. And the bangus meat is soft, the bangus fat melting.
10. Purefoods Chicken Bits. Good for chicken potato salad.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with Gina where she told me that Hollywood films are like canned goods. You like them. You enjoy them. But they don't really call to you. They're not rooted in your personal and cultural experience. At that time, I agreed with her. But having just listed my favorite de latas, I think I may have to disagree a little bit. Not about Hollywood films, obviously.
Eating de lata is a deep, integral part of my experience as a Filipino. I will always eat de lata. I will always love de lata. De lata will always call to me: Come. Eat me. Let me fill you right up. I'm not asking to take the place of good, old-fashioned home-cooking. All I want is my own space in your cupboard...