A couple of months ago, I was having merienda with a college classmate at CASAA in UP. He reminded me of an article I supposedly wrote for the Psych newsletter. Supposedly because I don't actually remember writing it. I have only vague memories of being asked to write something. According to my batchmate, I wrote about the all-important question of which KFC chicken tastes better: Original or Hot and Crispy? He remembers, my batchmate said, because my article came out in the same issue where he and a former girlfriend wrote presumably incisive commentaries on the phenomenon of People Power (presumably because I don't remember reading his article so I really wouldn't know). His article was about his opinions and experience as a "loyalista" and his ex's was the opposite. His reaction to my article was one of amused dismay (or was that dismayed amusement? I forget.). He apparently made a career of writing a serious op-ed piece (in Tagalog, kinareer niya.) about an important historical and political event, only to find it juxtaposed with my food review which I'd be willing to bet was an equally serious treatise on the merits and demerits of variations in chicken batter and breading.
So, as a tribute to this KFC treatise I supposedly wrote (and, trust me, I may not remember, but it's not out of character for me to have written something like that), I present... Bochog's Battle of the Brands...
1) Purefoods Tender Juicy vs. Swift's Mighty Meaty (and, well, every other hotdog brand). Purefoods Tender Juicy is Manny Pacquiao. Swift's Mighty Meaty is Erik Morales. Pacquiao knocked down Morales, who is one hot dawg. Pound for pound, Pacquiao is the best fighter we have today, so boxing afficionados say. I say, kilo for kilo, Purefoods Tender Juicy hotdogs are the best hotdogs... ever. (A caveat: by hotdogs, I mean those cute red tubes of processed meat rejects. If they're not red, they're not hotdogs, they're franks. Capice?).
2) Purefoods Corned Beef vs. Swift's Corned Beef. Again, Purefoods trumps Swift's in the corned beef department. Everyone I know prefers Purefoods corned beef because the beef is juicy without being smelly. Plus, there's no aftertaste when you eat it. I hate it when you eat corned beef and then, afterwards, your breath smells like you just ate corned beef. Swift's corned beef is too juicy, if that's at all possible. It's over the top beefy as opposed to Purefoods' subtle flavor. Of course, one can argue that maybe Swift's corned beef is juicier and beefier because it's got more real beef than Purefoods. To that I say, if I want real corned beef, I'd make my own.
3) Milo vs. Ovaltine. This is a draw. For drinking, Ovaltine is my choice chocomalt drink. But as ulam, Milo is it. One of my favorite childhood meals was rice topped with heaping spoonfuls of Milo powder. Uh-uhm.
4) Lipton vs. Nestea. Again, pretty difficult to call this one. On one hand, Nestle iced tea is a sentimental favorite because I remember the first time I drank iced tea (during a Bible study that my dad dragged us children to), it was Nestle iced tea. How do I know this? I don't, really. But I believe, hallelujah, in the same way I believe that the Lord sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to save us from sin (John 3:16). Amen. Praise the Lord. It is possible that the iced tea I drank that long time ago was, in fact, Lipton iced tea. But because the popular commercial during that time was Nestea's (you know, the one where people drink Nestea and splash into a fake pool of agua), all iced tea became Nestea to me. So, Nestea wins this one due to marketing savvy. Nestea should change its slogan to: Nestea. Ang Colgate ng mga iced tea.
4) Burger Machine vs. Scott Hamburger. This seems like a ridiculously easy one. Burger Machine, right? It is, after all, the Mama of burger stands. At least back in the day, when 24-hour service was not yet uso and food chains closed shop at 9 pm even after Martial Law. The theory is this: All those food stands that were so big during the 80s, like Burger Machine, Scott Hamburger, Pedro Pendito, 3M Pizza, etc. lagged in the evolutionary race and eventually died a natural death because the bigger food chains decided to go all 7-11 on everyone during the mid-90s. Since people now had a McDo or a Jollibee to go to in the wee hours of the morning, Burger Machine, et. al. lost their tenuous hold on the market of desperately hungry folks who don't bother with taste at 3 in the morning. It's a reasonable explanation. But maybe one that is not all that pertinent to the discussion at hand. The point is this: in terms of taste, Burger Machine beats Scott. All burgers beat Scott Hamburger, in fact. Scott Hamburger is the worst burger ever. But. But, I don't have the heart to write it off that easily because my mom used to buy me Scott hamburgers by the dozen. Since no one (but my mom, obviously) was buying burgers from Scott, they had this perpetual Buy 1, Take 1 promo. So my mom, the bargain hunter, would always buy one and take one. Six times over. So for taste, it's Burger Machine. But as an indicator of Mama's love, Scott pacquiao's Burger Machine at 3 am and any other time.
5) Sprite vs. 7-Up. Sprite is sweeter. Sprite makes for a prettier name for a child. (My 1st grade classmate's older brother was named Sprite. Her older sister was Mirinda. She was Orange, as in Royal Tru.). Sprite makes for the best shrimp marinade. Yum.
Spritey Shrimps (Mama's Recipe)
sprite (bottle size depends on amount of shrimps to marinade)
Soak shrimps in Sprite. Then fry. Then enjoy.
TO BE CONTINUED.