Based on an unscientific study I made during my trips to Iligan City, the top three pasalubong from Iligan City are lechon, Cheding’s peanuts, and Pinakurat vinegar. With the lechon an impossibility and Cheding’s peanuts safely stowed in my bag, the only thing left to be purchased was Pinakurat vinegar. According to a Philippine Daily Inquirer article dated February 24, 2008, Pinakurat “is that spicy vinegar made from fermented coconut nectar and spices grown in the farmland of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte”. The same article mentions that “pinakurat” is the Cebuano word for “in a sudden or surprising manner as to shock the person”, which can be attributed to the strong taste of Pinakurat vinegar. Pinakurat vinegar is the brainchild of Iligan restaurateur Rene Jose Stuart del Rosario.
One rainy afternoon I found myself standing in front of a Green Gold Gourmet, the maker of Pinakurat vinegar. Green Gold Gourmet offers not only Pinakurat vinegar but alcoholic drinks and bottled wild boar, all artisanal products proudly made in Iligan City.
For more pasalubong from Iligan City, please read this and this.
Here are the pasalubong items I found in one particular store in Iligan City:
The front of Green Gold Gourmet
Photos of sukang Pinakurat owner Rene Jose Stuart del Rosario with former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Suka Pinakurat Ang Sawsawan ng Bayan, P49.95 (US $1.00)
Shelf that contains bottled adobong baboy damo, P125.00 (US $2.50), garlic chips, P90.00 (US $1.80), sukang Pinakurat, P49.95 (US $1.00), sukang Pinakurat Sweetened, P49.95 (US $1.00), and sukang Pinakurat, P94.50 (US $1.89)
Na’a bottled adobong baboy, P125.00 (US $2.50). The pork is tender and juicy. It does not have a lot of fat, and the liquid inside can be used as rice topping. Yum!
Chigar, P174.75 (US $3.50), suka Waykurat, P49.95 (US $1.00), malunggay capsule, P10.00 (US $0.20), old fashioned guava jelly, P80.00 (US $1.60), Chigar small, P98.40 (US $1.97)
Chigar small, P98.40 (US $1.97), Boy Bastos Hot Sauce, P62.00 (US $1.24), and Coco Sap Nectar Syrup, P350.00 (US $7.00), all by Mr. Pinakurat
Other products available in Green Gold Gourmet
Alcoholic products. I like the names – very Filipino
Fat Pauly’s Diwata White Wheat Ale
Iligan City’s Fat Pauly’s Ilaya Intensely Hopped Ale
Fat Pauly’s Lumad Steam Lager
Fat Pauly’s Sultan Coffee Stout