Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Living in a farm is a wonderful experience. I know because I have lived in a farm for so long. In fact, I still do. You wake up to a hearty breakfast of steaming hot rice and sauteed garden-fresh vegetables. Nothing beats freshly-picked vegetables. They are
sunshine sweet and mountain crisp...

One such lovely vegetable that is best cooked fresh is puso ng saging (banana heart). So-called perhaps because it springs right from the center of the banana plant. All kinds of banana plant varieties have an edible heart - - saba,
latundan, lakatan, bungulan and butuan. The tastiest and most popular of them all is the one from the saba variety. 

One very simple but unique way to cook puso is over charcoal, paihaw style. This is a favorite among Dumagats of the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges. During summer season, they wander into the forest for weeks. They sleep inside caves or on river banks or on giant roots of giant trees. At night they build fires and cook their food. They remove the coverings of the puso and simply toss it over burning charcoal. The heat cooks the flesh inside while keeping the freshness intact. When cooked, they slice it thinly, sprinkle calamansi juice (a kind of lemon) and salt. Perfect with hot rice.

You don’t have to live in a farm or in the deep forest to have puso ng saging. It is available everywhere, although maybe not as freshly picked. Still, avail of this wonderful vegetable whenever possible. It is a nutrient-packed gift from nature. It is rich in fiber, micronutrients and protein. Cook it as your usual ginataang puso , kilawing puso or as an accompaniment to sinigang or kare-kare. So always take heart. Most of all, take banana heart!

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