Ado, redux, adobo

·2 min read

I KNOW the title sounds like that word puzzle which challenges you to change one word into another. As an example, watch how the word “milk” becomes “salt”: Milk... silk... silt and tada, salt!

I think the game is called Word Ladder. The aim is to change one word into a new one by replacing one letter at each step, without scrambling the word. I tried hard to change “ado” into “adobo” but of course couldn’t because you can’t add or subtract letters in the Ladder game. Oh, neither could I change redux to adobo because the two had no “replaceable” letters.

I also tried to change the word adobo into “standard” but also failed.

I will not be surprised if the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will succeed.

The department has proposed a national standard for adobo and other Filipino dishes including sisig, lechon and sinigang.

Why is the DTI putting its finger in the Philippine cuisine pie? One reason they gave was to differentiate the “basic, traditional recipe” from variants and promote the standard abroad. How about locally? Oh no, it’s not to mandate us down here to follow the standard. What if you’re a chef abroad and you prepare adobo sa gata, will your adobo now be below standard?

My small brain can’t understand why there is so much ado about adodo. Is there a standard for sushi, pizza, spaghetti and a host of other iconic dishes? I’m lost. I need a cold mug of beer!

If it’s for promotional purposes, then just push for classic adobo for the tourism industry, and not talk about a standard. The problem now is: What is standard/classic adobo? Whose standard is it? From what I know, it is a savory dish made with meat, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.

Hold your horses, DTI seems to say.

The DTI said in a briefing ( they are “not talking about a standard” but “to have a basic traditional recipe that we can promote internationally” and “will not be mandatory.”

Oh, now it’s not about a standard but a basic recipe? Why?

“There will be people who will say there’s Mexican adobo.”

So? Many nations have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. Why not honestly call it classic Filipino adobo?

It’s okay. Spaghetti was conceptualized by the Chinese and made into an iconic dish by the Italians. I’ve heard of Japanese spaghetti and Pinoy spaghetti with no one crying foul!

Before I forget, the DTI is tasked to protect consumers like me, watch the price of basic goods, and ferret out scams and fake items. Is pineapple adobo fake? No.

I know who’ll win in the Word Ladder game. Now I have a headache. My Chinese adobo will heal me: Basic plus boiled egg.

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