Thursday, January 22, 2009

All set for world’s biggest bowl of La Paz batchoy

The table is set for the world’s biggest bowl of La Paz batchoy. The attempt at setting another world record in Iloilo comes within four days after players from Barotac Nuevo town made history for having played soccer for over 35 hours, two hours longer than the record set in Armidale, Australia.

The cooks, numbering six, will start preparations as early as 2 a.m. Thursday at the La Paz public plaza, Joel Adrias, spokesperson of organizer Edgar Sia II, told The News Today yesterday. The high-cholesterol soup originated in the La Paz district; hence the place of origin was appended to its name.

The cooks will ensure that the ingredients are mixed properly and are of the right proportion for that perfect La Paz batchoy, he said. They will also see to it that the ingredients are not overcooked.

The main ingredients alone–round noodles and pork innards- weigh more than 200 kilos, Adrias said. Spices are also added giving the batchoy its distinct taste.

Once ready, the ingredients will be cooked in a stainless steel bowl measuring two meters in diameter and stands a meter high.

The stainless bowl to be used is expected to arrive today from Cebu, where it was fabricated specifically for the occasion, he said.

It could hold 3,500 liters of water, though it will not be filled to the brim because the soup could spillover once it reaches boiling temperature, Adrias said. Instead, the kitchen staff will only fill it with about 1,700 liters of water. Once cooked, the contents will be poured into regular-sized bowls to be served to 1,000 to 2,000 orphaned and indigent children, local officials and their guests, and tourists.

The attempt, which is the first of its kind, is one of the special events in the week-long Dinagyang Festival, which formally opened Friday last week. Sia said he thought of the idea to highlight not only the La Paz batchoy, but also to stress that Iloilo is a place where one can enjoy good food.

“Iloilo is home to La Paz batchoy, and no other place can lay claim to this. The Batchoy is truly ours and only ours,” Sia said.

He noted that the batchoy has gained national recognition. An instant cup noodle already has a batchoy variant, and a fastfood chain has included it in its menu, Sia said.

By Ronilo L. Pamonag (The News Today)