Satti has sting. Satti has class. Satti has soul. Satti Is Hot!
Of all the food that I can bring to Manila, it is SATTI that I am most passionate about in introducing to the ``Metro Palate'' and eventually the whole country. Actually you can call this mission as the ``Sattination’’ of the Philippines and the world.
Satti to me represents what Mindanao is today – chaotic, troubled yet there is something to it that attracts people to its shores, its culture, its food and people. Satti specifically characterizes the spirit of Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu where satti can be found.
Think of satti as the forbidden fruit which has the state of being forbidden as its main attraction. It’s like a chocolate cake to a dieter, steak to a vegetarian, a beautiful parishioner to a priest; and needle to a balloon.
Non-Mindanaoans who have tasted satti call it ``pagkaing apoy’’ and therein lies the temptation to taste it. The knowledge that its peanut-based-soup is spiced up with loads of siling labuyo – but which also taste sweet -- is what draws the un-initiated to satti.
What adds mystery to this food is the fact that its recipe is a well-guarded secret handed down by an Indian-Arab to a Chinese-Muslim family in Sulu. Yes, I’ve seen some recipes in the Internet, but I dare you to compare them with the satti in Zamboanga and which we now have at the SM Fairview Food Court in Quezon City
Thus, satti has history and mystery boiling in its red-blood spicy soup.
It also has wide popularity in Southeast Asia where it is known as Satay and Sate. Although the ones in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand also goes with grilled chicken or beef, their peanut sauce are generally served as gravy or a dip and not served as soup as satti is.
Many Asian countries also serve their satay with regular rice, but it is only in the Philippines and Malaysia where the grilled meat and sauce are served with coconut ``puso’’ or rice cooked and served in coconut leaves.
Furthermore, it is only in the Philippines where the rice is dunk in the steaming bowl of satti sauce – Oreo style.
So, on the whole, you have a gastronomic experience not only unique but one taken on the wild side as well.
I have already tasted the different varieties of all the satays in different countries in Asia, the US, Canada and Europe and I tell you the Philippine version tastes the best. Don’t take my word for it, taste satti and compare it with satay and I promise you that you will be hooked. Don’t say I did not warn you.
Go ahead; admit it, what is forbidden almost always taste better ….
(I wrote this in my old blog in 2007 when we first started opening our Satti Grill House outlets in SM Fairview, Edsa-Ortigas, Pasig; and Ermita, Manila. The outlets are now closed but the dream of using satti and other exotic Arabian and Spanish foods to convince people here to make the trip to Zamboanga and Sulu as the ultimate "travel and culinary adventure" has remained. So, I have re-posted this in the hope that after reading this, you are going to go on-line and buy the cheap promos tickets, pack your bags and head down South. My place Zamboanga City is peaceful so long as you stay within the city limits. Bienvenido a Ciudad de Zamboanga (Welcome to the City of Zamboanga)!