Our very own spicy-hot satti is similar to the satay or sate food attractions that are famous in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. All these foods originated from the Arabian favourite food shish kebab in Turkey.
The satti sauce – made mostly of silly and peanuts -- in Zamboanga was believed to have been brought first to Sulu by an Indian-Arab who introduced the recipe to a Chinese-Muslim family now running the well known-Jimmy’s Satti in Zamboanga City.
The family, now settled in Zamboanga City, had kept this satti formula secret for years now and have been successful in doing so in a similar manner the Coke and Pepsi formulas are kept secret.
In 2007, we put up the Satti Grill House outlets in Ortigas, Pasig; Ermita, Manila; and Shoemart (SM) in Fairview, the first Zamboangueno family to break into the SM chain of stores in Manila. We also started manufacturing then the Satti Hot Chilli Peanut Ketchup. Unfortunately, the market was not ready and we decided to close shop about three years later.
Ann, who is morecomforable with her used car business, also got tired of the food business that demands so much of one’s time and attention. Going to the three outlets amid the traffic and problems with employees – mostly relatives from Zamboanga and Sulu – also took a toll on her.
Needless to say we lost a fortune from that venture which we went into without much study but only armed with the desire to help show that there is something more to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi than kidnappings and bombings. We were also mostly motivated then to give employment to poor relatives from Mindanao.
We believed then as we believed now that in the future, satti would be too hot an attraction for people to actually disregard the security warnings to go to Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu simply for its food attractions.
Now, with some well-meaning Zamboanguenos criticizing me for only projecting here in my blog and FB wall the kidnappings, killings and poverty in Mindanao through my Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library advocacy, I am bringing back the marketing of satti as a way of helping project the good things about Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu.
In a way, my critics are right – there is more to Zamboanga than guns, bombs and child soldiers/child warriors. I am taking on the challenge in helping my beloved land of my birth and the best way I know is to showcase its best product – satti.
But seeing how the image of the place we love has not changed and how progress and tourists have eluded Zamboanga for other fast-growing places like Davao, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro which were mere probinsiyas when Zamboanga was in its glory in the pre-war days, we are constrained to do our part to help through “food diplomacy.”
Having tourist attractions that pales in comparison with other places in the country, Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu can only compete in the “tourism war” if these areas project its food attractions which are unique to the place. And when you talk about food, satti is the acknowledged “king of exotic foods” in these areas because it is cheap, readily available and is popular among young and old alike.
Thus, as you have supported our Kris Library advocacy, we again ask for your support to spread the word about satti and pray for a time when people from all over will disregard all the media hype about the peace and order problem in Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu and go there simply to taste our satti and other exotic food.
In Manila, those who wanna sample this food my call my wife Ann at mobile phone number 0917520801 or 09497335528 or through her FB link at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000630404508#!/profile.php?id=100000904243392.
Let us Sattinize the world!