Get a Crash Course on Cordillera’s Smoked Meat Culture and Ibaloi Cuisine at Farmer’s DaughterApril 26, 2020
There’s a strong meat-smoking culture in the Cordilleras. The tradition is borne out of the necessity to preserve meat after cañao, a traditional thanksgiving ritual. Pigs, carabaos, and chickens are butchered, then feasted on for the celebration; and there’s often a surplus of leftovers. So they started smoking the meat for later consumption. (This was way before refrigeration even existed.)
Kinuday (Ibaloi, “smoked meat”) is traditionally made by rubbing meat with salt, then hanging them over steady smoke or leaving them out to dry in the sun. The tradition lives on in the Highlands; with methods passed down through generations. In fact, many households still practice making kinuday. They fashion hooks or poles to hang the meat from, then place them above their cooking area. This is so that every time a meal is made, the meat is also smoked at the same time.
In Baguio City, a rustic restaurant called Farmer’s Daughter showcases a medley of kinuday. The owner, Pil-od, smokes the meat in his own home. Then, it’s served in various ways in the restaurant—plain, stir-fried, or as part of another dish (e.g. soup).
Beyond kinuday, Farmer’s Daughter also has different Ibaloi food on the menu. There’s pinuneg (blood sausage), pinikpikan (traditional Igorot chicken dish), and dinakdakan (grilled pork’s face), among others.
Farmer’s Daughter is an ode to the Pil-od’s grandmother, mother, and wife—all of whom are farmers’ daughters. The restaurant is a great one-stop shop for local cuisine, as well as Cordilleran culture; as you’ll find a bunch of Igorot artwork and woodcraft scattered all over the space.
Baguio City restaurant serving Cordilleran cuisine.