By Erwin Beleo
Agoo, La Union – This town will celebrate its annual fiesta from April 30 to May 6 with the Dinengdeng Festival of Festivals, on May 1 as its highlight.
The event will present “ Dinengdeng” cooked in a big clay pot while competitors create their best tasting recipes for rewards.
Dinengdeng is the Ilocano concoction of various vegetables that graces the everyday meal, particularly in this province.
the idea was to help inform people of the nutritious properties and economical properties of the dish, promoting the healthy lifestyle and wellness.
“In accordance with this, vegetable farmers can expect to sell more of their crops as the mixture of vegetables is very affordable and usually comes from our own backyard, thus is always readily available,” Mayor Stefanie said.
It will also help strengthen the town’s vegetable industry, she added.
Dinegdeng’s most common ingredients include eggplants, bitter gourd fruit and leaves, squash fruit, flowers and tops; saluyot (jute), okra, patola or the luffa, string beans tops (paltong) and string beans; unripe papaya, banana heart, bamboo shoots and upo or bottle gourd;
One variety of dinengdeng is the “buridibod,” a mixture of sweet potatoes, patani, a fragrant legume; bungon or birch flower (himbabao); malunggay (horse radish) and its tree fruit, sam-samping (butterfly pea); bataw (hyacinth bean); and sigarilyas (winged seguidillas bean).
All dinengdeng has for the main ingredient bagoong (fermented fish paste) and is topped with rice field mushrooms or broiled milkfish, tuna steak or scad fish, to add more flavor.
The dinengdeng festival showcases 101 different recipes, prepared by the different restaurants and barangays this year.