Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trivia: Jumping Salad is Live Shrimp

Abe V Rotor

There were five callers on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid who got the correct answer. Except one who said he learned about this rare dish from a friend, the callers apparently Ilocanos, said they have actually tasted jumping salad.

This dish is prepared from newly caught small to medium shrimps from the estuaries and rivers, and while they are still very much alive, are served right there and then with calamansi and salt, momentarily agitating the fated creatures. Pronto! The shrimps, on removing the plate cover, frantically jump out of the plate, save the dazed one. You should be skillful in catching them from the table (and even on the floor) deftly picking them by the head, taking caution so as not to get hurt by their sharp rostrum. You can imagine the danger you face as the creature makes its last attempt to escape. You must get a firm hold before putting the struggling creature into your mouth, tail first and quickly bite off the head, severing the sharp dagger in your hold. The creature wriggles in the cave of your mouth and you can actually feel its convulsion fading as it undergoes the initial process of digestion.

This exotic menu is getting rare unless you are living near the sea, river or lake - or a good friend brings live shrimps to town in banana stalk container to keep the shrimps alive. Being an Ilocano myself, eating jumping salad is an adventure. Try it; it’s one for the Book of Guinness Record.

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