Buhay means life in Tagalog, while verde is green in Spanish.  The mission of this blog is to share information regarding natural farming, alternative herbal medicinal uses, nutritional values of fruits and vegetables, and developments in green resort technologies.

As for our initial post, we feature Abalone.

The meat of the abalone is edible, and the shell is used as a source of mother of pearl for jewelry and decorative items.  Moreover, abalone has long been a valuable food source for humans worldwide where it is abundant.

The meat of this mollusk is considered a delicacy in certain parts of Latin America, France, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and East Asia (especially in China, Japan, and Korea). In Chinese speaking regions, abalone are commonly known as bao yu, and sometimes forms part of a Chinese banquet. Similar to shark fin soup or birds nest soup, it is considered a luxury item, and is traditionally reserved for special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations. However, the availability of commercially farmed abalone has allowed more common consumption of this once rare delicacy.

In Japan, live and raw abalone are used in awabi sushi, or served steamed, salted, boiled, chopped, or simmered in soy sauce. Salted, fermented abalone entrails are the main component of tottsuru, a local dish from Honshū. Tottsuru is mainly enjoyed with sake.

In California, abalone meat can be found on pizza, sautéed with caramelized mango or in steak form dusted with cracker meal and flour.

Abalone’s possible Health Benefits:

  • Expert believes that abalone may help prevent and treat debilitating health conditions including arthritis.
  • Abalone is highly regarded in Asian cultures for its health benefits and is believed to promote healthy eyes, alleviate colds, reduce fluid retention and improve circulation.

The first and only time I’ve tasted the meat of abalone was at a friend’s restaurant in Quiapo, Manila.  He ordered about 2 kilos from Romblon.  He made kilawin out of them, and served with chilled bottles of light beer — they were marvelous!  The taste and texture reminded me of scallops; however, the edge was rather chewy, and served only due to the unyielding requests of the other guests who couldn’t get enough of this special kilawin.

When I asked the local Boholanos about abalone, expecting it would be plentiful in the region, most were seemingly nonplussed.  I can only surmise that abalone may not be that popular around here, or perhaps, non-existent altogether.  But then again, I’ll keep asking around.

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