Ilocos Norte makes way for gastronomic tourism

By , on May 27, 2015

The famous empanada from Ilocos (Ching Dee / PCI)
The famous empanada from Ilocos (Ching Dee / PCI)

LAOAG CITY — Eyeing the province of Ilocos Norte as an ideal destination of export-ready and top-quality food products, local food processors and manufacturers have express commitment to support the provincial government’s move to promote gastronomic tourism here.

Through the years, Governor Imee Marcos has initiated various activities to improve gastronomic tourism and food trade and industry in the north.

For the last two years since the launching of the Ilocos Norte Food and Trade Expo (INFOTEX) in 2013, Ilocos Norte has set up the so-called ultimate culinary showdown in the north which aims to introduce Ilocos Norte as a “home of good food”.

It aims to bring together buyers and sellers and to give business diversified purchasing options.

This year, Ilocos Norte along with approximately 13,000 trade buyers and visitors from all over the world joined the International Food Expo 2015 which is happening now at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The four-day event is organized by the Department of Trade & Industry’s export promotions arm, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS).

How the famous Iloko empanada is made in Batac, Ilocos Sur (Ching Dee / PCI)
How the famous Iloko empanada is made in Batac, Ilocos Sur (Ching Dee / PCI)

Eric Pascua of Provincial Investment Office said that “aside from the exhibit, a cooking demo of the finest Ilocano cuisines will also be presented by Pam Aragoza of La Preciosa, one of the top restaurants based in the province.”

Ilocos Norte’s participation to this international food trade show aims to raise public awareness on the quality food products and services in the province, particularly its hotels, restaurants and resorts has to offer to visitors.

In addition, the province manages to become a national breadbasket by becoming an outstanding exporter of both high-quality rice and corn. Fruits like Ilocos mangoes considered as the “golden fruit” of the north and saniata, a local name of the exotic dragon fruit also thrive in the province.

The province’s exhibit is alongside of Dagupan, Pasig, Taguig, Quezon City and the Province of Negros Occidental. Their heritage foods and beverages, traditional recipes, exotic regional delicacies with an emphasis on the innovative food products of small and medium enterprises are the centerpiece of the exhibit.

On the other hand, international exhibitors from United States of America, China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, and Vietnam are also present in the event.