2.121 Paella Negra with Shrimp, Squid, and Clams


6 (Fri) May 2011

Paella Negra with Shrimp, Squid, and Clams


at La Tienda

-Bel Air, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with Professors SMS and KSY, and various K-staff from WHO

Research Trip to WHO + First Overseas Family Vacation (Day 3 of 6)

In Manila.  I’m here to participate in an expert consultation on public health law at WHO.  W and DJ will join me in Cebu for a weekend holiday.

Paella is a Spanish dish.  Hailing from the region of Valencia, paella generally consists of rice and various ingredients that are seasoned and cooked and served in a shallow pan.  The name “paella,” derived from the Old French word for “pan,” also refers to the pan itself.

The paella negra variation, also known as “arros negre,” includes squid ink as the signature ingredient, giving it a densely inky texture and a distinctly squiddy taste, not to mention the black color.

It was the blackest thing that I’ve ever eaten. After just a few bites, everyone’s lips were black. By the end of the meal, everyone’s teeth and tongue were black. I won’t get into details, and I can’t speak for everyone else, but certain other things came out black the next morning. But well worth the experience.

I’ve had the good fortune of staying at the famous Manila Hotel during this trip, as arranged by the good people at WHO.
The country’s oldest five-star establishment, built by Americans in 1909, the hotel boasts a grandiose lobby that still exudes the vibe of early 20th-century American hubris.
Located directly on Manila Bay, the view from my room was spectacular – supposedly, this is where General MacArthur regrouped, planned, and launched his counterattack at Incheon during the Korean War.
The rooms have since been renovated, very modern and swank.
They even provided L’Occitane products in the bathroom (I am too easily impressed by such things).
Their late-night room service offerings, all reasonably priced, were excellent, such as this Pancit Canton (3.0).

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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