10 (Sat) October 2015
at Chamoru-Tei (Oceanview Hotel)
-Tumon Bay, Guam-
Mission to the United States, Day 1.
In Guam. Arrived very early this morning. Here to attend WPRO’s annual RCM — hottest event of the year — Monday through Thursday. Flying back next Saturday.
Chamoru/Chamorro is the indigenous culture of the Mariana Islands, now comprising the United States Territory of Guam and the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The term refers to the people, the language, the cuisine, and any aspect of the culture.
Kelaguen is a Chamoru cooking technique. Minced meat (e.g., chicken, but also beef or beef) or seafood (e.g., octopus, but also fish or shrimp), “cooked” in citric acid (e.g., lemon juice) — like Peruvian ceviche or Filipino kilawin — seasoned with aromatics (e.g., garlic, scallion, chilies, coconut). Typically served with flatbread. The Chamoru nation’s proudest culinary item.
Turns out — much to my disappointed surprise, although it makes obvious sense upon reflection — that Chamoru food in its current form is essentially the same thing as Filipino food. As the two archipelagoes have shared similar Austronesian roots, with comparable migration patterns, followed by identical colonial histories, the cuisines both represent a blend of Pacific+Chinese+Spanish+American traditions. Even the names of dishes (e.g., bistek, manok, pancit, kelaguen/kilawin, Chamoru/Bicol Express) are the same/similar.
My second trip to Guam, previously back in 2006.
My first trip to the United States since 2008.