Why does food cooked inihaw (grilling food over hot charcoal) style, always taste better when done by a large group, in an outdoor setting such as the beach, a mountaintop camp, or by a poolside? It must be the activities involved with being so close to nature -- swimming, frolicking and hiking always makes one hungry; the thought that with a big group comes competition: more mouths to feed, less food, who will grab that last piece of inihaw na baboy or chicken bbq?; and the fun in eating with other people who obviously enjoy their food, in a merry, relaxed setting.
We had a feast of marinated pork neck, grilled pampano, chicken and pork adobo, roasted tomatoes, grilled cocktail hotdogs, corn on the cob, semi-ripe mangoes with bagoong and homemade atsara when The Thursday Group hied off to Chung Hum Kok Beach last Tuesday. I have pictures of happy, sun worshipping kids and adults, but none of the grilled wonders. They disppeared fast. Maybe if cameras could take x-ray pictures of our stomachs, I could recapture that wonderful lunchtime smorgasbord. Food served in paper plates -- eaten while standing or sitting on concrete slabs, with the sun shining brightly overhead, the sea and its gentle waves a few meters away, and the wind in our faces -- never tasted so darn good.