Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 19:20:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Charles Perry's restaurant review, open letter
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Los Angeles Times,
Please forward this to Charles Perry, I couldn't find
a direct email address for him. I have done the
research on this dish, and I
would appreciate a personal response from Charles
Perry. This will be on my web site, and copies will be
sent to Melinda Lee, Mario Martinoli, Elmer
Dills, Merrill Shindler, Andrew Harris, Steve Knight,
and others as I find their email addresses.
Dear Mr. Charles Perry,
Do restaurant reviewers get it right when they review
ethnic restaurants? Don't think so in this case.
Charles Perry reviewed the
Barrio Fiesta, a Filipino restaurant in Glendale, CA,
for the 6/22/00 Los Angeles Times Calendar Weekend,
page 44. He
describes Kaldereta as gravy with peanut sauce and
fish sauce, with beef (short ribs and oxtail) or goat
meat, mild peppers and
potato, and good with garlic rice.
My reviews of a dozen or so Pilipino restaurants in
Carson's Little Manila led me to conclude that
Caldereta (spelling varies)
was one of the best dishes. I quest for a recipe and
now sit before four cookbooks by Filipino or
Here's a summary of their Kaldereta recipes.
- 1. "Philippine Recipes Made Easy" by Violeta A.
Noriega (USA, 1993) describes Beef Caldereta (beef
stewed in tomato
sauce), page 34, as sirloin with garlic, onion,
tomato, green olives, bell pepper, chili pepper
optional, and other flavors. No
peanut or fish sauce or potato.
- 2. "Favorite Filipino Recipes" by Pat Limjuco Dayrit
(RP, 1975) describes Calderetta, page 77, as goat meat
and liver, garlic,
onion, hot pepper, tomato, pimento, green olives, and
other flavors. Still no peanut or fish sauce or
- 3. "Philippine Fiesta Recipes" by Leonardo R. Belmonte
and Perla B. Del Mundo (RP, 1987) starts to describe
Philippine cuisine and gives two recipes.
- 3A. From Ilocano (Northern Luzon) comes Kalderetang
Kambing, page 125, with goat meat and liver, garlic,
pepper, peas, olives, and flavors. Again, no peanut or
fish sauce or potato.
- 3B. From Pampango (central Luzon, the Manila area)
comes Caldereta (Beef), page 136, with loin meat,
liver, liver spread,
garlic, onion, potato, tomato, bell pepper, peas,
stuffed olives, and flavors. Again, no peanut or fish
- 4. "Filipino Cuisine" by Gerry G. Gelle (USA, 1997)
gets more into Filipino regional influences with maps.
His one recipe for
Caldereta (braised beef in liver sauce), page 113,
says that goat is the traditional meat. He uses
stewing beef, liverwurst, garlic,
onion, tomato, potato, bell pepper, peas, stuffed
olives, and flavors. Again, no peanut or fish sauce.
He doesn't associate this
recipe with any region, but with only one teaspoon of
Tabasco sauce in a large pot (6-8 servings), it's a
mild dish typical of
Northern and central Luzon.
Problems with Charles Perry's Kaldereta description:
- 1. Peanut and fish sauces are used in Filipino
cuisine, but not in any of these five Kaldereta
recipes. Didn't see any definite info,
but this dish may be more typical to the Northern
regions. Peanut and fish sauces might be more typical
for the Southern and
Western islands, closer to Malaysia.
- 2. Every recipe adds green or stuffed olives, tomato,
garlic, and other stuff which he didn't mention. Also
four of the five recipes
add liver which wasn't mentioned.
- 3. No definite info, but beef ribs and oxtail seem
more typical to adobo, menudo, and other dishes. None
of these five recipes
- 4. Potatoes, called a second-rate substitute for rice,
are only used in two of the five recipes.
- 5. Didn't see anything about garlic rice except as a
left-over breakfast dish. Steamed rice is the
standard starch in the Philippines and Southern Asia.
For the Republic of the Philippines (RP) with over
7100 islands, several foreign influences, and
many regional cuisines it's hard to identify THE
Kaldereta recipe, but it doesn't look like Charles
Perry even got close.
Note - Flavors include: ajinomoto (Japanese for MSG),
bay leaf, black pepper, bread crumbs,
Edam cheese (queso de bola), hard-boiled egg, lemon
juice, MSG (vet-sin), oil/fat, parsley, salt,
sherry, sugar, Tabasco sauce, vinegar, and
My web site is http://members.tripod.com/~chinesecookery/