Milk Tea and Takoyaki
By: Catherine Jacinto
The Pandemic has caused further stress on everyone – be it the working population, unemployed, and students alike. It has provoked millions of individuals to get into extra-curricular activities that would keep themselves busier as it is, in order to keep the “soundness” intact. Many people occupied themselves with plants – herbs, succulents, cactus, and those with high price tags in the market. Later on, the term Plantitos and Plantitas came about. Another ratio got involved with social media interaction and exposure. Online selling, vlogging, and Tiktok came into view. And the vast majority of the netizens embraced their love for cooking, and the food industry got the kicks of it all.
Since childhood, Generation X was all about Luksong Tinik, Chinese Garter, Scramble, and Nutribun with Ice Cream as palaman (or filling). There were street foods which was the center of attraction during my time that never came out of style until now. Only fishballs and French fries were popular back then, but now you can choose among the varieties of their kind with a matching beverage to go with them. Even the coffee obsession came its way zooming up the market like a sky rocket to the moon. Then we saw cafes with various ambiance offering - from the executive formal look to the extreme rustic garden style that we find Instagram-worthy. Then came Milk Tea and Takoyaki in the picture. What is with these two that make customers crave for more?
Photo from Canva
The emergence of Milk Tea and Takoyaki in the period of the iGen or Gen Z as it is fondly called, became an overnight sensation. Popping stores and different varieties are coming out nationwide through the creative minds of the food industry.
Milk Tea, if my memory served me right, started in December 2008 via the brand Serenitea. From the typical hot tea of China, Taiwan made the first “Bubble Tea” which made the beverage most famous in the country.
Youngsters were never mindful of tea since the beginning of time. Not unless provoked by their parents due to its healthy nutrients. And the hot-water-stereotype made it all the more identified as for-adults- only drink. It was never for teens and the like, so they say. And as years went by, different flavors came up, flourishing from just a simple hot peppermint, black lemon tea to cold out-of-the-ordinary thirst-quencher in the long run. Its admiration from the food industry in the Philippine market has caught the attention of millions of our fellowmen by storm.
While everyone is going “gaga” over Milk Tea, there is also one street food which magnetized the cravings of the Filipinos – Takoyaki. It is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour –based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger (beni shoga), and green onion (negi). The balls are brushed with takoyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with green laver (aonori) and shavings of dried bonito (katsuobushi). Yaki comes from yaku, which is one of the cooking methods in Japanese cuisine, meaning 'to fry or grill', and can be found in the names of other dishes in Japanese cuisine such as okonomiyaki and ikayaki.
Photo from Pinterest
Among other Japanese foods, Takoyaki gathered the love of our countrymen due to its sweet and spicy taste which makes it somehow similar to fishballs and the likes. It is seen in malls nationwide and has garnered a celebrity status within the teenagers circle and different ages as well. It also gives that fullness of satisfaction in every bite and once through, you would still ask for more. There are also a variety of taste based on how it is cooked by different stalls. You just have to choose between the best and the not-so-favorite stores which claim that they have the standout version of this delectable variety.
As a lactose intolerant human being, I never thought that milk teas would come out in my list of favorite beverages next to brewed coffee and Yakult. I find it very uninteresting just to think that it has milk as one of the major components which makes it famous. But having taken it several times, it is undeniably a must to crave for most, especially when you pair it with Takoyaki. The feeling is in Cloud 20 category beating the Cloud 9 phenomenon!
Well for those who haven’t tried these two besties together, you are missing 50% of your lifetime! With the stress caused by the pandemic and the worldwide crisis in our shoulder, it is good to pamper our busy selves once in a while with the juicy, tasty, sweet Takoyaki regular and an extra-large size Cheesecake flavored milk tea. Take that time off and enjoy the sumptuous combination of these twogether munchies and you’re off to a great day!