When I hear the word dainggit or dried fish, what often cross my mind is to eat it with fried rice. I also don’t pause to think of how the dried seafood product was sourced.
That all changed one weekday afternoon. Well, specifically when I attended the launch of Balangay’s Best: “Linked by the Sea” where fishers, buyers, and diners gathered together to work on having more sustainable seafood.
The Story of Building Sustainable Fishing Communities
Fishing as a primary source of livelihood is already tough as it is. Fisher folks brave the waves of the sea the entire day everyday.
Ms. Dhang Tecson and a few other volunteers, who also have golden hearts, recognized this difficulty through their rehabilitation efforts in the typhoon-stricken Bantayan Island in Cebu back in 2014. This led them to establish a social enterprise with Bantayan residents, Fishers & Changemakers Inc. (FCI). It’s ultimately for both sustainable livelihood and sustainable seafood for generations to come.
What FCI does is that it buys fishes caught using Rare International‘s sustainable fishing practices at an expensive price. This means the fishermen are encouraged to fish at the right place using the right gear. Plus, they catch the right fish species according to season.
The wives of the fishers then clean and dry it in solar dryers built by FCI.
Produced dried seafood products are packaged and sold at a premium to various retailers under the brand “Balangay’s Best” by FCI.
For more Sustainable Seafood
Balangay’s Best current selection of dried seafood products and its suggested retail price (SRP) are the following:
- Darling Danggit (rabbitfish) PHP 170 (or USD 3. 38).
- Papa Pusit (squid) PHP 190 (or USD 3.77).
- Baby Bangsi (flying dish) PHP 180 (or USD 3.56).
- Mommy Dilis (anchovies) PHP 170 (or USD 3.38).
- Seafood Halo-Halo (assorted dried seafood) PHP 325 (or USD 6.46).
Some of you may be taken aback with the premium price. Please note though that the fisherfolk are paid at least double the market price so they’ll fish responsibly.
Aside from that, the high quality dried fish’s saltiness come from the flavor of the sea. No flavoring is added.
Versatility of Dried Seafood Products
With Balangay’s Best dried seafood products, there is more to frying it at the comforts of one’s home.
In fact, Chef Mira Angeles of Spell Kitchen and Chef Alaine Salvanera of yummytummy.ph came up with their own creations using Balangay’s Best products as ingredients.
Strips of Darling Danggit (dried rabbitfish) was preapred with dried mango and seaweed as a trail mix. Meanwhile, Papa Pusit (dried squid) was cooked as an adobo then served on a crostini.
Balangay’s Best dried seafood products can certainly be used in different kinds of cuisine and dishes. As such, it is a perfect gift for our foreign friends and/or our balikbayans (Filipinos working/ living overseas).
Partner Distributors (Where to Purchase)
- Echostore (Salcedo, Serendra, Glorietta, Podium, Cebu and Davao)
- Realfood PH (Molito Alabang)
- Islands Pasalubong (Katipunan)
- GK Enchanted Farm
- All day (soon)
- Sari Cafe (Dasmarinas City, Cavite)
- Spell Kitchen (Tomas Morato)
- The Coffee Project (Soon)
- Toyo Eatery (Soon)