It's the season for Buriring tra la la la la la la la la!
Every year my in-laws await the ration of buriring from their relatives in Cadiz City. Phone calls are made and packages are delivered to Bacolod, Iloilo and Manila to eager eaters who feast on these little exotic fishes while reminiscing the good old days of living in Cadiz.
So what is Buriring?
Buriring belongs to the puffer fish family. Although they may seem alike, they should not be mistaken with the butete which are much bigger. Both though are poisonous and must be eaten only after proper identification. I don't know about butete but burirings are only edible when they reach a certain age or maturity. If you eat it before that, you die. If you eat it after that, you also die.
"Puffer poisoning usually results from consumption of incorrectly prepared puffer soup, chiri or occasionally from raw puffer meat, sashimi fugu. While chiri is much more likely to cause death, sashimi fugu often causes intoxication, light-headedness, and numbness of the lips, and is often eaten for this reason. Puffer's (tetrodotoxin) poisoning will cause deadening of the tongue and lips, dizziness, and vomiting. These are followed by numbness and prickling over the body, rapid heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and muscle paralysis. Death results from suffocation as diaphragm muscles are paralyzed." (Wikipedia)
After reading that you might wonder why many, like my hubby's family still eat these little could-be-poisons-could-be-nots. Well, it's for only one reason - it's delicious!
The Buriring Experience
The usual buriring dish is in the form of a sour soup. It is cooked with santol, guava and/or libas leaves and simmered until all the flavors combine into one flavorful brew. To eat it, you can take out the head and munch on the rest of its body. which has a milky taste. Buriring enthusiasts like my hubby delay their gratification and go through the tedious process of separating the meat from the livers of each and every little buriring. Then, he could gobble the meat, savor it and save the best part for last . Buriring livers are to die for! (pun intended) The texture is soft and creamy and tastes like cheese that melts in your mouth. Now that's the heavenly experience!
If ever you come by Cadiz City from July to August, and you are up to the challenge, you should try it!