Zamboanga is known to be a melting pot of many cultures. We have different tribes of the Islam religion, and various histories being catered to. One aspect of culture, and probably the most remembered, would be food. In this case, we have the Tausug delicacy known as Pastil.

 In other parts of the Philippines, say, Cebu and General Santos, Pastil would be much remembered as rice and viand wrapped in a banana leaf and sold as it is for travelling or roaming individuals.

The Tausug Pastil, on the other hand, is known to be what looks like deep-fried dumplings filled with either monggo seedlings or bihon noodles. People would think that it looks like empanada, but once eaten with the spicy vinaigrette, it will keep you wanting more.

On both weekdays and weekends, JV store is packed with customers 
wanting to eat or take home their delicious product.

JV Store, located at Estrada Tetuan, fronting Candido St., is one of the many known pastil joints in the city. it started out as a place that only provided take-out in the early months of 2013. The following year, business for them boomed as they started catering to their customers within the corners of their space.

Their vinaigrette is a great mix of spices and can give you the kick that you’re looking for in a good spicy snack. The joint also offers snacks that very much great combinations with the dumpling-like snack. 

 Ukoy/Okoy- Pancake batter fried with crispy shrimp eaten with vinegar 

Kwek kwek- Deep fried hard-boiled eggs covered in flour paste
Originally made by any store owner

 Isaw- Deep-fried or simply grilled chicken intestine

How to eat Pastil? It’s quite simple really, however each person may have they own way of eating these pouches:

1.    The first method is grabbing the pouch and biting into it after soaking in the vinaigrette. People usually have a spoon in hand when they wish to pour in some of that spicy sauce into the pouch. There are also those whom:

2.    Simply dip the pouch into the vinaigrette every now and then to savor it in every bite. Though I don’t recommend that, you wouldn’t want the filling the spill out and be left with an empty shell, don’t you?

3.    Another method would be to use your spoon and slice the pouch into small pieces, one at a time. This makes them more manageable since you’re eating them in bite-sized pieces. 

So there we have it! Whenever you get to Zamboanga, make sure to head over at JV Store! Just tell the Tricycle driver to take you around Tetuan, Candido st. if you’re feeling more adventurous, take the jeeps that say TETUAN around the side of Southway mall and get down before turning towards Candido Sreet. It’s not hard to miss. Bonus? JV store is right next to Carmela: The food shop. If you’re in the mood for sweet treats after a spicy experience, it’s just a few steps away.

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