In the 6th “Behind the seeds” interview at “Terra Madre”, Slow Food’s convention in Torino last September, we interviewed Ramon Uy Junior, originally from the Negros Islands in the Philippines. Ramon works with five SlowFood communities in the central Philippines, as well as with about 1.000 organic farmers in his province. Discover the story of Ramon and the Kadios bean in this article!
The Kadios bean
With his family, Ramon owns a restaurant and an organic farm and tries to preserve the Kadios bean, which he considers as an important part of his province’s identity. Locally known as kadios, the pigeons pea comes in many colours, including black.
Kadios bean is a pigeon pea produced in mountain areas by small-scale farmers who use them to fix nitrogen in the soil, and found only in this province on the Negroso Islands.
While having high nutritious value, it is prepared in a famous soup dish in his province as well as in a cocktail drink with ice coffee.
The KBL (Kadyos, Baboy, at Langka)
One of Ramon Uy’s favourite recipes is Kadyos, Baboy, at Langka.
As with other dried beans, Kadyos should be soaked in water overnight before preparing them and cooking the recipe.
Baboy (or pork) represents a main ingredient. One of the most used part is the pork hocks, but other parts such as pork butt or even pork belly can also be used.
Jackfruit is called Langka in Filipino, the standardized form of Tagalog and national language. Unripe jackfruit is required for this dish, as much as small a fruit locally known as batuan or batwan, added for its sour taste. If you don’t find this fruit, the best alternative is a powdered tamarind base mix (or sinigang mix, which is the ingredient that is used for pork sinigang).
Ramon’s view on agriculture
Ramon’s goal is to change their local food system, as he believes that conventional agriculture is a big failure, while making farmers poor, people sick, and destroying the environment. He is working towards a more regenerative approach to agriculture.
Ramon is one of the founder of the company “Fresh Start” (link here), which brings organically growing produced directly from the farms to the food stores. He is a staunch supporter of the organic movement, whose pillars are good health, fair trade and environmental conservation.
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