Monkey Meat

this is markiel. he is the monkey meat master.

About two years ago I met a guy at a now defunct bar. In the midst of our conversation I asked him (this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone) about his favorite foods. He smiled and sort of sheepishly said “One of my best friends is Filipino…his family makes this thing called monkey meat…(him: ‘I know this sounds crazy’ expression, me: ‘I swear I’m not judging you’ therapist look )….it’s so good.”

Yesterday, 23 months after first hearing of this famed monkey meat, I was invited into the inner circle, and attended a Filipino family gathering. Upon arrival, after surveying a sea of more Asian people than I’ve become accustomed to seeing in the great Grand Rapids, Markiel placed a skewer of monkey meat in my hand.

I spent the first hour or so just hanging out at the grill with Markiel. Because (of proximity to monkey meat) he's a great friend.

I spent the first hour or so just hanging out at the grill with Markiel because (of proximity to monkey meat) he’s a great friend.

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It absolutely lived up to it’s reputation…salty, sweet and incredibly tender….the secret, Markiel says, is marinating it for between three and five days. An investment that is well-worth the effort. Because this was Filipino extravaganza (a party thrown every year to celebrate several family events, and to give the ethnic community an opportunity to be together) there was Asian food aplenty. All unique, all awesome. Markiel’s sister was literally my tour guide for the food table…

It was a good tour…I could live in this land.

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Asian food, beach-side. So great.

We ended the night with wine and a boat ride. I sincerely hope to be invited to Filipino family gathering 2014, and will be thinking about primate on a stick until that time…

this is the guy who first uttered the words "monkey meat"... and me.

this is the guy who first uttered the words “monkey meat”… and me.

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