Have you ever eaten darak? In the Philippines, this is another forgotten food together with aligi and buro. Nowadays, most people use it just to feed hogs for fattening. On a trip to Pangasinan, I was treated to a meal of darak (I’ll try to get a recipe).
It has a nutty sweet flavor. It is cooked like oatmeal, though with a lot more water. You can then drink it from the bowl instead of sipping from a spoon. It also leaves a “moustache” around the upper lip like a milk commercial. Very novel and fun.
So what exactly is darak?
Darak is nothing but rice bran. This is the portion of rice grain wherein all its fiber, vitamin B12 and minerals are located. The pristine, white rice on your plate is a pile of starch. In the rural areas where people pay rice mills to have their own rice unhulled, they remove the hull from the rice by pounding with a long, heavy, wooden mortar and pestle. This removes the indigestible hull but leaves the nutrients intact.
As you can see, what is nutritious in rice is taken away. Do people really want the virginal appearance of white rice over the benefits of “primitively processed” rice that sustained our ancestors through the years, keeping them free from colon cancer, beri-beri, and diabetes mellitus!
No wonder it is very good for hogs.