The Vigan longaganisa is a small and plump native sausage, good for about two or three bites. It is garlicky and has a yellowish color. Although it is eaten anytime, even as a bread filling, it is traditional favored as breakfast fare together with fried eggs and steamed or fried rice. It is best dipped in Ilocos vinegar with plenty of chili, garlic and onions. Filipinos cook them in a pan with water. The longganisa cooks in its own fat after the water evaporates and is then cooked further until it slightly caramelizes. A tip to avoid crumbling is to place it in the freezer for a while before frying it.
Vigan longganisa is said to be an influence of the Mexican salami. The tradition of making this native has existed since the period of the Spanish galleon trade. It is distinct from other Philippine sausages because of its use of the local sugar cane vinegar and Vigan-grown garlic, which are major products of the city as well. The Biguenos are so fiercely proud of their longganisa that they have made it as the product they would like to be most known for. They had it recognized as the city’s One Town, One Project (OTOP) selection under this national government program. They’ve endeavored throughout the years to be the top longganisa producer in the Philippines.
For nearly a decade, Vigan has also hosted longganisa festivals every January which are attended by thousands of local and foreign visitors. They celebrate the festival with street dancing and other activities that have Vigan longganisa theme. They also choose the festival for launching of projects that help market the native Vigan sausage not only in the Philippines, but abroad as well. One of these projects is the financial assistance the local government has given in improving the packaging of the products of Vigan longganisa manufacturers. This is to safe-guard the integrity of the Vigan longganisa from fake Vigan native sausages that are being sold to unsuspecting clients.
The improved packaging would help buyers better distinguish authentic Vigan longganisa products from the fake ones as the Vigan city seal of quality is prominently placed on the product. The seal of quality also serves as an assurance that the longganisa product has gone through the standard sanitary inspection, as well as the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) mandated requirements. This assistance under the OTOP also upgrades the packaging to world standards, helping in the brand-building of Vigan longganisa in the Philippines and abroad.