lansiao_1

Lansiao (bull testicle soup) ta bai!

Lansiao, soup #5, bull testicle (and penis) soup, you name it and its said to raise the level of your sex life and hardness of one's rod

A casual mention of it is enough to send eyes looking at you and women hiding a giggle. Or even a condescending stare trying to look at you from head to toe (and stopping at the crotch) and thinking if you’re having inadequacies under the sheets. But for its believers, lansiao is better than that blue pill.

Speak of Cebu and images of the Sto. Nino, the province’s patron, comes to mind. And so does the valiant Lapu-Lapu, sweet mangoes, the famous lechon, guitars and beaches. But it is more than that. Cebu is a special and beautiful place. It is also my home.

It was almost a hard search as my initial foray in finding a suitable place to document and try out this virility soup ended in failure as the carinderia (local eatery) agreed at first but gave all sorts of reasons not to accommodate me. Until I was directed to the one at the Ramos market which is said to have been selling lansiao since the 1980s.

It was past 1300H when I arrived at the market atop an elevated portion of the road. Gone is the old shack at the opposite end that a friend said this eatery used to be located. Instead, it is at just a portion of a long cement top with big kalderos (large metal pot) holding, among others, hot and steaming lansiao at one and mais or steamed roughly ground corn, a Cebuano staple and an alternate to rice, at another.

This is my entry for the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’s Blog Carnival with the theme Quirky Pinoy Food hosted by Journeying James. Click on the graphic at the left to visit the blog carnival page. Only a few men, laborers, dropped by and ordered a steaming bowl. At just P20, it is cheap. With trepidation, I got one too, seated myself on one of the high plastic chairs and stared and photographed and trying to check what’s just in there.

The steaming small and green plastic bowl was half filled with bits of meat, minced and diced, and pieces of skin cut into squares. I really can’t tell where’s the testicles and penis but its there somewhere, floating in the thick brown soup.

According to Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, who I texted and asked about the word, lansiao in Hokkien is lan chiao which means like a penis. Is it possible that the Chinese introduced this dish centuries ago considering that they almost, always, eat all kinds of moving creatures and their body parts?

Mais, or roughly ground corn is a Cebuano staple, an alternate to rice. CLICK TO ENLARGE

I took a spoonful of the broth. It was salty for my taste but manageable. Kind of good, by the way, and another spoonful. I worked the dish with my spoon, trying to analyze the different bits and pieces.

The skin was gelatinous and soft. The pieces of lean meat with membranes on parts of it was also tender. And then there was this unusual part that I can’t just tell. Almost smooth. No strip of fat except for a thin layer of a flap like covering. Can this be it?

In a few minutes I’ve already consumed the contents of the bowl sans mais or rice. It was filling in itself, hearty at best. The soup isn’t too thick but what was memorable was that the meat and parts were tender, pleasant to the tongue and especially good on a cool afternoon. For the eatery’s patrons, it is one of the top draws and people, mostly men, it’s the number one dish ordered.

I really don’t know if one should feel something after eating it or in a few minutes or hours, dilate the veins down under. I didn’t get a hard on or was walking with a boner. Or is it all in the mind to help one perform better in bed? But was it just a coincidence that I was under the sheets a few hours later?

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

20 Comments

  1. fetus
    January 15, 2011 @ 19:05

    aha! hahaha… it’s difficult to walk around with a boner. lol.

  2. bertN
    January 15, 2011 @ 19:40

    Even if it did not dilate your veins down under, I think you got a good deal for Php20 LOL.

  3. lakwatsera de primera
    January 15, 2011 @ 21:07

    What’s going to happen Estan if women eat it? 🙂

  4. estan
    January 15, 2011 @ 23:34

    @fetus, mao jud. pero okay ra. hahaha
    @bertN, yeah, its cheap and good 🙂
    @claire, hmmm… why not try it? hehehe

  5. Aleah
    January 15, 2011 @ 23:50

    Did you see any girl there ordering it? I wonder what its effect would be in a woman. 😉

  6. neldeleon
    January 16, 2011 @ 3:36

    Interesting. I’m going to try this when I visit Cebu. 🙂

  7. estan
    January 16, 2011 @ 10:52

    @aleah, just men were ordering the dish. really don’t know what’s the effect on women. you and nel should try it sometime and post about it para malaman namin. hehehe

  8. journeyingjames
    January 16, 2011 @ 15:00

    bai, eto nlang di ko na-experience sa mga pinoy quirky foods. haha
    meron naman sa manila, try ko minsan.
    same with aleah and claire, anu kayang effect sa girls? or meron diff dish for them?

  9. Chris
    January 16, 2011 @ 16:27

    You’re a brave man. I’ve not yet worked my way up to eating genitalia, but I’ve got a few interesting experiences of my own. Still moving octopus, live sea cucumber, and dog soup were all on my menu in South Korea.

  10. chyng
    January 17, 2011 @ 8:45

    hahaha! i like how detailed you narrate your experience with a bull’s testicle. im aware of this dish, my dad and brothers once in a while eat that stuff. pero PASS ako. ^_^

  11. neldeleon
    January 17, 2011 @ 10:22

    @journeyingjames – saan sa manila? authentic ba yun? 😀 wanna try. hahaha

  12. Sidney
    January 18, 2011 @ 13:40

    ” But was it just a coincidence that I was under the sheets a few hours later? ”

    Alone or with someone? 🙂

  13. estan
    January 18, 2011 @ 13:43

    Hahaha Sidney 🙂

  14. » Tickle, tickle tickle… with a goat’s eye | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 30, 2011 @ 9:49

    […] You see, this is actually a pleasure accessory. One that is worn, unlike the aphrodisiacs like lansiao. One, as the vendor swears, that will surely bring your lady partner to the heavens during […]

  15. coleopter
    December 19, 2012 @ 6:06

    Grrr… I bet it’ll put hair on your vagina!

  16. estancabigas
    December 19, 2012 @ 8:24

    Hahaha

  17. stracathro
    December 24, 2012 @ 2:58

    Mmmm- It’ll put hair on your vagina!

  18. lana
    July 5, 2015 @ 15:12

    was really curious about this dish..just today after work, before lunch time i passed by a carenderia and looked for some delectable meals like utan-bisaya (veggies soup) pero hindi available..as i looked in another kaldero, i asked the woman “unsa ni nag sud.an Ate? baka ni? (beef soup)?”- the woman replied “Lansiao Mam”.. as i looked at it, mukhang masarap at mainit pa, bagong luto.. so, i ordered for take out.. then the woman asked me “Mukaon diay ka ani Mam? mukaon jud ka ani mam?..kay naay mga babae nga dili mukaon ani, pero ako mukaon ko ani basta original nga lansiao kanang (penis) sa baka…” I was like frozen for a few seconds, and to not look like stupid i just said: ” ah, ingon man gud ako manghud ate nga lami daw ang lansiao, fist time pa pod ni nako mukaon ani..gusto lang ko mo try… ;)… but when i get home, i examined first the bits and pieces of lansiao, i just ate the pieces of skin (which is like gelatin; soft and tender) coz in my mind i thought like EEeww! am i really going to eat a male organ of an animal? hmmmm… hahaha… and then i tried to look up here in google and was able to read this article… I wonder how would it felt like if I really eaten a bowl of Lansiao!.. hehehe.. right now I’m feeling normal… maybe we’ll try to eat the dish again sometime with my partner para masaya.. :)..
    -just a thought though…

  19. estan
    July 11, 2015 @ 21:02

    Hahaha! there’s always a first time for this one! 🙂

  20. Take It From The Experts: It's More FOOD in the Philippines - iWander. iExperience. iKwento
    June 23, 2016 @ 12:35

    […] From Western Visayas to Central Visayas. The island province of Cebu is known for the famous Cebu Lechon and dried mangoes. But aside from these, a soup with strange ingredients resides in the province. I’m referring to Lansiao, commonly known as Soup #5, or to make it short, bull testicle soup. You can taste the soup with Estan’s documentation here. […]

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