The Real Tapa Queen

Once upon a time, in a wet market in Makati, if you asked any of the vendors where to buy tapa (dried, cured beef), the vendors would answer: “Dun ka kay Aling Nora. Walang talo sa tapa nun.” (Go to Aling Nora. Nothing beats her tapa.)


The Aling Nora they refer to is Nora Alcoreza, a Pampangeña who married a meat trader, and the mother of Meat Depot CEO, Paul Alcoreza. Nora, who was already a stellar cook (being Kapampangan and all), embraced the meat industry after marriage. She learned butchering techniques from her in-laws and developed the now famous and well-kept secret tapa recipe that is served in our Meat Depot outlets.

LADY WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE


The special tapa recipe started when Nora was trying to find ways to make the most of extra beef cuts and trimmings. She experimented with several recipes in the wet market until she found the perfect one that would be a hit with her customers. What started as a sale of 30-50 kilos per day is now at 200 kilos per day. Her flagship product has had a loyal following for decades and remains to be a bestseller. It has also provided a steady livelihood for her resellers.

And though Nora will not reveal her secret tapa recipe to anyone, she does have some very good tips to share:

Her Butchering Philosophy:

– Create well-executed Filipino food that every ordinary citizen will love
– Stick to simple ingredients, or as she says: “Walang arte-arte.”
– CLEANLINESS AND SANITATION in all caps. She is one of the most thorough butchers you will find. It is said that her tapa is prepared in a production room that would have dinosaurs in it before flies.

Her Tapa Techniques:

– Make sure tapa is cut to just the right width. Too thin, and it will burn in the frying pan. Too thick, and you lose precious crunch.
– Her tapa does not have the “soup” that other tapas are made with, which makes those varieties less prone to crunching.
– She removes all the tendons for tenderness and a great chewing experience.
– FAT IS FLAVOR. Toast it for mouthgasm.

Hungry yet?

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Drop by Meat Depot to experience Nora’s secret tapa recipe.

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