Ginamos (or Guinamos, Bagoong) is a sort of fish paste prepare in Antique province, especially near San Jose. This town is the center trade of commerce in the entire province. Aside from farming, business and government, fishing is also one of the main livelihoods of the locals. Due to large amount of catch, people came up with an idea to preserve the food by fermentation. Fermented foods are popular and well-liked by many and widely used that the daily diet of the people would not be complete without them.
The product name “ginamos” came from the Karay-a root word ‘gamus’ meaning “to keep and to preserve in a container”. This local poduct is an undigested residue of partially hydrolysed fish or shrimp. They can be distinguished further by the type of fish they are made of. Can be used young sardines, dilis and lilang fishes are commonly used. Separating each species and sizes of fish for making ginamos, as different species of fish will ferment differently. Ginamos is prepared by mixing salt and fish usually by volume. The salt and fish are mixed uniformly, usually by hand. The mixture is kept inside large earthen fermentation jars. It is covered, to keep flies away, and left to ferment for 30–90 days with occasional stirring to make sure the salt is spread evenly. The mixture can significantly expand during the process. Lengthening the aging of the ginamos intensifies the flavor. The final result is a dried, salty, mild fishy smell product which is pale gray to white in color. The fermentation process also produces fish sauce known as patís. It is often mixed with vinegar or fresh kalamansi juice (the Filipino version of lemonade and limeade) and then made spicy. Ginamosis is eaten raw or cooked and is generally used as flavoring or condiment in many traditional recipes. As an appetizer it is often paired with slices of green mangoes. Can be sautéed with onions and garlic and served in some dishes such as pinakbet and kare-kare.
Ginamos is currently made only in a few local fishermen amily, following the traditional method. The method of processing was developed in homes and improvements were based on the observations of the practitioners. Fermentation process is passed down from generation to generation and t is rarely homemade now.Back to the archive >