My trip to Calaca will never be complete without eating or taking home Atchara, can be Atsara or Achara. Calaca is known to have the finest Atchara. It is home for the Calacatchara Festival which Calaqueños celebrate every October.
“Atchara (also spelled achara or atsara), is a pickle made from grated unripe papaya popular in the Philippines. This dish is often served as a side dish for fried or grilled foods such as pork barbecue. The name may come from several names for South Asian pickle and is related to acar from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia.” – Wikipedia
There are different types of Atchara in the Philippines but nothing beats, for me, the variant made in Calaca. It tastes a bit sour and sweet. The shredded Papaya is crunchy, and the color made it extra inviting to eat. This is a perfect side dish for any grilled or fried viand, but I partner this with any ulam. I even ask my siblings to send me one when I moved to the North.
I will not go into details anymore as to how it is being made as I do not know the exact measurement of ingredients used and the process. But the main ingredients are green papaya with carrots, ginger, onions, and red bell pepper. Maybe, just maybe, when I have time in the future, I’ll try to make the exact version and I’ll share it with you. 🙂