Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's "Tuyo's" Fault

Let's take a break from my Hawaii posts.

I almost fell from my chair when I read this on the GMA News website. Apparently, a lawsuit, filed by Manhattan nuns against a Filipino-American couple claiming that the smell of "tuyo" could be “potentially dangerous to life and health." As a person who gets the occasional craving for dried fish, I found this interesting. I do know by experience that to other ethnicities who aren't used to the smell of dried fish, the smell is challenging and offensive to them. Is there a way to cook dried fish so that the smell is minimized? The story is available online at: GMANews.TV - OFW Microsite - In Manhattan nuns’ lawsuit, the smoking gun is Filipinos’ iconic ‘tuyo’. (Posted using ShareThis)

Highlights from the story:
  • In this particular housing, there's a rule that states, "Cooking smelly food is not allowed." (I think this is the key here.)
  • The nuns are seeking $75,000 in damages, and made it clear that they have nothing against Filipinos as a people.
  • Complaint says, that some tenants closer to the Lims’ unit have moved out, and that the Lims have been warned repeatedly about the smell emanating from their 16th floor apartment unit.
  • The “foul smell" from the "tuyo" was too strong the nuns suspected it was coming from a decomposing body and called in the Fire Department.
  • Do you think this case has anything to do with racism, against Filipinos? Feel free to leave any comments or reactions.
  • I would like to hear about your "tuyo" stories or anything similar to it.


  1. Ay, I love tuyo, and I can't imagine my life without eating one. if I were to cook one in a foreign land, I'd be sure to let them have a taste of it. Tuyo, just like durian, tastes like heaven, smells like hell.

  2. Sheng, I agree. It's good my apartment building doesn't have a rule against cooking smelly foods. I do love tuyo, smoke fish, bagoong...etc...lol.

  3. I think it has nothing to do with racism. While there's no housing regulation like that here, we still chance on frying daing and tuyo. The non-Filipinos told me it smells like dead rats to them.

    But still I brought daing and I'm enjoying it. I only cook it during weekends. =)

  4. Filipinos might as well call the fire department everytime their neighbors are flipping hamburgers in their backyards. We can say "we smell a dead cow burning!"
    Anything to demean someone's culture is how I look at this complaint. Pathetic!

    Aaaw, my wife will kill for the "toyo", she can use them as toothbrushes, hehe....

  5. If those nuns have scientific evidence that the smell of tuyo is dangerous to health, then they may have a leg to stand on. I'm guessing they don't. Maarte lang sila. hehe

  6. this reminds me of a story that my husband told me about his university days in the UK. some of their friends were frying dried fish and the next day, some policemen came. apparently, the neighbours complained of the smell of a decomposing body! :D

  7. I don't think it is racism. The apartment building specifically states that cooking smelly food isn't allowed so they did break the rules. On the other hand, you would think that nuns would be more understanding and tolerable about other nationalities' peculiar food choices, no? hehe

    I haven't eaten tuyo in ages because it is too salty for my taste. But just the other day, I woke up to the smell of tuyo emanating from our neighbors house. I suppose they ate it for breakfast together with sinangag!

  8. and your post just made me crave for tuyo. hahahah

  9. i love tuyo and champurado, especially now that it's sooo cold here!

    i guess we Filipinos will always tolerate people who cook tuyo kasi tayo lang naman mahilig dito...

  10. hmmm, . i never dared cook "smelly" food like tuyo, i'm afraid my neighbors might call the police as well.. (heard stories from other nationalities like that) so i'm a bit cautious.. people here are already terrified of the garlic smell!!!!also i always hear comments like "oh what did you cook today, that smells good" so what happens if if it smells bad?? so they really do pay attention to the smell going around the corridors..

  11. hmmm.. i think it's racism. every person in a foreign country is entitled to eat his or her ethnic food! are they trying to deprive Filipinos of their culture?

    however, if they have been repeatedly warned about it, they should have listened (sarap kasi ng tuyo e! hehe). but to say that it is "potentially dangerous to life and health" is absurd bordering on bias against Filipino culture.

  12. hahaha! i remember something similar happened to us when we were in the dorm. the guard from the 1st floor rushed to the 5th floor kitchen where we were because residents on the lower levels were complaining. funnily, most southeast asians were able to tolerate the smell because they had something similar in their own countries. its just the europeans and north americans who could not take it.

  13. I LOVE tuyo. But I haven't eaten it in ages because it's too salty for me now!

    And ah, they broke the rules. Tsk tsk. But to call the aroma "potentially dangerous..." is an exaggeration! Unless they can prove it really endangers one's life. You'd think nuns would be more understanding!

  14. i really dont think that the whole smell should be based solely on ''tuyo'' maybe its the way that it is packaged or something i myself have no problems with ''tuyo'' and believe it is a wonderful thing