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Have you tried eating “CHICKEN PROBEN”? PROBEN is that popular street food in Cagayan de Oro City which you can probably find in every street corner in the city proper before the “Hapsay Dalan” was implemented.

Now, “PROBEN” vendors are confined in some small sections in Divisoria and in some other places. They are usually sold in carts or mobile stalls where they are cooked onsite and is very popular with students and those with limited budget. Price is usually P5 per stick (4 pieces on a stick).

PROBEN or PROVEN is actually short for “PROVENTRICULUS”, the true stomach of chicken (see below) and is that part of the digestive system among birds and chickens between the CROP and the GIZZARD or “baticolon”.

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Below is a much clearer photo of the anatomy (web-find).

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PROBEN sold in the streets usually come with the puso rice. Shown below are the cooked proben in bamboo sticks (left), and puso rice (right).

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PROBEN is easily cooked – first by dipping in flour or cornstarch, and then deep-fried. It is cooked fast and done in a few minutes.

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Once cooked, they are placed on small bamboo sticks ready to be eaten. Usually, each stick will have four pieces.

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Servings are dipped in some special sauce either hot and spicy sauce, vinegar, or ketchup depending on your taste.

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Below is an abstract of a nutritional study titled “Nutritional and microbial quality of the street food chicken proven in Los Banos, Laguna (Philippines)” by University of the Philippines Los Baños: SOURCE

Assessment of the microbial quality of the chicken proven at different stages of preparation indicated the risk of contamination with pathogenic food-borne microbes such as coliform, Staphylococcus and Salmonella. Deep fat frying of proven destroyed majority of these microorganisms but storage at ambient temperature caused microbial growth. The presence of these pathogenic microbes in cooked proven and their subsequent growth during storage are the critical control points. Microbial contamination of proven can be reduced through practice of personal hygiene employing standard cooking temperature (171-185 deg C) and time (10-15 min) and cooking as ordered.

Proben is now a way of life for many because it is easy on the budget. So, as the study stated…personal hygiene and standard cooking procedure is just what it takes.

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