Finadene: You can Help Spread the Secret!

The Secret

If you knew of a great secret would you share it? My guess is you’d probably keep it to yourself for a bit. But really, how many people can keep something for so long?

That’s why I’m sharing ours today. Our island’s secret is of a culinary kind, and one that many people from the Mariana Islands (Guam, Saipan, Rota, and Tinian) are familiar with.  It is our favorite complementary mixture of ingredients used to enhance flavors in many of our island main dishes.  This island favorite is fina’dene.  It’s not really a secret, but shhhhhh (pointer over lips)…..we’d like to think so.

How Finadene Looks

What is Fina’dene

Fina’dene (prounced fi-na’ de-ne) is a condiment made with soy sauce, lemon or lime juice, onions, scallions, spicy boonie peppers, and red juicy cherry tomatoes.  Introduce this sauce to your cooked chicken, ribs, or steak, and wow – all of a sudden it brings out bolder flavors. If you are so inclined – take a spoonful of sauce and vegetables and pour it on your rice.

It is also visually appealing. The contrast of colors make it an artful culinary delight. Dark browns against white, and reds showing through make for a beautiful presentation. (Sorry, its the artist in me).

Variations of Fina’dene

Fina’dene is so popular in the islands – one is bound to find it at the end of a long fiesta table populated with dozens of delectable dishes.  While most islanders or transplants follow the traditional recipe, there are  variations of fina’dene types, some with a vinegar base rather than soy sauce, and others with hints of garlic and lemon or lime zest. Never-the-less the main ingredients are fairly standard as we previously mentioned. Some recipes differ primarily in the proportion of soy to lemon or lime juice. Some recipes call for a 1:1 ratio, while others call for a 1:1/2 ratio. My personal taste is for the later, because I like things a less tart. If you are the wild type and enjoy your fina’dene with a kick, more power to you. Use lemons over limes or the smaller Asian citrus called Calamansi.

Fina’dene-Made-Easy Measuring Mug Debuts

While many islanders grew up eating fina’dene with their meal, others wish they could wiz up a batch for their next party or smaller get-together. Well, to make things easier, I’ve designed a product that will make fina’dene a cinch to make for yourself, for your family, or even your friends. The neatest thing is that you’ll always do it the right way every time. The  product is called FINA’DENE MADE EASY, and it truly is. Even your college aged kids can easily follow these simple directions. Prepare your vegetables in advance, and follow the instructions on the mug by adding up to 6 ingredients. Once you are done, mix, let sit for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator, serve, and enjoy! Hey – it’s really that simple.

Yes. I know. Everyone makes their fina’dene a little different. No problem. Just moderate your fixings to your taste or those who you’ll be serving. Like your fina’dene sweet? Add some Hawaiian shoyu. Need to watch your sodium? Use a low sodium soy sauce. Your options are endless.

You can buy this product which is also a gift box of the islands.

Fina’dene-Made-Easy Measuring Mug Showcases Guam’s Culture

When you visit our website to learn more about this product, take your time to see how I’ve turned this culinary product into an original art project. This was done by incorporating educational facts about Guam and the Marianas right on the box with a parchment motif of the 14 Mariana islands. In the interior of the packaging are two original island-styled illustrations depicting the Chamorro culture. These two pieces include a Chamorro girl (my youngest daughter) enjoying a fiesta plate meal with fina’dene of course, and a beach scene in northern Guam.

If you would like to purchase this island-styled gift, or a dual product which includes this gift and a “Got Fina’dene” apron, simply visit us at GerardAflagueCollection.Com and order it there.  Use the code FIRST5OFF at checkout for a 5% discount.

This FINA’DENE MADE EASY measuring mug is a 16 ounce frosted mug with heavy-duty handle, that will make a wonderful gift for anyone, for any occasion.

Si Yu’os Ma’ase and blessings!

The Mariana Trench and the Creation of the Mariana Archipelago

New Guam Satellite Map Illustration

New Guam Illustration from Cloudless Satellite NASA Photo of Guam from Space

The earth is a beautiful living planet with major plate tectonic movements that sometimes bring about violent earthquakes. Over a longer period of time, this subduction action (of one plate going below another and the resulting recycling of the crust back into the mantle) also results in the creation of island chains over time. In the case of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, scientists have surmised that they were created with the movement of the Pacific tectonic plate going deep underneath the Philippine plate over earth’s long history.

These 15 islands in the archipelago are an ancient terrestrial storyboard. The movement of these plates, have resulted in wondrous and spectacular underwater as well as above water landforms, many of which are volcanoes. Interestingly scientists have determined that Guam, the southernmost island in the archipelago, is the oldest island among them (about 30 million years old, as compared to its northern-most island cousin which is theorized to be only 5 million years old).

The Marianas Trench is in close proximity to Guam, with the deepest point of the earth (Challenger Deep) a few hundreds miles southwest of the southern tip of the island. This makes for an even more interesting study, especially for those that call Guam home. What does the existence of the trench, and the movement of the plates mean for this regions fate? Well, scientists have studied this region for many years, and have discovered that while there are earthquakes in this region of the world as a result of these plates colliding, it has been discovered that these plates (at their meeting point) are being lubricated by a mud-like substance that percolates from the sea-floor. They theorize that this in turn reduces the chance for such violent tremors like that being experienced in Japan or the Indonesian region.

With that being said, the most memorable Guam earthquake recently on record was in Aug 8, 1993, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale and lasting about 60 seconds. (I was in this earthquake and I must say this was a whopper. I’ll probably write a blog soon of my experience since this is so fresh in my memory.) While there were no deaths that resulted from it directly, there was significant damage including a major hotel that was recently built and opened for business within the same time period. If scientists are right that the existence of this mud-like lubricant deep within the chasm of the Marianas trench reduces violent earthquakes, this means good news for those that call the islands in the Marianas their home.

Over the years, the scientific community has studied many aspects of this part of the world, from the landforms of the Marianas, to the depths of the Marianas Trench and the surrounding areas. My interest to understand my island home and its neighboring island chain, has stirred a desire in me to create an illustration of Guam in context with the world and its place among the other 14 islands within the archipelago. This never-before seen and newly created illustration includes narratives and close-up insets of areas within Guam that are significant to its economy. As part of this illustration, I’ve also included a few economic facts that provide for a more interesting and though-provoking study of the island of Guam.

To order this illustration in one of many art mediums, click here to be taken to the product page and pay online with a credit card or with a PayPal account.