They say that you will never experience the Philippines if you will not try its dishes and delicacies. I have been seeing posts about Filipino food, be it on youtube or blogs. Reactions are always mixed whenever tourists see some of the most exotic delicacies offered in the Philippines. Not just exotic food, even the most common dishes.
I remember reading a blog bitching the Filipino cuisine, the traveler who said that she’d rather go hungry than eat the filipino food again outraged the Filipinos and in defense, bloggers made their own blogs.
I, too, found the traveler a personification of an ungrateful house guest. Yes she (the traveler) is entitled to her own opinion but she could’ve made constructive criticisms. Food is part of the culture and an integral part of the filipino community. So if you bitch the food, you also bitch the whole filipino community.
Anyway, I am not here to defend the filipino cuisine from foreign tongues, i am here to introduce some of the most delicious dishes served in the Philippines.
Adobo. Who doesn’t like adobo? Pork adobo, chicken adobo, fish adobo and even vegetable adobo. Who could resist the salty, soury, sweet, spicy, taste it offers? With the potato on the side, sometimes with pineapple, you will get a taste of heaven in every bite. Unlike other dishes, the longer it stays on the fridge, the better-tasting it becomes.
Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savoury taste most often associated with tamarind (Filipino: sampalok). Two of my favorites are sinigang na baboy (pork) and sinigang na hipon (shrimp/prawn). In some places, they use meat and fish and other flavorings, mango, kamias, tomato, santol, guava and anything that tastes sour. Aside from the meat, there are also vegetables in the dish: eggplant, okra, kangkong, gabi. It tastes much better when reheated because the gabi melts with the stew. 🙂
Rellenong bangus (stuffed milk fish). Health conscious? I present to you one of the most healthful food in the Philippines. This food is stuffed with fish and vegetables. You can do your own sauce but it tastes better with ketchup (catsup) or you can eat it just like how it is served.
Laing (or Natong) is a spicy dish that is Coconut milk (or cream) based with dried taro leaves. This originated from the Philippine’s Bicol region (south most part of Luzon island). Because of its really great taste and budget friendly cost, this dish became well known. I don’t like eating leafy dishes but this one is an exception. I fall head over heels for this dish.
Sizzling sisig, a dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. This is often served in a sizzling plate and you will hear sizzling sounds as the waiter places the plate in your table. Best served with beer also.
Balut (developing duck embryo), this is not a dish but some creative pinoys made some balut specialities. Personally I don’t eat balut but I am not one of those people who think that it is disgusting. It is exotic but not disgusting like how some foreigner see it to be. It doesn’t look appealing or “restauranty”, but for some filipinos and other tourists, it tastes so much better than how it looks. Even David Cook wanted to give it a try when he visited the Philippines a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact there is this saying that this food will strengthen your knees, maybe that’s also one reason why Filipinos love eating balut.
Kamaru, or mole crickets, which are plentiful in Pampanga, are considered a Kapampangan delicacy. It is often made into adobo, but can also be served deep fried. Several restaurants in Pampanga serve this dish, including Everybody’s Café in San Fernando.
We have a long list of Filipino dishes because we, Filipinos, are naturally food lover. We love munching be it Filipino food, American, Italian. We do find some food awkward tasting but we appreciate them and we do not diss.