Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Introduction to Filipino Food

I cannot define what Filipino food is in one sentence. Because of our history, Filipino food is a good mix of Southeast Asian, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese and American cuisines. We easily eat pancakes for breakfast, noodles for lunch, empanadas for snack and paella for dinner. Of course we altered these recipes to suit the Filipino taste. You will find spaghetti which is sweet, sour and spicy often with a banana ketchup base or sausages (longanisa) which are sweet and savoury. Then there is the pan de sal which is sweetish instead of salty as its name would suggest.
We also eat a lot of fish and seafood for obvious reasons. Most people prefer seafood fried or grilled with a tomato salad (tomatoes, green mangoes, onions). The simpler the better. Of course we also cook it with a tamarind soup base (sinigang), with coconut milk (ginataan), boiled (nilaga), with mayonnaise (con mayonesa), sweet and sour, with vinegar (paksiw) or even raw (kinilaw).
Each province and town has their own speciality. Sta Cruz, Laguna is known for the white cheese from carabao milk, Los Banos, Laguna for buko pie, and Binan, Laguna for the puto (rice cake). If we go North, Bolinao,Pangasinan is known for boneless bangus, Pampanga for tocino (sweet, cured pork) and Laoag in Ilocos one can find the orange empadana and longanisa.
The list is endless, you just have to try it!

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