Filipino Food Through Time

Jan 26 18:23 2020 Chris Alcantara Print This Article

Filipino people are known for their love of food, and this shows through their rich culture and wide selection of foods and dishes.

Pinoy cuisine is a fusion of Asian and western cuisine that is deeply connected with their history and diversity. The kind of food that is at the top of the list depends on each family,Guest Posting province, and city has its own version of Filipino favorites, and Filipinos love to alter and present their own techniques to each and every recipe there is.

So what makes Pinoy Recipes so Unique?

Pinoy food and cuisine captures the culture, and essence of being a Filipino, food is the main attraction of any festival and celebration, also one can argue that Filipino recipes are combination of western concepts and eastern traditions. You can find many variations of Pinoy ulam recipes from Chinese, Spanish, and American cuisine.

This started in the 11th century where chinese traders went in to the Philippines for the purpose of trading their textiles and ceramics, but one thing that they also brought with them is their cookinf techniques and some dishes such as noodles, spring rolls and steamed dishes. Now onto 16th century where the Spanish colonized the Philippines and introduced the catholic religion to the locals, they also indtroduced a wide collection of flavors and spices. Fried rice actually came from Spain, which became a staple in every Filipino breakfst dishes.

Before the 19th century, the Philippines was then colonized by the United States, this became as a mean for them to introduce the English language to many Filipinos, along with this they also introduced their cooking methods such as pressure cooking, freezing, pre-cooking and a variety of sandwich dishes.

See, Hear, Smell, Touch and Taste Filipino Food!

SEE – For westerners, you eat with your eyes so plating is very important. However, Filipino Food like laing, bopis, balut, bagoong, etc. may not look as appetizing as a Lasagna, Greek Salad, and Mexican Tacos, but the sight of them are mouth-watering for most Filipinos.

HEAR – Dining, for Filipinos, is an avenue for catching up, sharing stories, and talking about random stuff. The dining experience becomes more alive when Filipinos talk about food while eating their meal. This gives an amplified appreciation on the food they're eating.

SMELL – Pandan leaves are often placed in rice before cooking giving it a fragrant aroma that makes it more appetizing. These are also used in making sugar syrup for Sago't Gulaman – a staple drink, elevating a simple syrup with pandan infused aroma & flavor. When smoking/grilling food, Filipinos wrap banana leaves to the food giving it a distinct smoky smell and flavor to the dish.

TASTE – Philippines is dubbed as a "Sawsawan Nation". An eatery set up usually offers bottled condiments such as soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, calamansi, chili, and toasted garlic. These elevate the taste of the dish rounding up the whole taste experience.

TOUCH – One true Filipino custom is the "Kamayan" wherein the manner of eating is by pressing rice and viand to firm it up through the use of hands (not with spoon/fork). Kamayan also resonates festive and bountiful meal. Rice is usually placed on the middle of a banana leaf topped with several viands (mostly grilled/fried).

Understanding Pinoy Cuisine

Pinoy cuisine starts out with steamed rice. Steamed rice is a staple side dish for most

. Whether for gulay recipes or otherwise, it's a traditional base for any meal because it goes with anything. In the next section, we'll be talking about regional specialties in Pinoy cuisine that every Filipino household must try.

With over 7,000 islands and three island groups, every region in the Philippines has its unique dishes that were often shaped through cultural borrowing or indigenization.

An example of borrowings according to Doreen Fernandez, a renowned writer on local food literature, is no other than adobo. She said that "adobo" was derived from "adobado" which is a stewed meat dish in Mexico. However, she added that adobo would mean as a pickling sauce in Spain.

Here's our take on the traditional regional dishes from Pampanga, Iloilo and Maguindanao:

Kare Kare & Bagoong Rice

Kare Kare is a distinctly Filipino dish that is popularized by the region of Pampanga. The older versions of this stew consisted of ox tail or lean beef. But a lot of other regions created their own version with different ingredients. It's comforting, creamy, savory, and is best served with rice.

Cansi & Puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves)

Cansi is the sour version of the Bulalo. It's a dish from Bacolod that's sour, spicy, and rich. It uses Batuan fruit which is native to the region as its main souring agent. This is an excellent source of protein and is rich with iron, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B12.

Pastil and Lawot Lawot

Pastil is a common dish that's loved by many, especially in Maguindanao. It's a meal of steamed rice with shredded chicken meat, all wrapped in a banana leaf. This dish, which is dubbed as a "Poor Man's Meal," is very easy to make but still very flavorful.

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Chris Alcantara
Chris Alcantara

Christian Alcantara


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