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- On November 13, 2018
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What is Filipino Food? Why you must try it?
The Philippine Cuisine has humble beginnings, it has originated from Malayo-Polynesian, and the country’s cuisine consisted of root crops, game, vegetables and seafood. Filipino food recipes then was almost always boiled, roasted or broiled. When the Chinese traders came some of them stayed and thought their Filipina wives to cook their dishes such as Pansit (noodles), Lumpia (vegetable rolls) and Siopao (steamed buns). Then Spanish Conquistadores came, they introduced us to dishes like Rellenos (stuffed chicken or fish), Morcon (rolled and stuffed beef) and Pocheros (stews). Food historians claim that 80 % of Filipino dishes are of Spanish origin. The marriage of Chinese and Spanish cuisines became eminent when Panciterias were established in the 19th century. From 1898 to 1946, American influences added yet another dimension to our food culture -convenience snack foods such as hamburgers, sandwiches and steaks were embraced by Filipinos.
Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques and styles of cooking find their way into one of the most active melting pots of Asia-A fusion of various recipes from earlier traders, Asian immigrants and former colonizers. Our penchant for cooking resulted into a unique Philippine culinary arts –a mixture of eastern and western cuisine–a gastronomic delight that has been savoured through many generations. To most of us Filipinos, food is important as it is an integral part of local art and culture as well as communal existence
With 7,107 islands scattered like jewels across the Western Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is home to a vast number of cultures. The Philippine way of life and sensibility have been enriched too by foreign cultures. This diversity in culture is most obvious in the way Filipinos cook and eat. Happily, the great number of influences that have shaped the culinary culture of the Philippines has produced a cuisine with so much flavor, color, and textures.
From the Spanish conquistadores who gave Filipinos a great craving for food laced in rich sauces like adobo, caldereta, menudo and afritada to centuries of trading with China whose influence on Filipinos is most evident in the omnipresence of pansit (noodles): pancit bihon, pancit canton, sotanghon guisado and even the famous mami present in almost all street-corners of Manila.
However, Philippine dining is only complete when there are numerous sawsawan (dips) on the table. It is often said that one knows when a Filipino is dining if the diner requires an assortment of dips. Indeed, Filipinos love sauces of all kinds and finds reason to plunge just about any food stuff on a favorite dip.
But Philippine cuisine is most characterized by the Filipino way of eating—salo-salo or through food sharing or communal eating which begins with the wonderful pronouncement of “Kainan na!” (Let’s eat!)