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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Loving Pinoy Food and Proud of It!

When I was still working in a five star hotel in Ortigas, cocktails for various hotel activities were pretty often. I've had a chance to sample different hors d'oeuvres (pronounced as ôr dûrvz), canapé, and cheeses. These small one-bite finger food and appetizers are appealing to the eyes and more to the taste buds, although ones tongue may need a few twist and turns before it can pronounce any of this cocktail staples.

When I moved to another job (my current one) which requires a lot of overseas travel, my food horizon got even broader and I tremendously enjoyed sampling dishes of various coutries - - chilli crab and kaya toasts in Singapore, laksa in Malaysia, tom yum in Thailand and the uncomparable ramen of Japan to name a few.

However, and maybe not a lot of people know that even if I've been exposed to foreign dishes, I remain loyal to Filipino food and delicacies. I am someone who would happily trade a quarter pound burger with fried rice and danggit without second thoughts.

I remember during one trip to Sydney where I met a Filipino family who have just recently migrated there. I was told they hardly cook their own native food anymore but instead go for burgers, fish and chips and pasta like any other Aussie. I was secretly disappointed learning this as oftentimes, someone's native dishes are the only evidence of a person's culture and roots after one migrates to another country.

Most of our dishes are actually influenced by the nations and cultures that onced ruled the Philippines. We were a colony of Spain for 400 years so naturally a lot of our dishes have a tinge of Spanish into it. Our most popular dish, the Adobo, although the cooking process or method is indigent to the Philippines, is actually Spanish (adobo means seasoning or marinade).

One observartion though of a foriegner friend is our appetite for meat and I have to agree. If one is attend a town fiesta, the staples would be menudo, embutido, caldereta, lumpiang shanghai and maybe lechon. Ha! Look at all those meat!

For dessert, the Filipino table has a very extensive variety. Aside from our wide array of rice-based desserts or kakanin, we have Halo-Halo, a drink-dessert made with sweetened banana, sweet potato, beans, macapuno, nata de coco and many more topped with shaved ice and milk which is similar to Iced Kachang of Malaysia. There is a coconut milk-based soupy version which is Ginataang Halo-Halo (seems like we have knack for mixed ingredients).

my home-cooked ginataang halo-halo
I adore Filipino food and I am proud of it. I do miss it a lot when I travel and sometimes when I've been away for weeks, I'll ask our yaya to cook my favorite Pinoy fare for my first meal back home. And how I love the taste of Sinigang after days of Filipino food abstinence.

So, what's your favorite Filipino dish?


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