Filipino Food: The Food that Feels Home

The Philippines is also known as the “melting pot of Asia.” Since many other nations have colonized the country and many other nationalities have made the country their “home,” this has resulted in a very rich variety of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, American, Mexican, Indian and Japanese cooking. Eating out is just one of the ideal Filipino past times. A standard Filipino diet consists of a maximum of six meals a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner and little snacks in between.


Cooked rice is an essential part of the Filipino diet and is eaten along with other dishes; without it, Filipinos are not Filipinos. Filipinos always use spoons forks and knives while there are others eat with their hands during informal settings.


Other traditional dishes taken from Spanish and other Southeast Asian countries include asado, chorizo, afritada, empanadas, paksiw (fishor pork, cooked in vinegar and water with some spices like garlic and pepper), mani (roasted peanuts), pan de sal (bread of salt), sisig, torta(omelette), kare-kare (ox-tail stew), pescado frito (fried or grilled fish), kilawen, pinapaitan, pinakbet (vegetable stew), and sinigang (tamarind soup with a variation of fish, prawns or  pork). Some foods eaten by Filipinos may look unappetizing to the Western tongue include the dinuguan (soup made from pork blood), longanisa (sweet sausage)  balut (boiled fertilized duck egg) which is known for the Filipinos. They say, if you haven’t eaten balut in your visit to the country, then it is considered that you have never really visited the Philippines.


The traditional desserts and snacks include chicharon (deep fried chicken or pork skin), puto (white rice cakes), halo-halo (crushed ice in a glass with  leche flan, evaporated milk, and sliced tropical fruit), ensaymada (sweet roll with cheese on top), bibingka (rice cake with margarine or butter and added salted eggs), polvoron (powdered candy), and tsokolate (chocolate) are customarily eaten aside from the three main meals. Conventional Philippine drinks include San Miguel Beer, coconut arrack, Tanduay Rhum, and tuba.


Each province has its specialty, and of course, tastes vary in all regions. In the region of Bicol, for instance, foods are spicier than anywhere else in the Philippines. Suka (vinegar), patis (fish sauce), toyo (soy sauce), bagoong (fermented krill in salt), and banana catsup are the very typical condiments in Filipino homes and eateries. The western fast food chains such as Wendy’s, KFC, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut are a familiar sight in the country.


To top it all of, a roasted pig “Lechón,” is the Philippines most popular dishes which was influenced by the Spaniards.