Sugar, Spice, and Everything Wild: Philippine Exotic Foods

Innards, frogs, larvae, and snails: who would have thought you could eat them? Well, for those who keep on seeking thrill and are driven by wonder with the unending search for exotic foods, the Philippines is just the right destination for you. Exotic foods are found everywhere, but with specific locations in the world. Here are some of those that can rarely be found, but are abundant in the Philippines:


ISAW, BETAMAX: Starting from the mildest on the list, these are grilled innards of animals. “Isaw” is a chicken intestine and “Betamax” is a grilled blood cube, both are the top favorites of most Filipinos. These products are being sold in most places in the Philippines, especially near schools and workplaces.


BALUT: Typical evenings in the Philippines are completed by the loud voices of vendors shouting “baloooot!” as they pass by houses. It is a developed duck egg and is very popular among locals. Yes, you read it right, the egg has a duck inside. For almost all Filipinos, it is best eaten with vinegar and just a pinch of salt.


BUTETE TUGAK: Popular in Pampanga, this is a fancy deep fried frog with meat stuffing. Maybe you heard that frog and chicken meats all taste just the same and yes, they do. These frogs are actually those that roam around during rainy seasons, where they’d remove the skin and season it with salt and pepper with sautéed ground pork inside.


KINILAW NA TAMILOK: Popularly known in Palawan and Aklan, this is a bivalve mollusk that looks like worms inside but tastes like an oyster. They are cooked in vinegar or calamansi with bits of ginger and minced garlic, and serve it as is.


ADOBONG KAMARU: Kamaru of Mole Cricket is being cooked in Pampanga. These can be a sort of a pest especially on rice fields, but farmers have found out on how to eat them. It is cooked in sautéed garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar or ‘adobo’ and is a perfect match with a beer.


ADOBONG UOK: Another adobo recipe, these are found on dead coconut logs, collected to eat either cooked or raw.


ADOBONG SAWA: Sawa or Python can be found just anywhere in the country, especially at vast farmlands. Its meat tastes more like chicken and is served either fried or in adobo. This is common in Nueva Ecija and is the most in demand exotic food in the place.


Made with creativity, these foods will surely capture your heart, stomach and taste buds even though they appear to be odd and weird. But sometimes, we do not have the stomach to eat such foods we see especially when we all know what they are and where they came from. Now the question would be: are you brave enough to face the challenge?