Filipino food is one of the gems that the archipelago offers to its own people and to foreign visitors. In fact, many foreign bloggers and visitors share about how good Pinoy dishes are. They say that the cuisine gives unique taste and experience. That is regardless of it being compared to other worldwide dishes or to its Southeast Asian neighbors.
And there are actually pretty interesting points about what makes Filipino dishes taste so good. One can consider this as the secret of the Filipino cuisine.
Here’s why Filipino Food Taste so Good
This is probably the factor that no other nation can easily copy for their cuisine. Philippines is a multicultural country that is made up of over 7,000 islands, and has gone through three big foreign invaders throughout its history.
The result? A diverse combination of different local and world cultures into one cuisine.
There’s the local dishes made with coconut milk such as Bicol Express and Laing. Food with fermented shrimp paste is also available such as Pinakbet and Binagoongan. Of course, simple grilled meat can’t go missing, but dishes that have raw meat are also on the table such as Kinilaw.
Food made with soy sauce is obviously influenced by other Southeast Asian countries. That includes the popular Adobo variation and Bistek. Then there are noodle dishes which are clearly derived from Chinese cuisines, but are locally known as Pancit by Filipinos.
Add world flavors and dishes into the table, and you’d surely get a unique cuisine like no other. As mentioned, some Filipino food is made with soy sauce, right? But they also have those that are made by blending the Asian soy sauce and the Western tomato sauce in one dish. And there’s Afritada, Caldereta and even Escabeche as results.
2. Overflowing Spices and Seasonings
One wouldn’t surely run out of spices and seasonings when preparing Filipino dishes. There are the common salt, vinegar, sugar and pepper. However, other condiments such as banana ketchup, oyster sauce, shrimp paste, fish sauce and monosodium glutamate are also there.
The Philippines is also regarded as a land abundant in different spices. There are onions, garlic, ginger, chili, peppercorn, bell pepper and many others.
Also, Filipinos love using unique add-ons into their dishes. Yes, it is common to find dishes with coconut milk in other Southeast Asian countries. However, Filipinos don’t stop there. They also use unripe tamarind for Sinigang, peanut or peanut butter for kare-kare, as well as banana for a variation of pork soup.
3. Unique Ingredients
Picking up from the previous point, Filipino dishes use a lot of unique, interesting, weird or even strange ingredients for some of their dishes.
Sinigang or sour soup for example, is a popular royalty in the Filipino cuisine. However, it has few variations depending on what type of meat is used, and what is making its soup sour. There is pork, shrimp or fish Sinigang. And you’d likely to encounter unripe tamarind, unripe guava, green mango, pineapple, wild mangosteen, and tomato varieties too.
Aside from the seasonings or add-ons, Filipino also use different types of meat for their dishes. Some dishes use animal innards or offal such as Paklay or Bopis. Chicken, pork and beef liver adobo are also common around. And of course, Balut or the boiled fertilized duck egg shouldn’t be missing in the list.
4. Balance Taste
Considering all the three previous factors, one would probably wonder how Filipino food really tastes. That’s when considering how Filipinos use a lot of unique or even weird stuff in their dishes.
The answer is, Filipinos are geared towards striking the right balanced taste for their dishes. Say, it’s not too Asian nor too Western. They do not put in too much spices like how Indians do, and they’re not fans of plain-tasting dishes such as some of those from Europe.
Filipino dishes are simply flavorful in this regard.
5. Remarkable Food Experience
Lastly, food experience in the Philippines is truly remarkable.
Many of the dishes carry a lot of stories, often about their origin through the three past invaders of the Philippines. The Leche Flan, for example, is a dessert made from milk and egg yolk. Supposedly, the ladies during the Spaniard invasion came up with this food to make use of leftover egg yolks from building constructions. Remember that old infrastructures use egg white in their concrete mix.
Moreover, Filipinos make food as a significant part of different occasions. In fact, you’d likely stumble on different dishes for different holidays in the Philippines. Think of having biko for Undas or Filipino Halloween, puto bumbong on Yuletide Season and Tikoy on Chinese New Year among many others.
Your tummy would probably go ultra-full during Fiestas too. And it is easy to spot carinderias or street food vendors anywhere, especially when you simply want to chill with friends.
Enjoy the Uniqueness and Wonders of Filipino Food Today!
Filipino food is surely an amazing and interesting cuisine to talk about. Yes, there are many food critiques who throw bad comments about Pinoy dishes. However, the happy visitors and common Filipinos prove that food in the country really tastes great.
Looking for other Lutong Bahay Recipes to try on? Feel free to check out our ulam recipes, desserts recipes and snacks recipes.
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