The food of the Philippines is a true blend of eastern and western flavors. It gathers influence from the many nations that settled the islands upon its discovery. Spain’s cuisine is the most prominent in Filipino food, from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and saffron that are used in many dishes. Chinese, Japanese, American and Malaysian flavors are also common in the foods of the Philippines. Spicy chili peppers, ginger, vinegar and soy sauce are all common ingredients in Filipino cuisine.
Filipinos eat a large amount of fish, due to the island landscape of the nation in which they live. Other inexpensive meats are common in Filipino dishes, such as goat and pork. While chicken and beef are used, it is common to find meals and snacks made from all parts of animals. This reduces expenses and spreads meager resources over several sittings. Fruits native to the region, such as coconut, banana, guava, pineapple and mango are used extensively for both sweet and savory dishes.
The national food of the Philippines is called adobo. In Spain, “adobo” refers to a condiment of oil mixed with garlic and marjoram. In the Philippines, however, adobo is used to describe a cooking method that employs vinegar, salt or soy, black peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic. Though the ingredients used to make Filipino adobo come from all over the globe, this cooking method is unique to the nation. Filipinos have been stewing meats in salted vinegar for decades. Adobo is commonly used to cook pork and chicken.
Filipino food was born of the tradition of communal preparation in a family kitchen. Foods are customarily eaten with the hands, though this tradition is rarely seen in urban areas. It is customary for meals to be served three times daily in the Philippines, with a snack called “merienda” enjoyed in the afternoon. The majority of Filipino food is broth-based and served with rice. Sauces and condiments, called “sawsawan,” are an integral part of the food. Often several kinds of sawsawan are served with a single meal.
The food of the Philippines integrates flavors and food from all over the globe but adds island flair to many dishes. The Spanish classic, seviche, is served with coconut milk in the Philippines, imprinting the nation’s distinctive influence on the dish. There are Filipino dishes inspired by Chinese dim sum, spring rolls and noodle dishes. Truly, the reflection of the nation’s history is apparent in its food. The best place to sample the cuisine of the Philippines is at one of its many street markets. There, one can taste a variety of foods in small portions while saving money on large dishes. Street vendor favorites include breaded, deep-fried quail eggs, grilled chicken intestines and fried bananas.
This post was contributed by Holly Miller, a writer for Coupon Croc. Planning a trip to the Philippines? Use Booking.com discount codes couponoctopus.co.uk/booking.com and save on all of your travel plans this year.