The islands of Philippines are home to over 68 million people, and with 7000 islands spread in over 77 regions, so the culture, art and food traditions are some of the most complex of all countries. For more than 500 years, the Filipino cuisine has been under Malay, Spanish, Indian and Chinese influences, mixing ingredients and cooking secrets in a diverse, most interesting cuisine. Food is an important part of the whole communal Philippines existence and is part of the traditions left by ancestors. Just like the Malaysian cuisine, the Filipino uses spicy condiments to give special flavors to meals. But a bit apart from the neighbors that surround the islands, the Filipino cuisine uses milder spices and condiments. The extremely hot chilies, called siling labuyo are used for the making of dipping sauces, and the long flat finger-length cooking pepper called siling mahaba are used for soups, stews and flavoring other meals. The rice is one of the main crops cultivated all over the islands since ancient times, and is still today the most important part of almost any cooked meal. Coconut (niyog) accompanies most meals as well. Other ingredients used since ancient times and till kept today in the Filipino kitchen, include pandan leaves (screwpine), ginger, and lemon grass (tanglad).
Popular Filipino Dishes Edit
The following recipes are traditional Filipino dishes and some of the more popular authentic Filipino recipes.
The variety of dishes found all over the Philippines islands gives diversity and complexity to the entire nation’s cuisine. Having more than 16 regions, the cuisine has significant differences in preparing a traditional meal. In the Ilocos region, the Vegetables with rice are the basis of any meal. tomatoes, aubergine, bitter lemon, lima beans, okra and Squash are blended in a local special dish, called pinakbet. In the central Luzon region, Bulacan is the place where eels and salt-water fish are used to prepare delicious meals in coconut milk or vinegar and ginger. The best relleno and galantina (Chicken rolls specialties) are considered to be made in these regions. The culinary center of the Filipino cuisines is considered to be Pampanga, where the original sweet and spicy sausages are prepared and where you can find savory got stews and tocino (sweet cured Pork). In the Bicol Region you will find coconut cream (gata) used in combination with chilies to create a local dish, the pinangat, and in Mindanao region you can find roasted coconut and chilies mixed with turmeric, garlic and ginger to prepare seafood. Sweets and original desserts can be found in the Cebu region, where dried mangoes and mango in caramel tarts are some of the delicates found.
Preparation Methods for Filipino Cooking Edit
Although the cuisine of Philippines is a complex and most diverse one, the cooking and preparation methods are quite simple if right steps are followed. There are four cooking methods that stay at the basis of Filipino cookery, namely boiling (nilaga), grilling (ihaw), roasting and steaming (halabos). The sautéed technique was first introduced to the islands of Philippines by the Spanish people, and is greatly used today among locals preparing vegetables for special meals. Preparing a traditional Filipino meal, you need to learn how to prepare the rice, since this is the basic element for most dishes. It is usually boiled and served with different condiments, spices, sauces or side dishes, but can also be fried with garlic, onions and scrambled eggs, to prepare the Sinangag dish. Also, you can bake the rice and use it in cakes, sweets, and other savory snacks. Bananas and coconut milk can be used for a lot of meal-preparation processes, giving special specific flavors to different dishes
Special Equipment for Filipino Cooking Edit
Most people having Philippines dishes for lunch or dinner will use their hand instead of cutlery, grabbing chunks of cooked rice and dipping it in special sauces and then in their mouth. However, when you plan on cooking in a Filipino manner, you will be in need of a lot of pots and serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs. Also, a saucer-shaped granite grinding stone, together with a granite pestle is used in preparing special condiments needed for the recipes. A variety of dishes and specific traditional meals are usually served buffet-style and displayed in palayoks-- clay pots the shape of small cauldrons. Borrowed from the Chinese culture, a woven bamboo steamer is always good to have in preparing many Filipino dishes. When frying ingredients in deep oil, a wok is very ideal for this preparation, since it requires less oil than a conventional deep fryer. A frying shovel or spatula is required when you use the wok for deep-frying, so make sure you have them available as well.
Filipino Food Traditions and Festivals EditTraditional eating habits are blended with festivals that celebrate life and its aspects. Appey, for instance, is a thanksgiving festival celebrating good crops and a plentiful harvest, and numerous chickens and pigs are sacrificed for this occasion. The custom of whole pigs being fried or fire-cooked is performed on numerous different occasions, such as St John’s Celebration, on the 24th of June in the Balayan and Batangas regions.
Ati Atihan is the most famous festival in Philippines, and one of the oldest, going back to the year 1200. A time of dances, fiestas, joy, and plenty of food cooked in the traditional Filipino manner. The Feast of Saint Clementine takes place on the 23rd of November, and is a time to give thanks to the patron saint of fishermen and their difficult and often dangerous work. Fish specialties are prepared on this occasion. In fact, seafood is appreciated at its best when raw rather than cooked, and served in a vinaigrette (kilawin) marinade. Otherwise, seafood may be grilled (ihaw or inihaw), and sometimes stuffed with onions.
People in Filipino Food Edit
- Are you into Filipino Cooking and would like to be interviewed?
The exotic country of Philippines relies on food and cooking methods as part of its traditions and culture, so it’s only natural that people involved in the cooking process are most proud of their work and put passion in every meal they prepare. Among the many chefs in the world, those in the Philippines are undoubtedly amongst the most creative. Combining available ingredients depends on the chef’s personal methods, and can result in Filipino dishes more original and delicious than the existing ones. Filipino chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners and visitors to their native country, especially those who have never tasted such dishes before.
Unlike other regions on the planet, The Philippines is a country of many secret ingredients that are kept so by its chefs, and are not revealed for the sake of the originality of the dishes. The chef’s skills are all blended in preparing numerous small dishes that are served together, and not apart from one another in separate courses.