Filipino Cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world.
This is because of the different influences to the country throughout its long and colorful history. In fact, if you trace the influences of other countries to Filipino food, you will see influences of the Malays, the Spanish, Mexican, Arab, Chinese, American, Indian and Japanese.
Then of course you have to consider that the Philippines are divided into different regions and each region has their own influences, customs and produce. All these add to the uniqueness and richness of the Filipino Cuisine.
Filipino Cuisine – The Main Meals
Generally, the Filipinos have three main meals, the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner, and an afternoon snack, called merienda.
The staple food of the Filipinos is rice and it is usually found in every meal except the merienda. To go with the rice are the different dishes, all according to the meal of the day. Some of the more famous Filipino cuisines are lechon or whole roasted pig; adobo or chicken and pork braised in soy sauce, garlic, vinegar;
kare-kare or oxtail and beef intestines in peanut sauce; and sinigang or pork, shrimp or fish in tamarind stew.
Filipino Cuisine – Breakfast
Usually for breakfast, there is the typically rice or fried rice (garlic rice) and the usual breakfast dish of tapas (dried beef), tocino (cured meat) and fried fish.
In some regions breakfast usually starts with one or two pieces of local bread, called pandesal, to be followed by the main breakfast of rice.
Filipino Cuisine – Lunch
For lunch, the typical Filipino dish is rice with a particular dish. Lunch for the Filipinos is like a feast.
They usually enjoy the special sinigang, adobo and kare-kare. Of course there are also other cuisines like ones cooked in coconut milk.
Filipino Cuisine – Dinner
For dinner, there is the typical seafood cuisine. Since the Philippines have a rich supply of sea food, there is plenty of choice to enjoy.
They are cooked in different ways, from broiling to grilling to making truly unique seafood paella. Some of the seaweed is also made into exotic salads to complete the seafood meal.
Filipino Cuisine – Merienda
For merienda, there are the ones made from root crops, such as the banana-cue or sweetened banana on a stick, camote cue or sweetened camote (sweet potato) on sticks, cassava, yams, taro on coconut meat.
There are also different rice cakes to enjoy, like the kakanin,
kutchinta, and the puto. During the Christmas season, there are many rice cake vendors selling the typical Christmas treats, the bibinkas, puto sulot and puto bumbong.
The merienda is also not limited to the local products, the Chinese influence can be seen in the pancits or noodles served for meriendas. Of course, there are a huge variety of fruit to enjoy, completing each meal.
The banana, mango, papaya are common on almost every table but there are also more exotic fruits you should try, such as the chico, atis and jackfruit.
But since there are plenty to enjoy, what you should not miss when you try a Filipino dish is the adobo, sinigang and kare-kare. And if you are more of the adventurous type, then you should definitely try the street food, found in almost every street in Manila. You will not find them elsewhere in the world and they are definitely a treat.