Friday, June 29, 2007

Pinoy Regional Specialties

The Philippine islands are home to various ethnic groups resulting in varied regional cuisine.

Ilocanos from the rugged Ilocos region boast of a diet heavy in boiled or steamed vegetables and freshwater fish, but they are particularly fond of dishes flavored with bagoong, fermented fish that is often used instead of salt. Ilocanos often season boiled vegetables with bagoong monamon (fermented anchovy paste) to produce pinakbet. Local specialties include the soft white larvae of ants and "jumping salad" of tiny live shrimp.

The Igorots prefer roasted meats, particularly carabao's meat, goat's meat, and venison.

Pampanga is the culinary center of the Philippines. Among the treats produced in Pampanga are longganisa (original sweet and spicy sausages), kalderetang kambing (savory goat stew), and tocino (sweetened-cured pork). Kapampangan cuisine makes use of every regional produce available to the native cook, combining pork cheeks and offal to make sisig. Kare-kare is also known to have been originated from Pampanga.

Bulacan is popular for chicharon (pork rinds) and pastries like puto, kutsinta, and many more...

Cainta in Rizal, province east of Manila, is known for its Filipino rice cakes and puddings.

Laguna is known for buko pie (coconut pie) and panutsa (molasses clustered peanuts).

Batangas is home to Taal Lake, a body of water that surrounds Taal Volcano. The lake is home to 75 species of freshwater fish. And of these, the maliputo and tawilis are two of the world's rarest. Maliputos and tawilises are delicious native delicacies. Batangas is also known for its special coffee, kapeng barako.

Iloilo is popular for La Paz batchoy, pancit molo, dinuguan, puto, and biskotso.[citation needed]

Cebu is popular for lechón, sweets (like dried mangoes), mango, and caramel tarts.

Further south, dishes are filled with the scents of Southeast Asia: coconut milk, turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, ginger, and chilies — an ingredient not present in other regional cuisine (except in the Bicol Region whose use of chilies is more liberal compared to others). Since southern regions are predominantly Islamic, pork dishes are hardly present. Popular crops such as cassava root, sweet potatoes (kamote), and yams are grown.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pinoy Typical Meal

Filipino cuisine is distinguished by its bold combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste, though most dishes are not typically spicy. While other Asian cuisines (e.g. Cantonese) may be known for a more subtle delivery and presentation of food, Filipino palates prefer a sudden influx of flavor. It can be said that it is more flamboyant, as Filipino cuisine is often delivered in a single presentation, giving the participant a simultaneous visual feast, an aromatic bouquet, and a gustatory appetizer.

Snacking is normal, and it is possible that a Filipino could have eaten five meals in a day. Dinner, while still the main meal, is usually eaten in smaller quantities compared to other countries. Usually, either breakfast or lunch is the heftiest of all meals.

Main dishes include sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind stew and vegetables), bulalo (beef stew with vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep fried hog hoofs), mechado (pork cooked in tomato sauce), pochero (beef or pork cooked in tomato sauce with bananas and vegetables), kaldereta (beef or goat cooked in tomato sauce), fried or grilled chicken/porkchops/fish/squid/cuttlefish. Dinner may be accompanied by stir-fried vegetables, atchara (shredded and pickled papaya), bagoong or alamang. Most popular desserts include leche flan, nata de coco (coconut jello) or gulaman (jello).

Some dishes will rely on vinegar for flavoring. Adobo is popular not solely for its splendid flavor, but also for its ability to remain fresh for days, and even improves its flavor with a day or two of storage. Tinapa is a smoke-cured fish while Tuyo, daing, and dangit are corned sun-dried fishes popular for its ability not to spoil for weeks even without refrigeration.

Food is eaten with a spoon and fork. Filipinos use their spoons to cut through meat instead of knives used in other western cultures. Another traditional way of eating is with the hands especially when meals consist mostly of dry dishes like inihaw or prito. The diner takes a bite at the dish and simultaneously stuff his mouth with rice pressed skillfully into a ball with his fingers. In some areas of the Philippines, diners are able to form balls of rice even if it is soaking in broth. This practice, known as kamayan, is rarely seen in urbanized areas. However, Filipinos tend to feel the spirit of kamayan when eating amidst nature during out of town trips, beach vacations, and town fiestas.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pinoy Cuisine

Philippine cuisine has evolved over several centuries, influenced by East Asian Indian, Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American cooking.

Filipinos traditionally eat three main meals a day - almusal (breakfast), tanghalian (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called merienda.

Dishes range from a simple meal of fried fish and rice to rich paellas and cocidos. Popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig), longanisa (native sausage), tapa (beef jerky), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar or cooked until Dry for the Visayan variety), kaldereta (goat in tomato stew), mechado (beef or pork cooked in tomato sauce, pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (chicken cooked in tomato sauce and vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig legs), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind stew), pancit (stir-fried noodles), lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pinoy Merienda

Merienda is a snack taken in the afternoons. It is similar in concept to afternoon tea. Filipinos have a number of options to take with their traditional kape (coffee). If the meal is taken close to dinner, it is called merienda cena, which qualifies as dinner itself.

Breads like pan de sal, ensaymada, (buttery sweet rolls with cheese), and empanada (ground chicken-filled bread rolls) are served. Also, rice cakes (kakanin) like kutsinta, sapin-sapin, palitaw, biko, suman, bibingka, and pitsi-pitsi are served. Other sweets such as hopia (pastries similar to mooncakes filled with sweet bean paste, sometimes flavored) and bibingka (sweet hot rice cakes with salted eggs and cheese on top) are also favorites. Savory dishes such as pancit canton (stir-fried noodles), palabok (rice noodles with a shrimp-based sauce), tokwa't baboy (fried tofu with boiled pork ears in a garlic-flavored soy sauce and vinegar sauce), puto (steamed rice flour cakes), and dinuguan (a spicy stew made with pork blood) can also be served during merienda.

In recent years, snack served in between breakfast and lunch has been common during special occasions such as day long symposiums and workshops. However, this does not qualify as traditional merienda as the term officially applies to afternoon snacks as traditionally practiced by Filipinos.