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.

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