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The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

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The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:43 am

When asked to describe Filipino food, I always describe it as being a mixture of food influenced by Chinese and Spanish cooking, but I never really knew all the details. With a little research, I was able to find out more about my own home food and want to share that information with you.

First, Philippines is a country that has a tropical climate divided into rainy and dry seasons with an archipelago with 7,000 islands. In fact, there are over 80 dialects in the Philippines with Tagalog being main language that allows the lines of communication to flow regardless of what province you hail from. These isles contain the Cordillera mountains, Luzon’s central plains, Palawan’s coral reefs with seas touching the world’s longest discontinuous coastline along with a multitude of lakes, rivers, springs and brooks.

When it comes to the population, there are over 120 different ethnic groups including the mainstream communities of Tagalog/Ilocano/Pampango/Pangasinan and Visayan lowlanders – all who work within a lush environment. Here they lived their lives, built houses, wove cloth, told and wrote stories and most of all, prepared food.

The Chinese who came to trade sometimes stayed on, bringing with them their food culture, which they probably taught to their Filipino wives. This Filipino-Chinese cooking would use ingredients native to the Philippines, have Filipino names, but be cooked using Chinese techniques. Dishes like pansit are simply noodles, lumpia are fried eggs rolls and siopao are like the Chinese steamed filled buns called cha su bao. Most of these dishes were adopted across many different parts of the Philippines, but adapted based on what ingredients were locally available. For example, Pansit Malabon has oysters and squid since Malabon is a fishing city while Pansit Marilao is topped with rice crisps because Marilao is a city within the Luzon rice bowl.

The arrival of the Spaniards brought with them both Spanish and Mexican food influences, since a Viceroy from Mexico City was appointed by Spain to govern the Philippines until 1821 when Mexico and Central America were able to achieve their independance from Spanish rule. Spain’s rule lasted for 333 years and during this time period, it meant the production of food for an elite, nonfood-producing class, and a cuisine for which many ingredients were not locally available and had to be shipped into the Philippines

Filipino-Hispanic food had new flavors and ingredients like olive oil, paprika, saffron, ham, cheese, cured sausages—and new names. Just as with Filipino-Chinese cooking, Spanish and Mexicand dishes were adapted and eventually became a part of modern day Filipino cuisine. For example, Paella, the dish cooked in the fields by Spanish workers, became a festive dish combining pork, chicken, seafood, ham, sausages and vegetables, a luxurious mix of the local and the foreign. The Spanish custom of stuffing festive capons and turkeys for Christmas called Relleno, was applied to chickens, and even to bangus, the silvery milkfish. With the conversion to Catholicism, Christmas became a holiday celebrated by Filipinos. Christmas coincided with the rice harvest and as a result came to feature both the myriad native rice cakes, but also ensaymadas (brioche-like cakes buttered, sugared and cheese-sprinkled) to dip in hot thick chocolate as well as apples, oranges, chestnuts and walnuts of European Christmases. Even the Mexican corn tamal turned Filipino, becoming rice-based tamales wrapped in banana leaves.

By the very virtue of the Philippines being part of Southeast Asia and that it shares similarities in climate, topography and geography with neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malayasia and Vietnam, it’s easy to see that all these countries would breed similar cuisines and dishes. For example, the use of chili and coconut milk in dishes can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia and specifically, the Bicol region of the Philippines. Many Philippine desserts, particularly those made of rice and coconut are similar to those of Indonesia and Malaysia. Among these are biko and suman, sticky rice cooked with coconut milk and sugar and wrapped in banana or pandan leaves, bibinka, puto and kutsinta which are different types of rice cakes. Patis and bagoong, fermented fish or shrimp sauce, similar to those produced by Vietnamese and Thais, are used to flavor food when cooking and are served as sauces for a variety of dishes such as kare-kare or appetizers such as chopped green mangoes.

When the US took over the governing of the Philippines, the American influence consisted of Filipinos learning the ways of convenience, which included pressure-cooking, freezing, pre-cooking, sandwiches and salads, hamburgers, fried chicken and steaks and most of all, cooking with canned goods. Canned goods like Spam, corned beef and fruit cocktail started appearing in the Filipino kitchen, but even then we put our own spin on this convenient cuisine. For example, Spam would be sliced, fried and eaten with eggs for breakfast. Corned beef would sauteed with onions and garlic while our version of fruit cocktail would include jackfruit (langka), coconut (buko) and palm nuts (kaong). Even hot dogs were sliced and added to spaghetti.

Add to the above other cuisines found in the country along with other global influences: French, Italian, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Filipino food today really tells the story of Philippine history. So given all these outside influences, it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain what Filipino food really is. On the one hand, Filipino cuisine is simply food that comes from the land, sea, field and forest, but it also includes dishes and culinary techniques learned from countries like China, Spain, Mexico, the US and more. What makes this food uniquely Filipino? Simply, it’s because of the Filipino’s openness to new foods, their ability to re-work these new dishes using local ingredients as well adapting them to fit the Filipino palate and finally, being able to accept and absorb them into our food culture...


im just cravin for lumpiang shanghai and siomai...lol.. :sagingdance:[b]

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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Ray on Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:52 pm

i don't eat lumpiang shanghai because it's too oily...

siomai? I never tasted that one. I feel that the fillings inside are still raw. puke

my favorite food is ASOPAO DE POLLO, Borinquen counterpart of Philippine Adobo!
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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:11 pm

My grandpa who is a pure chinese cook foods with exotic ingredients inspired by chinese heritage....although some of the recipes taste annoying but most taste heaven and is 100% healthy and organic

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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by pepper on Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:25 pm

MY FAVORITE FUSION FILIPINO DISHES ARE:

PORK SUMAI

HUMBA

LUMPIA SHANGHAI

CHICKEN ADOBO


LECHON CEBU

LET'S EAT GUYS!!!!YUM! YUM! YUM!
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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Ray on Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:03 pm

I also like Humba! But I think Humba is a Spanish food.
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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Ray on Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:09 pm

MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FILIPINO FOODS ARE...





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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by pepper on Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:10 pm

RAY, YOU ARE FOND ON SOUPS!!! NOT ON FRY..
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Re: The Global Fusion of Filipino Food

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:53 pm

omg!!!! ure choices are OH SOOO GOOD!!!! YUM OH!

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