Have you found a new taste that has piqued your interest through our new culinary decoder? Whether it was Arepas, Cajun dishes, or Cuban Cuisine and the Cuban Sandwich, hopefully you have! If not, maybe Filipino will be the party in your mouth you’ve been waiting for!
To some, the food of the Philippines may be thought of as “unique.” In many restaurant and culinary circles, the dreaded F-word—fusion—is usually reserved to describe some sort of disparate multi-culti combination that is curious and may or may not make sense. While many may be quick to put a label of “weird” on Filipino cuisine, something similar could be said of a wide variety of cuisines- especially one that evokes creativity in technique, ingredients and the blending of various regions or heritages. No sound bite can accurately answer the one question Filipinos get plenty: What is Filipino food?
As with most Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. Rice is often enjoyed with the sauce or broth from the main dishes. To compliment the rice, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are often used. Bananas, guavas, mangoes, papayas, and pineapples, do well to lend a distinctly tropical flair in many dishes- even among their vegetable counterparts such as green leafy water spinach, Chinese cabbage, Napa cabbage, eggplants, and yard-long beans.
The meat staples that pair with the wide selection of fruit and vegetables can include chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Seafood is particularly popular as dictated by the geography. The most common way of having fish is to have it salted, pan-fried or deep-fried, and then eaten as a simple meal with rice and some of the vegetables previously mentioned.
Finally, food is very commonly served with a variety of dipping sauces that vary from vinegar, soy sauce, juice squeezed from Philippine lime, or a combination of two or more. Fish sauce, fish paste, shrimp paste, and crushed ginger root are condiments that are often added to dishes when they are served. If you are looking for a great place to eat with some delicious Pilipino food, try out PAO Café In Lake Magdalene just a little north of Downtown Tampa FL or see them at one of our local rally’s with their food truck PAO.