As we all know, Philippines was once conquered by different nations with each regime greatly affecting the tradition, culture and exposure of the whole nation. The occurrence of different civilizations in the country has also led to evolution – it’s just that Filipinos are adaptive to situations.
A clash of traditions and cultures happened in the invasion days. However, Philippines greatest secret heritage has somehow been forgotten with time. However, with Philippine Cuisine, a glimpse of some of the secret from the good olden days will be revealed — the field of food and recipe.
Philippines Early Recipes
Even before the Spanish colonization, Philippines has already established a distinction when it comes to food. The early Filipinos learned it through the Chinese who brought various ingredients such as toyo (soy sauce) and patis (fish sauce) to the country. Cuisines such as pancit, lumpia, noodles, arroz caldo, fried rice and chop suey were also adapted and has been preserved by the Filipinos throughout the century. Method such as stir-frying was also introduced.
By this time, bagoong (shrimp paste) arrived in the scene. Rendang, kare-kare and laing (infusion of coconut milk in condiments) and ginataang manok (chicken stewed in coconut milk) and puto (rice cake) also became a part of Philippine cuisine.
Filipinos’ adaptation to the classic recipe remained during the Spanish colonization. Chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, chorizo, and longganiza were introduced. These new condiments and food staples greatly influenced how we experience our dishes now.
Cuisines Become Complex
When the various ingredients and different styles of cooking arrived in the Philippines, various recipes such as adobo, pakbet, pancit, and many more formed part of tradition.
The once plain adobo now turned with the addition of sugar and coconut milk. Plain rice turned one dish meal fried rice and pancit now have a Filipino counterpart. Nowadays, pancit sees a greener façade while fried rice is uplifted with the addition of margarines, hotdogs and sausages.
Lumpia also traveled a long way. Having numerous versions including banana lumpia, shanghai lumpia, and vegetable lumpia, it just signifies that Filipinos have been very creative in the ingredients used to create a gastronomical dish that will last more than a lifetime!
Delicacies also evolved. Now, the fluffy white puto has variations that can extinguish any one’s hunger. The puto bingka, puto masi, and puto balanghoy have all been an accessory in our daily survival. Originally, puto is made from ground rice; today, puto incorporates the use of cheese, banana, egg whites, and even meat.
Since Filipinos love occasions and feasts, various cuisines were invented. Lechon (roasted) chicken and pig became a special dish while special dishes such as caldereta and mechado have also developed an astounding taste through time.
Filipinos’ Sense of Taste
Filipinos three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a merienda (snack) in between is the reason why having different dishes in a single day is necessary.
Filipinos brilliant ideas led them to create their own unique flavor– a combination of sweet-sour-salty flavor in a single recipe. They are also innovators of different cuisines they learned from different countries such as spaghetti, hamburger, and fries.
Thus, Philippines has become a beehive of diverse recipes. With such ideas and knowledge from the recipes in the past and the modern day, Filipino recipes are truly in a forward movement stance!