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  • Writer's pictureAsianAveMag

What is Filipino Cuisine?

Growing up, eating Filipino food was somewhat of a special occasion, usually during summers with my Filipino relatives, as an occasional dish for dinner when we could find the right ingredients and the time to cook, and the general indicator that my grandma was in town for a short period of time.

Typical Filipino cuisine combines sweet, salty, and sour flavors which gives a savory and down-to-earth taste. Rice is a common accompaniment to every meal and is typically found on every dinner table. Popular Filipino dishes include longanisa (Filipino sausage), lechon (whole roasted pork), adobo (chicken or pork marinated in a garlic, vinegar, soy sauce mix and then cooked until dry), dinuguan (pork blood stew), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (egg rolls stuffed with more meat than vegetables).

Adobo Pancit Lumpia

Of all Filipino dishes, adobo tends to be the most commonly found dish served at Filipino restaurants and at home. Every family has their own recipe which includes some variation of pork or chicken, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. In the Philippines, adobo is considered the unofficial national dish.

Filipino sweets tend to utilize a lot of rice, coconut, mango, and ube—a sweet, purple yam. Popular desserts include bibingka (hot rice cake topped with butter, cheese, and coconut), kutsinta (brown rice cake), puto (steamed, sweet rice cake), leche flan (caramel custard), and halo-halo (a unique combination of shaved ice, milk, sugar, and additional ingredients such as ube ice cream, jackfruit, red beans, tapioca, and so forth).

Eating Filipino food is a communal affair in which food is typically served all at once, family style. The traditional style of eating Filipino food is known as kamayan which means “eating with your hands.” While eating kamayan style is not the typical norm nowadays, the spirit is still there as a Filipino dinner is often a feast shared amongst many with a variety of dishes on the table and everyone eating together.

Filipino Restaurants

Facebook has groups such as Tindahang Filipino sa Colorado (TFC) brings together Filipino-American entrepreneurs to advertise both their food and non-food wares, as well as network with each other.

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