Most Filipino food and dishes are a delectable blend of native and foreign cuisines that have evolved through the centuries. Historians narrate that a couple of hundred years ago, foreign traders and settlers, colonizers and missionaries brought with them their native recipes and unique style of cooking to the Philippines. Culinary artefacts and centuries-old pottery cooking were excavated from the central and southern part of the country proved that the Philippine cuisine was influenced by Austronesian origins mixed with cuisines from the Spaniards, Americans, Chinese along with the culinary impressions from other neighbouring Asian countries. The dishes adopted from these foreign influences were adapted to domestic ingredients and to the delicate local palate.
However, preceding the invasion of these foreigners roughly four centuries ago, primitive Filipinos already had their original Pinoy recipes such as Insarabasab, Kilawin, Dinakdakan, Inihaw, Dinengdeng, Bulalo and Papaitan to name a few.
Most Filipino foods comprise of seafood such as tilapia (St. Peter’s fish), bangus (milkfish), hito (catfish), hipon (shrimp), lapu-lapu (grouper), tuna and tahong (mussels). Meat staples such as pork, chicken, beef, and sometimes carabeef (carabao’s meat). Dairy foods like milk, cheese and butter. And Vegetables such as kangkong (spinach), talong (eggplant), pechay (Napa cabbage), and sitaw (yard-long beans). Combinations of these ingredients are seasoned with local and imported spices cooked through roasting, grilling, broiling or steaming. Part of the Pinoy custom is to eat three full meals in a day. And no meal would ever be complete without a serving of plain or fried rice.
The Filipino cuisine ranges from the simplest meal of rice paired with salted red egg and fried dried fish, to the more elaborate preparation of cozidos and paellas especially prepared during fiestas.
Among the most popular Pinoy recipe are the infamous lechon or roasted suckling pig, adobo (braised pork and/or chicken in soy sauce, cooking oil, vinegar, bay leaf and garlic), a meat dish called afritada (simmered pork and/or chicken in tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots), kare-kare (oxtail stew and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce and is customarily served with a shrimp paste (known as ‘bagoong alamang’), longganisa (Filipino-style sausage), crispy pata (deep-fried pig’s leg and other portion served with a flavoured dipping), lumpia (fried or fresh spring rolls), sinigang (seafood or meat in sour broth), a variety of pancit or pansit (noodle) dishes, kaldereta (meat dish in tomato sauce/paste with liver spread), mechado (larded beef cooked in seasoned tomato sauce), sisig (bits of pig’s ears and liver, fried and sizzled).
Filipino food is filled with tradition and diverse richness of colours, flavours and history.