Philippines

Food & Drink

 
 
Filipino cuisine has developed from different cultures that shape its history. It is a mélange of Malay, Indian, Chinese, Arab, American, Japanese, and Spanish influences. Filipino food depends more on garlic, onions and ginger to add flavor to dishes. Most of Filipino food comprise of seafoods such as tilapia (St. Peter’s fish), bangus (milkfish), hito (catfish), hipon (shrimp), lapu-lapu (grouper), tuna and tahong (mussels). Meat staples such as of pork, chicken, beef, and sometimes carabeef (carabao’s meat). Dairy foods like milk, cheese and butter. And Vegetables such like 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. Filipino food is filled with tradition and diverse richness of colours, flavours and history.
 
Popular dishes include:
 
Adobo:
This dish is considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. It consists of pork or chicken (sometimes both) that has been stewed or braised in a sauce of vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and soy sauce.
 
Bistek:
This is the Filipino version of beef steak and is thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in soy sauce and calamansi. The beef is pan-fried and served with onions.
 
Lechón:
This is the centerpiece of many Filipino celebrations and is a whole roasted pig (sometimes suckling pigs or cattle calves are substituted).
Chilled drinks are popular due to the tropical climate. Stands selling cold fruit drinks and fruit shakes are common in many of the city areas, where some are based on green mandarin orange pomelo pineapple, banana, and soursop . The shakes usually contain crushed ice, evaporated or condensed milk, and fruits like the perennially popular mango. Other fruit flavors are melon, papaya, avocado, watermelon, strawberry, and durian to name a few.
Other chilled drinks include sago't gulaman, a flavored ice drink of pre-Hispanic Malay origin (Malay: gula melaka) with sago and agar gelatin with banana extract sometimes added to the accompanying syrup; fresh buko or coconut juice, the water or juice straight out of a young coconut via an inserted straw, a less fresh variation of which is from bottled coconut juice, scraped coconut flesh, sugar, and water; and kalamansi juice, the juice of kalamansi or Philippine limes usually sweetened with honey, syrup or sugar.