Food is one of the vibrant notches of the Philippine culture. Filipino cuisine is a varied mix of different food culture and influences of its neighboring countries and distant colonizers. It is a unique fusion of Eastern and Western flavors, with spicy blends from the Malay, Indonesian and Thai settlers, distinct Arab and Chinese victuals, as well as tangy zest of Spanish, American and Japanese cuisine accents.
Truly, Philippines gastronomic flair is a delightful bliss of wide-ranging combinations of sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavors. In more than 300 years of Spanish colonization, Filipinos became accustomed with various foods used to prepare and serve during fiestas, parties, and any sort of celebrations. This included thick, rich stews such as pochero, mechado, caldereta, afritada, and other meat dishes. They also introduced the relleno, embutido, paella, several seafood dishes and appetizing desserts like leche flan, brazos, and pastillas. Indeed, they posted a very strong influence in the Filipino culinary scene.
When the Philippines became a colony of the United States, Americans commenced other convenient, practical ways of cooking by means of pressure cooking, freezing, and pre-cooking methods. They added zest to Filipino taste and among the evident and famous food influences are sandwiches, pizzas, fried chicken, salads, hamburgers, hotdogs and canned foods, which in fact caters to instant, appetite pleasure.
The Japanese also made their way into Filipino cooking. The availability of varied flavors and kinds of sushi, sashimi, tonkatsu, misono, tempura, teriyaki and others Japanese dishes spiced up the Filipino gastronomic preference. Chinese traders brought in the whole noodle business in the country. Pancit bihon, canton, miki, sotanghon, and other Filipino favorited kikiam, siopao, siomai, lumpia, hopia, and tikoy. Indonesian, Malay and Thai food influences are greatly shown in different Pinoy dishes. The use of spices and other flavorings in food comes from these Asian neighbors, as well as sweet delicacies particularly those made from rice and coconut. Also, the Filipino cooking derived culinary influence from French, Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese cuisines.
Philippine cuisine is truly where east meets west. It is an abundant range of the unique flavors from different culture where Filipinos already blend it with their own style of cooking and created a diverse set of menu with authentic Pinoy taste. Through the years, Filipinos’ vast culinary choices continue to discover outlandish combinations of flavors and ingredients to create exceptional food ideas that even tickle the foreign palate.
Today, advanced technology shapes the modern cooking methods and processes, which enables more comprehensive way of preparing and cooking meals, in quick and easy manners. The creation of various kitchen appliances aids every Pinoy home chef with the right partner to solve their kitchen quandaries. These breakthroughs greatly contribute to simplicity of cooking lifestyle.
The Pinoy’s culinary succession will continue to delight and inspire the enthused sense of taste, to seek and craft enticing cuisines that will also go beyond every culture.