Food in the Philippines

Food in the Philippines provides great variety. One can find the same standard American style fast food chains found all over the world. There is also a good presence of Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian restaurants to choose from. Depending on where you go in the country, this variety is either more or less plentiful. In my time there, I noticed a few dishes that seemed to be among the most popular local staples on the dinner table.

Pancit – this is your basic Filipino noodle. It is a light, thin noodle, similar in size to Vermicelli. It is one of the most basic and simple dishes in the Philippines, but can be served in seemingly endless variation. A standard order of Pancit comes with sautéed vegetables, shrimp, and hard-boiled egg.

Longganisa – This is a Filipino style sausage. Usually it is cooked with a host of spices indigenous to the particular area, and typically carries a significantly sweet flavor. However, longganisa can be very different depending on where you are in the Philippines. Sometimes it is distinctly garlicky, salty, or even sour.

Sweet Meats – It should be noted that most any types of meats in the Philippines will carry the subtle sweetness that seems to be a staple of Asian cuisine. The degree of sweetness seemed to bee a bit more intense here, and it was standard for every type of meat, from poultry, to fish, to heavier red meats.

Balut – A hard-boiled fertilized chicken egg with a partially formed fetus inside. This I found mentioned repeatedly in my guidebook and referenced endlessly online, though I sadly never came across it while in the country. I’d read that it was a difficult dish to swallow, to say the least, but that only inspired me even more to try it. I kept a look out for it and, despite it’s alleged popularity in the country, I never did get a chance to try it.

San Miguel – I’ve seen people pay a lot of money in different parts of the world to enjoy this beer. In the Philippines, the San Miguel Corporation is one of the country’s most successful companies in the domestic market and their beer seems to be the refreshment of choice.

Fruits/Juices – The fresh juices and fruit smoothies should definitely be on your list of things to experience in the Philippines. There are endless fruit carts offering fresh mango juice. Here the mangoes are slightly smaller, though vibrantly yellow with a strong flavor to match. Huge Buko coconuts can be purchased anywhere. Juice stall workers simply slice the top off and poke in a hole to fit a straw in. Calamansi juice is also very popular to the area. It is a small citrus fruit that, when squeezed, tastes similar to a guava-mango combination, though with none of the pulp.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | December 20, 2010
Category: Asia, Food and Drink

4 Responses to “Food in the Philippines”

  1. mia Says:

    Thanks so much for featuring the Philippines! I’m very proud of our culinary offerings. But my lord, the lechon belongs to this list! 😀 Anthony Bourdain DID say that our lechon (suckling pig) is the best pork in the world. If any of you guys visit us, hit me up and my friends and I will take you to the best places to eat around here.

  2. larry enriquez Says:

    there’s so much to eat here in the philippines, basically a plethora of flavors. the sisig should also be included as well as the crispy pata! just like what mia offered, if any you guys decide to go to the philippines hit me up and i can take you to the best places to eat!