International food trends have gotten crazier and crazier over the years, and Filipino food has always been part of that craze: from lumpia to okoy to balut, our local cuisine has never shied away from the spotlight, shared with other huge contenders like ramen, poke, and paleo. However, it seems as if Filipino food has never really made it into the top spot, and has always shared the stage with someone else.
It begs the question: could this year that Filipino food finally takes over the international culinary industry?
Last year, this delicious Ilocano delicacy was touted to become the next Ramen (in terms of hype and popularity). In a survey conducted by Thrillist on its subscribers, they had asked which regional and ethnic dish was going to take over the Japanese noodle broth soup. And though many had chosen Vietnam’s Banh Mi, Korea’s Bibimbap, as well as many others, the Ilocano Empanada topped the list. However, the year had ended, yet the empanada was still unable to take its rightful place among other culinary wonders. Maybe it will finally be crowned this year?
Another 2016 contender, Ube had shared the stage later on in the year with other international culinary wonders like Sriracha and craft coffee. It was transformed from the typical Ube ice cream and kakanin to all sorts of delicious treats like Ube donuts and cakes by innovative chefs (both Filipino and non-Filipino alike) based primarily in New York. For Filipinos all over the world, Ube has been an integral part of our childhood, and for Filipinos living in the US to see it so easily accessible must have been a dream come true. However, the dream was soon dashed as the trend for Ube-infused dishes quickly took a backseat, but may take centerstage again this 2017.
It’s been said that Filipinos, like most Southeast Asians, love spicy food. In fact, one could say that anything spicy is easily loved by Filipinos: from Sriracha, to spicy bagoong, to sili ice cream, give a Filipino anything tasty and spicy, and he or she will probably love it—especially if said Filipino hails from the fiery land of Bicol. Could 2017 finally be the year for the bright, sunny, and spicy cuisine of the Philippines to shine? Filipinos seem to think so, and even helped First Colonial Grill’s Sili Ice Cream bag an award at the first-ever Choose Philippines Awards!
Love it or hate it, but this strange chicken embryo is as Filipino as Filipino food gets. Loved by foreigners, yet detested by some Filipinos, the weird aphrodisiac has received become synonymous with exotic cuisine, and is often used to challenge the fortitude of many brave foreigners. It’s been on the international radar for countless years already, but has never seemed to break through and become the icon of Filipino cuisine we know and want it to be. Maybe 2017 is balut’s time to shine?
Arroz Caldo (and other Filipino comfort food)
Any cuisine needs to have something warm, cozy, and comforting, and of course, Filipino cuisine is not exempted. Our comfort food takes the size and shape of many dishes, however, when we feel somewhat under the weather, we always seem to gravitate towards a nice bowl of arroz caldo, or its more economical cousin, the goto. Regardless of what your preference is, many Filipinos simply love one or the other, and would quickly grab any opportunity to have a bowl of this heavenly concoction. And surely, if it’s good enough for us, it should be good enough for other nationalities who already love our food.
These are our predictions for 2017, solely based on their performance last year, both locally and internationally. Which food are you most excited about? Tell us down in the comments, or better yet, share your photos over at www.ChoosePhilippines.com!