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American Food Critic: "Philippines is Bursting with a Multitude of Delicious Food Traditions"

Rafael Reynante
Rafael Reynante | Jul 30, 2015

Filipino food, despite the sheer popularity of fusion and global cuisine nowadays, still somehow eludes the mainstream, with many potential consumers not catching wind of it, apart from the Fear Factor-popularized balut or isaw. Despite the general lack of awareness many people may have regarding our cuisine, there are still groups and institutions who openly accept and promote the food.

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Take for example, Caron Golden, writing for the San Diego Union Tribune. Her first foray into the world of Filipino food came from a sampling of pan de sal back in 1988. She has craved sweet, pillow-soft buns ever since.

Screencap from The San Diego Tribune

"With a tropical climate, multiple languages, diverse geographical zones — including 7,000 islands — and more than 120 ethnic groups, the Philippines is bursting with a multitude of delicious food traditions," Caron said. 

She also noted that "like the culture it hails from, Filipino food is a diverse melting pot of ethnic traditions"

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Recently, she was invited by Evan Cruz, the executive chef of Arterra in Marriott San Diego to dine with his family in their home in Chula Vista, San Diego, California. Here, she was served pancit with pork, shrimp, and chicken, kare-kare, ginataang gabi, classic lumpia (and turon, as well), and liempo with liver sauce, all of which she enjoyed very much.

From The San Diego Union Tribune

She was also lucky enough to have been able to sample on of the most iconic dishes in the Philippines: the adobo, made with pork and chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns. It is perhaps the only dish that has no single recipe or “correct” way of making, yet is still loved by all Filipinos no matter the age, status, or geography.

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After sampling all these delicious food, Caron easily describes Filipino food as easy, simple, deeply historical, and universally traditional, at least for Cruz and his family. Maybe that’s how all Filipino families are like.

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