Monday, February 4, 2008

Week #7: Philippine Food Culture According to Bloggers

An American once asked me, "What is it with Filipinos and food?" Of course, it'd be no different from the question, "What is it with Filipino bloggers and food?" Recipes are swapped, secrets in cooking are revealed, memories are unearthed, local cuisines are written about, restaurants and food and cooking are reviewed, some even write about what they ate for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. But what is it with Filipinos and food? Maybe.. the diversity? Each region, each town has its own specialty and delicacy, its own way of preparing a certain Filipino dish, its own perspective on food, and its own traditions. And consider what one writer in the US wrote when talking about Philippine cuisine, "there is no such thing as Filipino food". (Gasp!) Could it be true? Could all our eating and writing about Filipino food be all false and delusional? Or could it be that Filipino food is the original fusion food because as Doreen Fernandez says, we ingest not only food but culture and make our own what we like from others?

So this week, we look at the food culture in the Philippines, according to Filipino bloggers. And find out for ourselves if there really is such a thing as Filipino food.. culture.

But first, a background on Philippine Culture, What Is Filipino Food? by Doreen Fernandez. And from the same site, Reynaldo Alejandro writes about The Basics of Philippine Cooking.

From bloggers:

The Heart and Soul of Filipino Food. Here Connie Veneracion tries to answer her editor's question "What characterizes great Filipino food?" And in another article, she writes about Cultural Differences and Acquired Tastes, a defense of Filipino cuisine.

In a way, it's true that we are known for eating pig's feet and chicken feet, and intestines and blood and snouts, eyes and brains, and duck feotus, but it's also true that we have a whole tradition behind us of food that foreigners and Fil-Ams have never even heard about. They know adobo (because of the band?), pancit and lechon (because they're ubiquitous), and dinuguan (for its icky factor). But do they know Ginataang Kuhol (escargot, snail)? Do they know we eat frog's legs? And dogs? And rats? Bats? Okay, enough joking around.

Here's a list of food as talked about by bloggers:

Pangasinan Cuisine by Kai, she writes a vivid picture of food traditions and introduces us to Pangasinan Cuisine. Who is familiar with intemtem, masikoy (palitaw), inlubi, katiba, unda-unday, inkaldet and patupat?

Filipino Food by Connie Veneracion. Sweets such as palitaw, buko pandan, pichi-pichi, puto maya are everyday snacks for us but curiosities for foreigners.

Or you might want to read Margaret Magat's long essay: Balut: Fertilized duck eggs and their role in Filipino culture.

I will add more blogs here as I find them, that talk not only about Filipino food recipes, but also the preparation, the traditions, the memories, and the culture that are still to be unearthed. Come to think of it, we need more food bloggers writing about Filipino food in their region, as they know it.


sherin said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


teegee said...

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