When most Americans think of Filipino food, they think of oriental food. In fact, most people think that Filipinos are oriental and they’re not. They are Asian, but their ancestries include a little bit of everything, including American. Filipino cuisine is mostly comprised of oriental and latin-influenced ingredients, but there’s enough variations of just about every dish to appease even the most discriminating of tastes.
Lumpia, Fried Rice and so much more
People who have Filipino friends in the US, as well as people who’ve actually dined in the Philippines, will know what I’m talking about. There are so many variations of lumpia and fried rice alone to satisfy people who dislike one ingredient or another. Lumpia, for example, can be made with or without cabbage and using beef, pork or even chicken as the meat ingredient. It can look like a Chinese eggroll or something much slimmer.
I can’t even begin to tell you which variation of fried rice I like the best. I’ve eaten so many different kinds with many different ingredients. I can tell you one thing, though, and that is that I don’t like Chinese fried rice as compared to Filipino fried rice. It just isn’t the same thing.
If you’re a Filipino and you bring Filipino dishes to parties or gatherings where the guests are non-Filipinos, the lumpia is the first food item to disappear. I am an eyewitness to that fact and on many occasions.
Other than the Main Dish
Filipino cuisine includes the desserts, beverages and other items that are uniquely Filipino. Halo-Halo (which means mix-mix in English) contains as many things that are healthy for you along with things that aren’t so healthy, like ice cream. Again, there are many variations to it and I can’t tell you what’s required other than shaved ice.
The key thing about all of this Filipino food is that’s absolutely safe to eat, even if it’s not the most healthy food to eat. Like any other kind of foods, you need to pick out what you like and what you don’t like, what you consider healthy enough and what isn’t. I shy away from most pork-related foods, regardless of what ethnicity they originate from. I stick with mostly chicken and beef. It’s pretty hard to make either one taste bad (you almost have to do it intentionally).
Well, I could go on and on about Filipino food, but you have to experience eating it to appreciate it. Ron Leyba publishes at a Filipino recipes website where you can find out how to make these dishes no matter where you are in the world and I invite you to give it the once over.