Food in the Philippines usually has two distinct flavors and textures. It’s either very sweet or very sour, either very moist (soup based dishes) or very dry. I think this is the reason you either completely like or you absolutely dislike Filipino food: its blatant direction of taste and texture. There are not really many dishes that you can call somewhat in between…
As widely known, RICE is the main source of food in the Philippines. It is said that Filipinos can survive without water but can’t without rice, and it is true!
The main ingredients for cooking are vinegar, soy sauce and tamarind. All ingredients known to be sour…! Cooking methods are either braising or boiling in or with those mentioned ingredients; Dishes like Adobo or Sinigang are prepared that way.
For the sweets dishes, Filipinos tend to cook or prepare everything with a lot of sugar. Adding some condensed milk and/or coconut milk, you’ll get as a result the very popular leche flan or the buko tart, both super delicious!
We Filipinos are also quite known for our dried food, such as tapa or dried seafood, called “Daing”. The latter is commonly sun dried and marinated in rock salt. After a day or two in the sun, it becomes quite salty and crisp… already good to eat as it is, but very often it will be pan fried to make it even more dry. It is then served as a main course with rice and either fish sauce (very salty) or soy sauce with drops of local lime, to accompany the dry and salty fish with some sourness.
The eating habits of us Filipinos is probably the reason why everybody in our beautiful country is very accommodating and friendly. As you know, a sweet and honest smile comes along with an extra portion of sourness in life.
F&B manager and Executive Chef