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Philippines Cuisine

Filipino cuisine is a blend of the exotic and familiar. Just as the Filipino people are part Malay, Chinese and Spanish, so is the cooking of the Philippines. And more recently other cultures have influenced Filipino food. These influences have come from the Americans, Japanese, and Germans.

Spanish additions to the Filipino cuisine predominate. It has been said that about 80 percent of the dishes prepared in the Philippines today can be traced to Spain. The Spaniards introduced tomatoes and garlic along with the technique of sauteing them with onions in olive oil.

On a buffet table one might find, for example, kinilaw na tanguingue which is mackerel dressed with vinegar, ginger, onions, hot peppers, perhaps coconut milk; also grilled tiger shrimp, and maybe sinigang na baboy which is pork and vegetables in a broth soured with tamarind. You can also expect to see pansit – noodles in a sweet-sour sauce, morcon (beef rolls), embutido (pork rolls), fish escabeche and stuffed chicken or turkey might be there too.

Lechon, or spit-roasted pig is the common centerpiece food while vegetable dishes are also present and could include an American salad and a pinakbet (vegetables and shrimps paste).

When it comes to dessert, leche flan(caramel custard) is very popular and so is natilla, yemas, dulces de naranja, membrillo, and torta del rey just to name a few and fruits in syrup (coconut, santol and pasta).