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The Food in the Philippines Amazing Flavors

Updated on April 18, 2011

Filipino Roasted Pork

Foods in the Philippines

The foods in the Philippines are just awesome from big plates of roasted pork and rice to the sweetest mangoes and bananas. You will enjoy the hospitality and the amazing food in the Philippines if you are planning a trip to one of the many islands. Every meal will come with a heaping bowl of rice whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner rice will be a part of the meal. The fresh fruits and fresh seafood is worth all the hassles of traveling through the Manila airport to get to your destination.

During a sit down lunch you will often get the luxury to watch interesting Filipino variety TV shows like Pilipinas Win na Win and Showtime, were the average person in the stands is just as likely to put on a great performance as the hired special guests are.

Rice Prepared and Packaged

Rice will be on the plate

Probably the major source of carbohydrates for Filipinos, rice or bigas is almost never absent in any meal. This usually goes along with the main course.

There are several kinds of rice available in the Philippines, (as shown in the photos), white, red and black rice, depending on how it was milled.

Travelling through the provinces you will see lots of rice fields and people harvesting and preparing rice for consumption. When at gatherings with any considerable number of people the size of the rice pot is just huge and generally there is more than one.

Philippines Bananas

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Fruits in the Philippines

The Philippines is truly abundant with various fruits in the market.  With its steady weather conditions, fruits such as bananas, mangoes, watermelon, citrus fruits, apples and other tropical fruits are mostly available throughout the year.  

Filipino Vegetables

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Vegetables are abundant as well

Like fruits, varieties of vegetables are also abundant in the Philippines.  It is then inevitable that most provinces and islands in the country have diverse ways of preparing their dishes, depending on what is abundant in their area.

In the photos: local pumpkin, or kalabasa, and tomatoes, or kamatis.

Yellow Corn

Yellow corn, or mais, is also a common source of carbohydrates for most Filipinos. It is very abundant in the country, that it can even be seen and sold in the sidewalks (as seen in the photo), usually steamed.

Meats on the Menu

The common livestock grown in most Filipino farms are pigs, chickens, and cows. With Filipinos eating almost every part of these livestock, including animal fat, innards and even blood, there is no doubt, meat farms are viable businesses in the country.

Some eat goat, and even dog meat for food, but as a tourist there should be no cause for concern about being fed something unusual unless you seek it out.

Seafoods of all kinds will be a regular item on the menu and table. There are lots of amazing selections of shrimps of all sizes, crabs, and different types of fish as well as little oddities like seashells that when dipped in a special little spicy sauce are not that bad after being plucked from their shells.

Filipino Appetizers

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Appetizers and Side Dishes - Kilawin and Sisig

 Kilawin, kinilaw or kilaw (in Southern Philippines), is probably the most popular appetizer in the country.  This is a dish where meat and spices are initially soaked in coconut milk (or for some, they use Mayonnaise), and then later bathed with vinegar ready for serving.

 Kilawing Isda is raw fish soaked in vinegar, mixed with spices, such as, ginger and bell pepper.  

 Kilawing Baboy is pre-cooked pork, normally fried, and soaked in vinegar.  This is also mixed with spices, such as, ginger and pepper, depending on taste. 

Sisig is another popular appetizer, usually made of pork mascara (face), nose, and ears, finely chopped and then mixed with several spices, such as, onions, and chili.  This is normally served on a sizzling plate,

 This dish is also famous to be present in most drinking sessions with the buddies, as “pulutan”, and jokingly referred to as tinutulak (pushed to the stomach by the alcohol), counterpart for pantulak (the alcohol).

Chicharong Bulaklak (flower – derived from its physical shape) is another common appetizer available in most Filipino restaurants.  This is pork intestine, marinated in salt and spices, deep fried to perfection.

Lumpia Before Being Fried

Lumpia Ready to be Eaten

Fried Lumpia are the Best

Lumpia, or spring roll, is an appetizer from Chinese origins. This dish is a mix of sauteed vegetables like mongo sprouts, baguio beans, carrots that are covered in lumpia wrapper and fried until crisp. They are usually served with vinegar and garlic dip/sauce. Lumpia's are just an excellent snack or meal and pop with lots of flavor. A little banana ketchup as dipping sauce is also a nice alternative to the traditional sauces.

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