History of Filipino Cuisine

Filipino food is a culmination of many different cultural influences. Two of the most prevalent cultures are Spanish and Chinese. During the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, Filipinos learned much about their food and began to use their spices and eventually became a part of the spice trade between Spain, the Phillippines, and Tidorein Maluka.

Chinese food was also introduced into the Philippines as a result of trade in the early 15th century. Other influential traders included Arabs and Indians. Eventually when the Americans entered the Philippines, Filipino cuisine picked up their influences, solidifying one of the most diverse cuisines in the world.

So what dishes can truly be considered Filipino? There are plenty! Starting with appetizers, Filipino’s are best known for using their hands to eat the small finger foods that come with the first course. Appetizers can include anything from fish to meat, nuts and chips. They are often served before dinner or at large family lunches.

Filipino soups and salads are also an exciting surprise for taste buds. Most Filipino soups are seafood based and are served with rice. They may also be used as dipping sauces to other dishes. Many of the soups are prepared using one of the most important Filipino ingredients, coconut milk. In some regions of the Philippines, seafood salads are considered a specialty. They are easy to prepare and delicious to eat.

Main Filipino dishes are often seafood based too, using fish such as shrimp, squid, clams, milkfish, mussels, and crabs. Chicken is also a common ingredient in Filipino cuisine and is mixed in with many dishes.

Saving the best for last, Filipino desserts are served after every important meal. The most common are puddings and often contain ingredients like coconut milk, ginger, and cinnamon. One popular desert ingredient is young coconut, also known as Buko. This ingredient is the basis for many desserts including Bukayo, which is made using coconuts, brown sugar, coconut juice and flour. Once cooked together, they are rolled into little balls and eaten hot.

If you’re looking to cook Filipino cuisine, you can buy Filipino groceries either in a store or online. A great place to look online is PhilAmFood.com. Some important things to buy are seafood, coconut milk, rice, and don’t forget pudding for desert. Important vegetables are ginger, tamarind and lemon grass. If you’ve never used these ingredients before, try and experiment with different recipes. The rich heritage of Filipino food centers on experimentation of different cuisines, so you shouldn’t be shy when picking out Filipino groceries.