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5 Unique Foods to Try in the Philippines

5 Unique Foods to Try in the Philippines

The Philippines is a country visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world, the visitor arrival in the country has increased over the years. In the year of 2013 the tourism sector of the Philippines has enjoyed an 11.40% growth. There were around 3,149,985 international visitors who took a chance and visited this country; some of them were able to try some of the best Philippine cuisines.

The food in the Philippines is mostly influenced by the Chinese, Spaniards, Malays and Americans. Most of the Philippine cuisines are associated with Spanish, Malay, Chinese and American culture, including that of the indigenous ingredients that are considered a part of the local palate. Filipinos are fond of eating fried salted fish with fried rice, paellas that have been influenced by the Spaniards, including lechon (roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage as well as cured beef), omelette and adobo chicken, or pork meat boiled together with soy sauce, vinegar and oil. There are more elaborate kinds of Philippine foods that tourists can try aside from this common Filipino dish, just like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand this country has its own set of exotic dishes.

Here is a list of 5 unique foods from the Philippines:

www.faraweek.org 5 Unique Foods to try in the Philippines  Dinuguan
Dinuguan

This dish is on top of the list due to the fact that it is a dish well loved by Filipinos, it is made from blood stew coming from simmered meat, and it includes the kidneys, intestines, lungs, heart, ears and snout of the pig. Tourists would enjoy tasting this unique dish; Filipinos usually add garlic, chili and vinegar for additional taste, same pair this dish with bread or Philippine rice cakes called “put-to”. (Image by Aryan Magat)

The English translation of this dish is a blood pudding stew or pork blood stew; some foreigners call it the chocolate malt. A lot of foreigners are not too keen in eating this dish, but there is no need to worry, this dish usually tastes just like any European-style blood sausage. This dish can be served with choice cuts of pork; it can also be made from chicken meat and beef.

www.faraweek.org 5 Unique Foods to try in the Philippines  Camaro
Camaro

This dish is composed of fried cricket; the locals clean the cricket and remove the wings, feet and head.  After that they will add crushed garlic and onions as well as tomatoes to add flavor to the dish. Some marinate the cricket and then simmer it for 30 seconds until it is dried up. Eating Camaro is one of the local attractions in some provinces in the Philippines like Pampanga. Filipinos love it because the dish is crunchy and a bit sweet. (Image by ricardo)

Pinikpikan

Others jokingly called this dish “Killing me softly”, this is due to the fact that a live chicken is beaten to death slowly using a stick, and they will wait for the skin to bruise until the blood comes out of the surface. This is done in order to tenderize the meat; they say it makes the chicken meat tastier. The feathers are then removed by burning, after that the meat will be boiled with salt and cured pork. It is a top delicacy for Filipinos in the highlands; it is often eaten during bonfires picnics or people camping in the forest. Some add vegetables of their choice like chayote or papaya.

Soup No.5

This dish is an example of the happy go lucky way of life by Filipinos; they name their food using humour. The Soup No.5 is made from a Bull’s testes and penis, only brave individuals are sure to try this dish. It is often eaten by males, it is seen as an aphrodisiac, males who are eating this dish are said to be manly. Despite the fact that it is not really an aphrodisiac due to low zinc content when cooked, it remains to be a top dish for men who are in an unusual beer match.

www.faraweek.org 5 Unique Foods to try in the Philippines  Balut
Balut

This dish was once rated as the most disgusting food in the world; however the locals eat this dish every day. It is common to see people eating an eleven-day old duck egg that is boiled to perfection. The eggs have a slimy texture and odd appearance, especially the duck fetus with feathers, but this delicacy tastes really good and is easily sold anywhere in the Philippines. (Image by shankar s)

Philippine cuisine is indeed diverse and interesting, there are hundreds of islands in the country and there is always a new dish that travelers can try and explore. The food is prepared according to the climate and the traditional beliefs of the people, but there are also dishes that have been re-interpreted in order to fit the modern times.

 

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Feature image by Reynaldo Opaw Ramas