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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Influence of Other Countries to Philippine Cuisine

Influence of Other Countries to Philippine Cuisine

There are a lot of dishes in the Philippines that lends different experiences to your palette. Foreign countries have influenced a lot of these dishes. This is due to the fact that traders and colonizers have visited the Philippines for centuries. The American and Spanish colonizers, and the Chinese and other Southeast Asian traders influenced and brought about a kaleidoscope in the Filipino way of cooking.

One of the contributors to Philippine cuisine are the Chinese. Chinese influence on Philippine cuisine is found in noodle dishes such as bihon, miki, mami, lomi, sotanghon, and miswa. These are generally called pancit. For instance, in the town of Molo in Iloilo, the Chinese influence on their type of noodle known as pancit molo is an adaptation of wonton soup with an Ilonggo twist.

For many years that Chinese people interacted with the Filipinos. Many of them even decided to stay and live with the Filipinos. Chinese contributed to Philippine cuisine a rice cake made from Philippine ingredients called “hopia”. The making of Hopia was inspired and influenced by the Chinese rice bean cake. The Chinese usually use rice-bean cakes during special occasions.

Unlike other people in Southeast Asian countries, most Filipinos aren’t fond of eating chili. But there is a part of the Philippines, the Bicol region, which uses a variety of spices. Like the folks in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, the people in the Bicol region use chili and coconut milk for a lot of their delicacies.

When the Spaniards came to Philippines, they introduced the Spanish culture. The many Spanish colonies often influenced the Philippines in many different ways. Historians say that 80% of the Philippine cuisine originated from Spanish dishes. For example, Adobo (a well known Filipino dish) is actually a Spanish word for sauce. Adobo means marinated sauce for pork (though there are also other adobo dishes that don’t use pork).

Although Americans didn’t make that much of an influence in Philippine cuisine, they certainly changed the way Filipinos dine. The Americans introduced fast food to the Philippines. Fast food chains are now found almost everywhere in the Philippines nowadays and is a favorite among Filipino children.

These are the influences of many different countries that contribute to Philippine cuisine. That’s why Filipinos embrace the ideas and influences of the other countries. If it were not for these influences to Philippine cuisine there would not be a wonderful array of dishes to delight the palette.

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