Saturday, May 07, 2005
Food of the Philippines
Rice is the dietary staple, prepared in a variety of ways and included in desserts as well as main meals. The primary source of protein is fish, and pork and poultry are the most common meats. Garlic is used liberally. A typical meal might consist of boiled rice, fried fish, a vegetable, and fruit for dessert. Fruit is also often eaten for breakfast. Because the Philippines has been influenced by many diverse cultures, the cuisine is also diverse. Meat and fish are often roasted and served on skewers. 'Kare-kare' is a stew of meat and vegetables served in a peanut sauce. A favorite snack is 'halo-halo', a drink made from sweetened beans, milk, and fruits served in colorful layers with crushed ice. At large celebrations, the 'lechon', a stuffed goat or sheep or cow or pig is often roasted over a charcoal fire.
Filipinos usually eat three meals a day, with snack periods between meals. When guests are present, they are seated nearest the head of the home and are always served first. No one eats until after the guest has had a bite or two. It is proper to keep one's hands above the table. Conversation is informal during meals. Although compliments are welcomed, the best way for a guest to show appreciation of the cooking is to eat heartily. A small portion is left on the plate to indicate that the person has had enough to eat.
Lucena 'Nini' Jaramillo