Tropical JOE

My Food Blog

Filipino Cuisine - a Diary

Posted by Ireno Alcala on May 23, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I'm a writer-hubber-blogger rolled into one. I love recording details of what I do everyday, especial things that interest me.

Right now, I am sharing my experiences about our food, the Filipino Cuisine.With a retentive memory, at this moment, I'll record what I remember so that I can always go back to it and appreciate good things, even bad experiences I still can recall.

If you do not read it from my other site, I will share it for you here at Tropical JOE. That's me. So, read on....

1. 1971-1978 - The first seven years of my life...There were workers sleeping in our homestead (my father was the assistant or caretaker of the hacienda). Everyday there were sumptous meals being prepared in the kitchen by several household help. I first tasted pork adobo, chicken in coconut milk, pork sinigang, chopsuey, even exotic foods like cooked  non-poisonous snake and monitor lizards. Everytime I woke up in the morning, fried rice with tuyo or dried fish with estrellado or sunny side-up egg and carabao's fresh milk tickled my palate. I was a child full of curiousity, that even accidentally eaten the siling labuyo (hot small peppers) anticipating the it's red coloring means sweet flavor.Tomato enchiladas always accompany every Filipino breakfast. Longganisa and beef tapa were also an enticing morning treat to me.

Most of our dishes in Bicol, Philippines is normally cooked with coconut milk. During fiestas, my relatives will always come and help prepare festive dishes like kare-kare or beef oxtail  in peanut sauce, mechado, menudo, afritada, igado, and of course, dinuguan.

Being a child, then, lured you to eat most of the sweets, like cassava rock n'roll, leche flan, buko salad, maja blanca, bukayo or sweetened young coconut meat.

2. 1979-1988 - I was introduced to other Filipino dishes in school cafeterias and restaurants. I became acquainted with many kinds of noodle delicacies. Rice cakes or puto with pork blood or dinuguan compliments with each other. I was appreciating the influence of  Chinese cuisine in our cooking. Pancit bihon, pancit lomi, miswa, canton  are still my favorites. I learn to use chopstick when my friends frequent the local Chinese restaurant fusing Chinese cooking into Filipino dishes.

I will not forget my favorite snack in high school, banana cake  or nilupak and of course, halo-halo!

3 1988-1999 - College and Radio days... Pancit loglog and beef bulalo or kinalas were among my usual dish for breakfast and lunch. I balanced it with chopsuey or Chinese vegetable platter. Lechon or roasted pork, lumpia and other regional dishes were my next discovery then. I began tasting other Filipino dishes due to some parties and social functions I attended as a mediaman.

4. 2000 - onwards - Working in a Filipino-Chinese fastfood chain gave me an inspiration of pursuing my other interest, in cooking. I've trained and worked as food service crew and cook trainee in  Chowking (Edsa-Taft, Pasay City, Manila). After three months, I was called to be the resident cook at the seaman's center of my first shipping company (UNLAD Ship Manning & Management, Inc.). I continued learning about food purchasing, food preparation and victualling. Almost all the recipes we cooked were Filipino dishes. Until my first contract as a seafarer in 2001. I stil cook Filipino dishes onboard ship. They prefer Lutong Bahay  or Filipino Country Cooking because it helps most of the Filipino seafarers to be at home inside the ship and eases the burden of homesickness.

Exposing myself here, according to the foods that I savored and enjoyed for the first four decades of my life, is a satisfying one.

Learn a thing or two about my food stories. It can have similarities from you, too!


Categories: My Food Blog

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