Above all else, is food- that is what I’ve found out over the many years I travelled. Food has its way to immerse you to a wide array of colors and emotions, of people, or even an entire culture. It is the perfect cap to the already ecstatic feeling brought by travelling, and most importantly, it provides a foresight to what you can expect the next time you get back. This is what makes food an imperative part of any travelling experience.
Over and over, you are witnesses to my Philippine tourist spot features. This is because I know for a fact that not only will the country gratify your eyes with its tourism and geological diversity, it also offers a distinct and appetizing experience in terms of food. As a born Filipino, I am naturally familiar with the flavors that sizzle the most in my country, and I’m here to give you a heads up on what you can get when you decide to get there. Experience the Philippines one spoonful at a time with these 5 Scrumptious Selections!
If by chance you have been to any Filipino festivities, then I guess you may have already seen what a Lechon looks like. It’s a staple in any occasion in the country, and it has been that way for decades. Why you ask? It is because it is prepared in the most delicate process and has exemplified more than just its mouth-watering taste.
A lechon is basically a whole pig garnished with a variety of local spices which is then roasted over coals. The pig is skewered and turned over for several hours until a crispy, golden-brown skin is achieved. It is paired up with liver sauce that is as meticulously prepared as the main dish itself. The product is a gastronomical reverie, the reason why it is a centerpiece of the Filipino table. Aside from which, the preparation for the overall experience of lechon is hard work which is why every bite of this scrumptious food is followed up by a warm smile, and why you should not miss this experience.
If you want to grab a bite of this century old delicacy, you can stroll around the busy streets of Manila and you will stumble upon a variety of shops that specifically sell Lechon. Make sure to drop by Laloma Street in Quezon City to have a taste of their specialty dish which they are very proud of. Perhaps, if you are in the heart of Visayas, Cebu boasts of their own brand of lechon that is as irresistible!
Variety is the spice of life, and in the Philippines, it is the main attraction. Go on over to northern Luzon and you will be served with their salty sensation that is the Bagnet. Down south, you’ll revel in their sweet and rich Chicken Inasal. But amidst the sweet and salty is a present from the middle of the country itself, a spicy indulgence that you would not dare to slip up. Bicol Express is and will always be a culinary heritage.
From its namesake, Bicol Express originates from the province of Bicol where people love their share of spicy food. While many have claimed their endearment for the fiery and the peppery, nobody beats Bicolanos in this oft argued right. The delicacy is comprised of small cut pork that is simmered in trademark coconut milk or commonly known as gata, and long chilies that’s enough to awaken your taste buds. It’s a pork stew dish that goes best with some rice, and I assure you, you’ll be wanting more rice afterwards. Besides, it’s the perfect side dish!
The perfectness of the Mayon Volcano will be even more perfect when you have a taste of authentic Bicol Express in Waway’s in Legazpi City, Albay, so make sure to pay them a visit! But if you’re in the vicinity of the metro, try out Locavore’s own twisty version, the Green Curry Bicol Express. They’re located at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Noodles are present in most Asian countries despite its origin being in China. There is reason why it is this widespread, if you come to think of it. They are easy to prepare, and can be modified to suit your taste. Such as the case of the Batangas Lomi. This delectable treat hails from the humble province of Batangas, where this dish is its main culinary attraction.
The dish is made up of thick egg noodles in rich an thick broth, made even more rich with a variety of meats like chicken, chorizo, ham, homemade meatballs, hardboiled egg and garnished generously with Chicharrón or pork cracklings. A beloved treat for those at the South of Luzon, it has continued to gain popularity for its homey and authentic feel.
There are a variety of lomi houses in Batangas, but if you’re looking for a tried and testified place, go to Lomi King in Lipa City and have yourself the real feel of a Filipino home. In Manila, make sure to hit up Andy’s Famous Batangas Lomi & Bulalo in Pinyahan, Quezon City if you want to have a share of this steamy food for the soul.
There’s a reason why the province of Pampanga is dubbed as the culinary capital of the Philippines. Aside from their famous breakfast staple, Tocino, and Murcon which is the local version of the meatloaf, this is the place where the Sisig originated. The dish exemplifies the ingenuity of the Filipino in terms of food, as it is mostly composed of leftover cuts of pork infused with pork liver. Sounds a little over the edge, right? But I assure you, once you get a taste of this exotic offering, you’ll never get enough of it.
Now, the dish is prepared in all parts of the country as the dish boomed in popularity for its distinct taste and sizzling flavor. Pair it with rice, or take it while having a drink with friends, it’s a delectable and flexible all at the same time. Try out where it all started in Aling Lucing’s Sisig in Angeles, Pampanga where you’ll be greeted with the Pampanga’s great culinary vibe. The popularity of this dish makes it present everywhere in Manila, but take a trip to Trellis in Diliman, Quezon City to have a taste of the best there is.
There is no argument that savoring in local delicacies is an important part of any trip. It is as important as any other sights you’ll see in a certain place, so be sure to include a portion of your budget to the local culinary. Only then will you be able to discover what truly makes up the country, the people in it, and their taste.
Keep on traveling!