Philippine cuisine, influenced by cultures as varied as Malay, Indian, Arab, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and American, is finding new popularity in the United States with a variety of new restaurants, competitions and prominent chefs.
The cuisine is characterized by a combination of sweet, salty and sour flavors, and dishes are often served as a single presentation. Popular Filipino meals include paellas, lechón (whole roasted pig), tapa (cured beef, often served with garlic fried rice and egg), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken or pork braised in vinegar, oil and soy sauce), pancit (noodles) and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).
On the West Coast, the annual Kulinarya, a Filipino culinary showdown in San Francisco, pits amateur and professional chefs against one another in a cooking competition and food showcase, where traditional Filipino dishes are judged on taste, creativity and presentation.
That exposure, coupled with the influx of experienced Filipino chefs, is likely to keep Americans hungry for more of the Filipinos’ exotic and exciting cuisine.