Food Culture and Tradition

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Foods Commonly Used in Philippines


Filipinos enjoy salty, cool, and sour tastes. They love to combine many different ingredients in one dish, favor onions and garlic as a base to most preparations, and consider frying one of their favorite methods of cookery. Tropical fruits and vegetables blend happily with pork, chicken, and seafood in an ingenious variety of dishes that borrow from China and Spain but end up definitely Philippine.

Sourness is added with the frequent use of unripe fruits, the juice of the tart calamansi, or vinegars plain or spiced with chilies. Saltiness is most frequently added with the generous addition of either patis, the amber liquid prepared from fermented and salted fish, or bagoong, a popular shrimp paste also fermented and salted. These two condiments are on every meal table, much as salt and pepper shakers are always on the western table. Rice heads the staples list, closely followed by fish and pork, as can be afforded.

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