Philippines: The Unique Philippine Cuisine Tour
Filipino culture would not be complete without food. Every household has a specialty and every province has something they call their own. In fact, a recent CNN Poll has shown that the Philippines is in the Top 5 of places with the best food in the world.
Interested to know where you can try the best Filipino food in the country? Read on and find out!
1. Uvud Balls of Batanes
A different kind of “meatballs”, uvud balls are made from banana heart, flying fish, and meat—definitely something new worth trying out! The interesting mix of ingredients just melts in your mouth, and leaves a tangy but sumptuous flavor that would surely make you crave for more!
Have some at Pension Ivatan Restaurant.
2. Aeta Forest Food of Tarlac
Served on banana leaves, this is a hefty mix of mountain yams, cassava, ube, corn, and wild bananas freshly made by Aetas. Other than being a flavorful treat, this is said to cure trembling hands, too!
Visit the Aeta Forest Food Festival happening every April in Tarlac, and have your taste of this delicacy.
3. Sisig of Pampanga
Culinary expert Anthony Bourdain loves sisig—and you most certainly will, too! Invented by Lucia Cunanan, more popularly known as Aling Lucing, in the 70s, sisig is made from pig’s head, ears, and liver marinated in calamansi and chili peppers, and often eaten with sunny side up egg. You’ll find it hard to stop once you start digging into this Kapampangan favorite.
Savor the best sisig at Aling Lucing Sisig Restaurant in Angeles City, Pampanga.
4. Alagao Rolls of Antipolo
Known as a versatile leaf, Alagao is now used as a vegetable spring roll wrap in Antipolo. The leaf is filled with some nuts, ginger, minced basil leaves, alamang, minced onions, garlic, and chili (if preferred.) Eat it with a special dark sauce and you’ll understand what the rave is all about!
Go and have some Alagao rolls at Crescent Moon Café in Antipolo.
5. Pakaskas of Batangas
Pakaskas is a deliciously sweet snack made from buri palm sugar molds, native to the province of Batangas. It has a unique sweet kick that’s unlike any other. Think of suman (glutinous rice cake), but with a lot more texture!
Buy some at Brgy. San Agapito, Batangas.
6. Bibingka of Marinduque
image source: spot.ph
Bibingka or rice and coconut milk cake is one of the signs that the Christmas season in the Philippines is about to start. This cake is cooked both on top and at the bottom. Salted eggs give it a special salty yet palatable taste. It is best enjoyed with puto bumbong (sticky glutinous rice) and salabat.
The richest and biggest bibingka can be found in Boac, Marinduque.
7. Lechon Cebu of Cebu
Lechon, or roast pig, is made even more special in Cebu, the Lechon Capital of the World. The pig is not just spit-roasted whole, it is filled up with herbs and spices as well. The most coveted part, the skin, is deliciously crunchy,and the perfect blend of herbs and spices explodes in your mouth! It tastes great, with or without a special dipping sauce.
Try Zubuchon Lechon—you definitely won’t be disappointed.
8. Binungay of Pangasinan
Another rice cake delicacy, this one is made by placing sticky rice and coconut milk in bamboo, covering it with banana leaf, and cooking it in the oven. It’s best eaten with sugar, coffee, or a sumptuous serving of hot chocolate.
The streets of Bolinao have a lot of Binungay stalls. Go check them out.
9. Poqui-Poqui of Vigan
Poqui-poqui is also known as ensaladang talong or eggplant salad made with egg, tomatoes, garlic, and vinegar. The appetizing and healthy delicacy is famous in the Ilocos Region, and other provinces in the north such as Cagayan and Pangasinan.
Try Kusina Felicitas’ poqui-poqui. It is the best.
10. Kinilaw na Tuna of Davao
Kinilaw na Tuna is cubed sashimi, but what’s special about this is the unique kick that you get out of every mouthful. Tuna meat is soaked in vinegar, onions, and some tomatoes that give the dish a strong, but not overpowering flavor.
The best kinilaw can be found at Luz Kinilaw Place—go try some.
11. Kinalas of Naga
Kinalas is another variation of kansi or batchoy (noodle soup with pork organs and pork cracklings.) A warm soup dish best enjoyed during the rainy season, it is popular in Camarines Sur. Drizzle some calamansi and it gets even more perfect.
Try it at Enting’s Kinalas—it’s so good.
12. Sili Shake of Bicol
Bicolanos sure love spicy food, and apparently, even drinks! Sili shake is of course, made from chili—and is best taken in slow slurps to better savor the zesty flavor.
Try some at Bicol Blends Café.
13. Binakol of Aklan
Aklan is not just home to Boracay, but also to Binakol, or chicken cooked in bamboo! It’s similar to tinola, but a taste of it will make you realize it is definitely something else.
The best binakol can be found at Saylo Cuisine in Kalibo, Aklan.
14. Harug of Surigao Del Norte
Harug is a special version of ginataan, which is made by boiling and mashing mongo, and mixing it with glutinous rice, squash, salt, and cassava. Comfort food at its finest!
A lot of stalls in Bucas Grande Island, Surigao, sell this—don’t be scared to ask.
15. Adobo of Manila
And finally, a trip to the Philippines is not complete without eating adobo. Each province has a different version the Filipino favorite, so it’s hard to qualify where you should eat—but if you want to try specialty adobos such as spicy, coco, cheesy, and even your good old regular adobo, go to Adobo ‘To Restaurant in Ortigas—they have some of the best.
What are you waiting for? Satisfy your gastronomic cravings and try these culinary masterpieces now!