Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What It's Like- Food (Pagkain)

And the answers to last week's food pictures are-

Dinuguan is a Filipino savory stew of meat and/or offal simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili, and vinegar. The term dinuguan comes from the Filipino word dugo meaning "blood". Not one of my favorites...I've only got up the nerve to eat it once.

A tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. The name rambutan is derived from the Malay/Indonesian word rambutan, meaning "hairy." The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor very reminiscent of grapes. My kids especially love this fruit & will eat as much as I let them.

We quickly learned within the first few days of moving to the Philippines that the main staple is rice. Rice for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. Like many countries in Asia, the livelihood of the Philippines is on growing & eating rice. There are actually several words for rice in the Tagalog language, depending upon what state the rice is in (uncooked, cooked, still growing, etc.). 

Little Josh's favorite restaurant, "Mang Inasal," serves a ball of rice wrapped in banana leaves. This is when he was 4 years old. He has since learned that the only way to eat at "Mang Inasal" is with your hands. (The reason it's his favorite.)

Trying my hand at rice harvesting. (All done by hand.)

If you have money to buy more than rice, then you have "ulam" which is basically anything that goes with rice. Some of the most common are dried fish, a variety of vegetables, meat, or eggs.
We have several favorite "ulams." I will share a few links to recipes if you would like to try them!

One of my very favorite things about living in the Philippines is the abundance of fresh fruit! 
Mangoes, pineapples, papayas, rambutan, bananas...there are actually 5 different kinds of bananas!
We have 2 mango trees as well as a banana tree in our yard. My personal favorite is a tiny citrus fruit called calamansi. It is similar to a key lime/lemon. It makes amazing juice & shakes & is great for seasoning as well. 


Our meals vary greatly depending upon what ingredients are available. We have a young Filipino couple who lives with us, so we usually have one Filipino meal & one American meal a day. 

Living on an island also equals lots of seafood!!! One of our favorites is fried shrimp, complete with heads, skins. & tails that you peel off to eat, & the kids' favorite- clam soup. 

Fresh shrimp

King Crabs
One big fish!

And here are a few links to our favorite ulam!

Thanks for reading my "foody" article! 
Next week is on shopping & getting around!
Ever ride one of these?

1 comment:

  1. We had a 6th variety of banana growing in out yard at Nasuli. It had a red peel and the fruit was a dark yellow, was short and fat and really sweet and rich. I usually couldn't eat a whole one. What about pancit? Enjoy the blog. God Bless.