Getting Used to Filipino Food

My dear wife is from Mindanao, the big southern island in the Philippines. Since she does all the cooking for our family, (I can’t successfully boil water!), I have become used to eating Filipino food.

A big part of my diet is now rice. The Philippines is an asian country, (even Americans know this!), and as such I expected that once we were united here in the USA, we would be eating more rice. I even anticipated her desire for rice prior to her arrival, and made sure that I had a bag of rice waiting and ready for her. Imagine her surprise when I, full of pride at my own thoughtfulness, handed her a bag of ….. brown rice!

I now know better. I know that Jasmine rice is the preferred type to cook, and that brown rice is yucky. I know that rice should NOT be boiled into a mush like we Americans tend to do, and that a rice cooker is an indispensable kitchen tool. I even know that rice should be served with every meal, although I am still rebelling against eating rice for breakfast!

Chicken adobo is delicious, as is embotedo, (a sort of Philippine meatloaf). Bihon and pancit are also good. On her island, Bihon is made with a clear noodle, (rice, I think), while pancit is made with the yellow noodles, which can be egg, corn, or flour based.

We eat lots of fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, and jackfruit, in addition to the more common fruits such as apples, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Her love of fruit undoubtedly arises from all the yummy fruits she grew up with back home. I have even developed a liking for durian, that spiny monster of a fruit whose mushy interior smells faintly of rotten onions, but tastes sweet and exquisite.

Now here is an interesting fact. Suppose I were to ask you what you think the most desired, expensive fruit was in her family when she was a child? With all the wonderful tropical fruits around, would you believe that it was ……. grapes?

Yep. Grapes. Normal, unpretentious table grapes that we buy here in the USA for next to nothing, are an expensive luxury in the provinces of Mindanao. She tells me that when she was little an anticipated Christmas extravagance was the gift of two or three grapes!

I am still developing a palate for dried fish, (too salty!), and fish head soup, (too, uh ….. oh forget it, it’s just plain GROSS!). I love eggs scrambled with silverfish, which are small one inch long or so fish, head and all, and I have developed a liking for soy sauce with my steak. But I refuse to try balut, the thought of which alone makes me want to gag. Do a search for “balut”; I think you’ll agree with me.

With regards to balut, I am lucky; my wife refuses to eat it too!

 

Originally posted on InfoBarrel, with multiple misspellings, then cleaned up and posted on FullofKnowledge.