FILIPINO  CUISINE  AND  MAINSTREAM  AMERICA
Why not as popular as Thai, Chinese and other Asian cuisines?
Another researched and exclusive article by the people of the www.epilipinas.com
        
This is the Filipinos' favorite topic other than politics. Filipinos for 
a fact are fond of eating. Whether in expensive restaurants or at Mom's 
kitchen, we eat with gusto.Do we live to eat or eat to live? - I guess 
both, what is life without those cholesterol loaded and high fat 
gastronomical Filipino cooking. Filipino men love to cook and exchanging
recipes among them is common. My brother-in-law would call my wife just
to make sure he is doing it right. 

We delight our selves with fine Filipino cooking whenever there are 
occasions - a grand feast or fiesta. On such occasions, we showcase 
the Filipino dishes that are blending of the various cooking styles and 
cultures that are made with Filipino touched. And we never run out of 
occasions, sometimes we invite people just for a get together and 
to eat. Potluck is very common among Filipinos, we usually bring our 
favorite dish which we cooked ourselves - well most of the time.
 
I remember aeons ago (on internet years), when Josephine Roberto, a
singer known as "Banig" was interviewed by Arsenio Hall in his own 
show. Hall asked Banig what's her favorite food?, she answered 
"Macdonald's spaghetti" and the audience started laughing. Where in 
the world that they could find any McDonald's serving 'spaghetti',
where else but the Philippines. Taste the 'spaghetti' and you'll say 
'what a sweet spaghetti' not like the sour and tangy taste of the 
American or for that matter, the Italian spaghetti.
The Philippine McDonald's created the spaghetti because it is 
popular to the Filipinos and it has to be sweet - the way most 
Filipinos want them.

Someone told me a story about Ambassador Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez,
Imelda Marcos's brother, who was once the Philippine ambassador to 
the U.S. Romualdez found out that Pres.Reagan was fond of 'Adobo' and he 
started sending Reagan 'Adobo' on a regular basis.I wonder if Reagan 
still love the dish from thereon? The adobo diplomacy did not worked 
in my opinion, brother-in-law Ferdinand Marcos got booted out of 
Philippines.

Have you tried our 'Paella'? Compared to its Spanish cousin, ours is 
so different? What about our sausages? the 'longganisa'. Our cuisine is 
so varied and in some cases unique - try our dinuguan (made mostly of animal
blood),boffis(pig's organs), the papaet (goat's intestines), adidas 
(chicken feet) and more but the most unique in my book is 'balut'. 
Balut with the tiny almost but not quite chick is so good and nutritious 
that only a Pinoy (Filipinos fondly called themselves with this name) 
would love, not 'Penoy', that's another kind of egg which is similar to 
'balut'.

What about our desserts and meriendas? The leche plan, the kalamays, the
siopaos(Filipino style), the ukoys, the halo-halo and other sweets that 
are absolutely Filipino.

We would say our food is so good and can be compared with other kind 
of cuisine, and yet the American mainstream have not accepted our cooking. 
Why? It could be for some reason, could it be that our restaurants cater 
to Filipinos only, or is it the ambiance or the turo-turo style may 
be not acceptable to a lot of non Filipinos who prefer sit down dinners. Or 
food was not made presentable enough to other nationalities. But believe me, 
once eaten, they're hook for life - my non Filipino friends keep on asking 
for lumpia and adobo every time we have a pot luck since I brought some before. 
We know they love them but beats me how come they don't flock to our eateries 
like flies. Observe the next time you are in a Filipino restaurant as to 
what needs to be done - knowing the reason could be your key to riches.

But there is hope as far as propagating the Filipino cuisine to the American 
mainstream. Several Filipino-American chefs have been trying to bring the 
cuisine to the American palates. We have Chef Larry Banares, a San Diego TV and 
Cable cooking personality to name one multi awarded Filipino chef. He came 
from a family of chefs, his Philippine-born father, Benny Banares was at one time
the executive chef at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Another Filipino 
chef, Romy Dorotan of Cendrillon Asian Grill & Merienda Bar in SoHo in New York 
who is promoting our culinary artistry on the east coast.Though the name says 
'Asian' in Dorotan's restaurant, its mainly of Filipino influence.In San 
Francisco area, several Filipino chefs are busy introducing the Filipino cooking  
with the likes of Enrique Gatchalian, executive chef of Betelnut and Phil Estipular,
free lance chef and a Certified Teaching Chef at the HomeChef Cooking School. 
And us, by taking our famous dishes to company potlucks and serving 
them to our non Filipino friends in our parties.

It will be sooner than we think that we will have to hustle for a table with 
non Filipino patrons in our favorite restaurants - the price of discovery. 
But for now, go easy on that 'lechon '(roast pig) and save some of those 
crispy balat (roasted pig's skin) for me. 

Interesting Links:
Filipino Recipes in this website Chef Larry's Cuisine Club at 'Discover San Diego' site Chef Phil Estipular

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