Lutong Pinoy Recipes

The indigenous Filipinos built the foundation of Filipino cuisine with basic methods such as roasting, boiling and grilling food. As time went by, the Spanish colonization of the Philippines made a huge impact on Filipino culture and cuisine. Indigenous recipes have been mixed with the Spanish method of cooking and several new dishes have been formed. This went on for almost 400 years and after the Philippines gained independence from Spain, the US had taken over. This was approximately 100 years ago from today.

Filipinos have already adopted dishes that are widely influenced by the Spanish and other Asian cuisines before the Americans arrived. Around the early 20th century, due to the American influence, Filipino cuisine has started adapting ways that American stores and produces food.  The American introduced ways in packaging traditional dishes to be made frozen and kept till ready to be defrosted and cooked again. This method was introduced by American food production corporations in the Philippines. They would also incorporate meat from America with the flavors of the Philippines, which started the fusion of Filipino American food.   

Just like Filipinos, Americans like comfort food, but both in quite different contexts. Both like food that is warm and homely but Americans prefer food that is easy to make. On the other hand, Filipinos were used to dishes that took time to make but still something that is great for the home. As Filipinos were used to preparing meals in a labor-intensive way and almost always made home cooked meals, the Americans introduced canned commodities to the Filipinos. These ready-to-eat foods, however, were still revamped by the Filipinos. They took this food and sautéed them into dishes that are distinctly different from its original taste. The Americans also introduced salads, fruits pies and potato dishes to the Filipinos.

A huge change in Filipino cuisine is when fast-food restaurants were brought in to the country. The most famous, “McDonalds” had a lot of impact on how households had changed their way of eating. As fast food restaurants became more popular for its convenient and delicious food, Filipinos were jumping on the bandwagon of fast food restaurants. This ultimately led to Filipinos creating their own versions of fast food restaurants like ‘Jollibee” and “Chowking”.

There are specific foods Filipinos have inherited from America. Some example of these is hamburgers, sandwiches, oatmeal, ice creams, hot dogs, steak, chewing gum and many more. Even until today, these foods remain popular and have not disappeared from the Filipino food market. Despite these, traditional Filipino dishes have not dwindled and remain in every household. Other Asian influences in the Filipino cuisine remain as well. Filipinos continue to adopt food of other cultures and nationalities and make it their own.

Filipinos have a knack in adapting well to many things in their environment even if it is hard. Since the early years when the Indigenous Filipinos had to struggle with the severe changes to the culture due to colonization, they remained steadfast. It is inevitable for the country and its settlers to not accept the influence brought in by the influx of the Spaniards and neighboring countries. Filipinos chose to accept and make the best out of the adversities that come their way. Their innovative stride had paved the way for their culture to remain their own. Although some may argue the authenticity of a lot of things “Filipino”, what happened in the past was was history that was not planned for. It shaped the meaning of what is true “Filipino cuisine’.

In the 21st century, Filipino cuisine continues to confound many people from all over the world. It is compared to the modern “Fusion foods”, but the thing is, Filipino food was basically already “Fusion food” before it even became a thing. Filipino’s love of food remains and as more influences are discovered, they will continue to adapt and carry on the tradition with more innovation. Filipino cuisine is undoubtedly rising in the world of food, and plenty of Filipinos have already shown the world in the past few years that they have what it takes to make incredible dishes. Continually evolving, it’s now the time for Filipino cuisine to take over the world as the world took over the Philippines.