Pinoy Streetfood You Should Eat at least Once
Admit or not, we, Filipinos, love food. It is fully ingrained in our local culture. Sometimes, it is tempting to think that we hold family gatherings and fiestas just to have a reason to cook and share food. We express our affection for our local dishes whenever and wherever we can.
Quite simply, our love for food has no bounds. There is no better place to feel such adoration for good food than in the streets. Here, low-cost yet sumptuous chows easily tramp out just about any restaurant-cooked meal. As a matter of fact, you simply have to walk a few meters in any direction and you will see easily peddlers and small stalls selling different kinds of tasty bites.
Your next heavenly meal may be just outside your door. Here are some of the popular treats that are part of Filipino culture:
Kwek-Kwek / Tokneneng
Hard-boiled eggs dipped in orange batter may not be the most palatable to the untrained eye. To us, however, they are manna from heaven. Coupled with a plastic cup of gulaman, they make great "panawid-gutom." You can spot pushcart vendors selling these delectable orange balls in public places like marketplaces, churches, and schools. Plus, their odd-sounding name perfectly captures our penchant for strange yet creative terms.
Banana Cue / Turon / Maruya
That Filipinos have a sweet tooth is an understatement. Whenever there is a chance to add sugar into the mix, we would gladly and unhesitatingly do so. Our different ways of enjoying the banana fruit exemplifies that. You can have it on a stick, or covered with thin plato wrap, or dipped in batter. Whatever the case may be, trust that is covered in thick, often crusty, coating of caramelized sugar.
When it comes to food, there is no wasted, especially when it comes to chicken parts. Intestines, feet, neck - name it, there is probably a way of cooking it. Isaw, for example, are hugely popular here, as it has the perfect combination of bitterness and saltiness. Dip it in sweet and spicy sauce to complete the immersive isaw experience. Some even believe that eating it can make you smarter.
Lugaw is the perfect meal to chow during the stormy months. With a wide selection of "laman" like beef tripe and hard-boiled egg, this version of rice porridge have been the preference of most Pinoys. Whenever you need something to warm your belly, order lugaw and let the aromatic meal fill you to the brim.
Apart from the national issues and basketball teams, balut is another polarizing topic for Pinoys. Some just cannot stomach the idea of eating boiled, fertilized duck eggs. Others, however, can chow down balut any time of the day and take immense delight in doing so. If you still have not tasted this surprisingly soupy snack, try one now and see which side you are on.
You cannot take the love for good food from the Filipinos. It is part of our socio-cultural identity and awareness. It is one way saying that beneath all our differences as a nation, there is something that we can say unites us all.