Side Dish

A collection of thoughts on Filipino food.

“What then is Filipino food? One must answer: All of the above. The assimilation of these foods has not, however, been slavish. Always, it has involved indigenization, in which the tastes are adjusted to the Filipino palate.”
—Doreen G. Fernandez, Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture

“Fish is our dish. We have dried fish for breakfast, fried fish for lunch, stewed fish for supper. We eat fish with fish, for if there’s a broth it’s fish broth, if there’s a sauce, it’s fish sauce. When we dip fish in patis we’re dipping fish into fish.”
—Nick Joaquin, Culture & History

“To be considered Filipino, culinary practices did not need to be Filipino by origin. Nor did they need to preserve some original or authentic form. Quite the contrary. Filipino is as Filipino does. The question is not “What is Filipino food?” but “How does food become Filipino?”
—Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

“Our cuisine is our destiny as well as our history: Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are, and what you will become. There is an apt metaphor for Kapampangans who still choose to prepare and consume food that they know will eventually kill them: the barag (monitor lizard) which cannot help devouring a chicken in a hole even if it means being trapped in it.”
Robby Tantingco