Culture Ingested, B Kirshenblatt

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Content: t r i b u t e | barbara kirshenblatt-gimblett, doreen g. fernandez Culture Ingested On the Indigenization of Phillipine Food
Savor the word. Swallow the world.1
Doreen Gamboa Fernandez was born on October 28,
--Doreen G. Fernandez, 1994
1934, in Manila and grew up in Silay, Negros Occidental. She died on June 24, 2002, 8:20 p.m., while visiting New
York City. Doreen studied ENGLISH LITERATURE and history at
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett:
St. Scholastica's College, Manila, earning her b.a in 1954. She received the m.a. (1956) and Ph.D. (1977) in literature
Doreen g. fernandez first wrote about food around from Ateneo de Manila University, where she taught litera-
1969, more than a decade after she marriED Designer Wili
ture, creative writing, composition, and journalism for almost
Fernandez, who was known as an enthusiastic gourmet.
thirty years and chaired the departments of Communication,
Wili was asked to write a food column for The Manila
English, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Doreen specialized
Chronicle "that would make mouths water."2 The couple
in Philippine studies, including literature and literary his-
struck a deal. He would eat and she would write. Doreen
tory, drama and theater, cultural and culinary history. She
began with some trepidation. While she knew how to
is remembered by her many students as an inspiring teacher.
write, she recalls feeling that she knew nothing about food. In 1998, Metrobank Foundation honored her with the
A great admirer of M.F.K. Fisher and Waverly Root, she
Outstanding Teacher Award. Active in the intellectual and
began with restaurant reviews, some of them with Wili, but cultural life of the Philippines, Doreen was a trustee
quickly discovered that food was a key to "the whole cul-
of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine
tural package."3 Over the course of twenty years, she wrote
Educational Theater Association, and the Ramon Magsaysay
a series of food columns--"Pot-au-feu" for the Manila
Award Foundation. She was also vice-president of the
Chronicle, "In Good Taste" for the Philippine Daily
Foundation for Worldwide People Power, editor-in-chief
Inquirer, "Foodscape" for Food Magazine, and "Pot Luck"
of Philippine Studies, and member of the Manila Critics
for Mr. and Ms. An erudite and lapidary writer, Doreen
Circle. In addition to her scholarly writing on literature and
had found a way to bring her passion for Philippine food to theater, Doreen wrote a monthly column on teaching for
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a wide public. Writing between experience and memory,
The Philippine Journal of Education and translated plays.
Doreen discovered in food an accessible point of entry into
Doreen treated food as a performing art. Both food and
Philippine culture and history for her readers. She is consid- theater require that the writer attend closely to an
ered the rst person to have written a serious food column
ephemeral experience. Both challenge the writer to go
in the Philippines. While food had been a subject of nutri-
beyond criticism. Doreen approached both kinds of writing
tional and domestic interest, Doreen was the rst to treat
as an educator, rather than as a critic. She refused to waste
Philippine food as a pleasurable and illuminating experi-
her words on anything she did not value. Rather than pre-
ence. She was also the doyenne of food history in the
scribe what should be, she focused on what was before her.
Philippines and world-renowned for her scholarship and
She made ephemeral experiences reverberate in the body
her memorable participation at such international confer-
of the reader, evoked memories, and traced a path from the
ences as the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery and
immediacy of the moment to a vast and varied culinary
the American Folklore Society, where, in 1990, she delivered landscape and history. The result was not only her regular
a keynote address on the politics of Philippine foodways.
food columns and essays, but also several books. "Culture
Colleagues worldwide were grateful for her generous
response to their queries. What we know about Philippine food we learned from her.
Right: Portrait of Doreen Fernandez. photogra ph by stella kalaw © 2003
gastronomica --th e journal of food and cultu re, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 58­71, issn 1529 -3262. © 2003 by the regents of th e univers ity of califo rnia. all rights reserved.
Ingested," which appears here, was included in the rst of
when they travel to "`tame' the alien."6 Doreen was a mobile
two collections of her writings, Sarap: Essays in Philippine
culinary observer, attuned to new contexts and the little
Food (1988), which also included contributions by Edilberto social dramas that erupt when customs of cials detect
N. Alegre. Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture
bagoong, a paste of salted and fermented sh or shell sh,
followed in 1994. In collaboration with Alegre, Doreen pub- in the luggage of Filipinos returning to the United States
lished a series of guides to restaurants in Manila and the
or when neighbors complain of alien smells.7
provinces. Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness (1991),
To illuminate these processes, Doreen traveled through-
also with Alegre, celebrated the pristine freshness of seafood out the Philippines and explored the gamut of food cultures
dressed with vinegar and avored in ways that tell you pre-
to be found not only in villages, but also in cities. She
cisely where you are in this vast archipelago of 7,107 islands. wrote not only about restaurants, but also about food on
Fruits of the Philippines (1997) focused on varieties that
the streets, at construction sites, in factories, schools, and
Domingo A. Madulid has characterized as endangered, vul- of ces, in markets and churchyards, and at transportation
nerable, rare, or insuf ciently known, from bullock heart
hubs. She explored food terminology in the various lan-
(custard apple) to the more familiar Pharaoh's nut (coconut). guages of the Philippines, the variety of local and imported
The most lavishly produced of her books, Palayok: Philippine ingredients, the full range of cooking processes, avor
Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot (2000), takes its
principles, social practices, and meanings. The result is a
inspiration from the Filipino word for clay pot, palayok.
picture of Philippine cuisine as dynamic, syncretic, and
In Doreen's writings, the Philippines emerge as an edible
emergent. "Kinilaw is like jazz--constantly improvised,"
landscape of extraordinary range. Doreen was attuned to
Doreen declared.8 While to speak of Philippine foodways
its myriad sensory cues. For her, the palate was a canvas on or cuisine of the Philippines is to suggest a single, singular,
which were painted the distinctively local and deeply histor- or national cuisine, Doreen was more interested in the
ical contours of that landscape.
culinary diversity that has developed there in the context of
For Doreen, food was a mirror that Filipinos could hold shared history and territory. Culinary cultures make that
up to themselves. It offered an opportunity for self-knowledge history edible. By the power of her luminous example,
that was grounded in immediate experience, embodied
Doreen G. Fernandez has inspired future generations to
knowledge, and personal and collective memory. Re ecting make sense of that history.
on her own work, she said, "One writes on and with the
readers' palates."4 One tries to get "the reader to see through notes
the words to the experience."5 Doreen literally made sense of food. Her goal was to create sensory reverberations in the
1. Doreen Fernandez, Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, 1994), xi.
reader that would trigger memories and spark historical
2. Fernandez, Tikim, ix.
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insights. To that end, she turned to shermen and farmers, vendors and cooks. They were her living archives of culinary knowledge. Foodways were her living archeology of sedimented practices. Her task was to excavate a millennium of Filipino culinary culture.
3. Doreen Fernandez, Fruits of the Philippines (Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark, 1997), iv. 4. Fernandez, Tikim, xi. 5. Ibid., xii. 6. Fernandez, "Salty and Sour, Bitter and Sweet: Philippine Flavorings," Tikim, 63.
Thankfully, Doreen was no purist. To be considered
7. Ibid.
Filipino, culinary practices did not need to be Filipino by
8. Edilberto N. Alegre and Doreen G. Fernandez, Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness (Makati, Metro Manila: Bookmark, 1991), 4.
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?" Aware of more than eighty ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines, many of them on remote islands, and seven hundred years of colonization, Doreen argued that food becomes Filipino at its destination, whatever its source. The issue is less about indigenous cuisines and more about processes of indigenization. She cited patis, a thin fermented sh sauce that some
bibliography of publications by doreen g. fernandez Alegre, Edilberto N., and Doreen Fernandez. The Writer and His Milieu: An oral history of First Generation Writers in English. Manila, Philippines: De La Salle University Press, 1984. ------. Writers and Their Milieu: An Oral History of Second Generation Writers in English. Manila, Philippines: De La Salle University Press, 1987. Alegre, Edilberto N., and Doreen G. Fernandez. Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness. Makati, Metro Manila: Bookmark, 1991. lasa +: A Guide to 20 Baguio and Metro Manila Restaurants. Makati, Metro Manila: Urban Food Foundation, Inc.; Bookmark, 1989.
Filipinos sprinkle even on foreign dishes or carry with them
Alegre, Edilberto N., and Doreen G. Fernandez. lasa: A Guide to Dining in the Provinces. Metro Manila: Bookmark, 1990.
Doreen G. Fernandez:
Alejandro, Reynaldo G., and Doreen G. Fernandez. The Food of the Philippines: Authentic Recipes from the Pearl of the Orient. Singapore and Boston, North Calendon, vt: Periplus; Tuttle [distributor], 1998.
Culture Ingested: Notes on the Indigenization of Philippine Food
Fernandez, Doreen. Fruits of the Philippines. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark, 1997.
In spite of his daily participation in its preparation
------. Palabas: Essays on Philippine Theater History. Quezon City, Manila, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996. ------. Panitikan: An Essay on Philippine Literature. Manila: Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, 1989. ------. Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture. Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines: Anvil Publishing, 1994.
and consumption, the Filipino is often hard put to say just what Philippine food is. In his home and restaurant menus are found dishes with vernacular names like laing and paklay, Spanish names like embutido and mechado, Chinese names like tokwa and bihon, and even Chinese food with
Fernandez, Doreen, and Jonathan Best. Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, on Site, in the Pot. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark, 2000.
Spanish names, like camaron rebozado dorado con jamon-- all companionably coexisting.
Fernandez, Doreen, and Jonathan Chua, eds. Feasts and Feats: Festschrift for Doreen G. Fernandez. Manila: Published and exclusively distributed by the Of ce of Research and Publications, Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University, 2000. Fernandez, Doreen, Philippine-American educational Foundation, American Studies Association of the Philippines, and United States Information Service. Contemporary Theater Arts: Asia and the United States. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1984. Dulaan: An Essay on the American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Theater. Manila: Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, 1994.
The reason for the confusion is that Philippine cuisine, dynamic as any live and growing phase of culture, has changed through history, absorbing in uences, indigenizing, adjusting to new technology and tastes, and thus evolving. Filipino food today as shaped by Philippine history and society consists of a Malay matrix, in which melded in uences from China and India (through trade), Arabia (through
Fernandez, Doreen G. "The Iloilo Zarzuela, 1903­1930." Ateneo de Manila University, Ph.D. dissertation, 1976. Fernandez, Doreen G. The Iloilo Zarzuela: 1903­1930. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1978. Fernandez, Doreen G. "The Playbill After 1983: Philippine Theatre After Martial Law." Asian Theatre Journal 12, no. 1 (1995): 104­18. Pompas y Solemnidades: Notes on Church Celebrations in Spanish Manila. Philippines: Doreen G. Fernandez, 1986.
trade and Islamization), Spain and America (through colonization), and more recently the rest of the world (through global communication).1 A special path to the understanding of what Philippine food is can be taken by examining the process of indigenization which brought in, adapted and then subsumed foreign in uences into the culture. "Eating," Naomichi Ishige, a Japanese anthropologist,
Fernandez, Doreen G., and Edilberto N. Alegre. lasa: a Guide to 100 Restaurants. Metro Manila: Urban Food Foundation, Inc.; Bookmark, 1989. ------. lasa: A Guide to Dining in Metro Manila, 1992­1993. Makati, Metro Manila: Bookmark, 1992. ------. Sarap: Essays on Philippine Food. Aduana, Intramuros, Manila: Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co., Inc., 1988.
has said, "is the act of ingesting the environment." 2 It is quite certainly also ingesting culture, since among the most visible, most discernible and most permanent traces left by foreign cultures on Philippine life is food that is now part of the everyday, and often not recognized as foreign, so thor-
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Fernandez, Doreen G., et al. Dulaan: a Video Documentary on the American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Theater. Videorecording. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1996. Fernandez, Doreen G., Antonio M. Salao, Malou L. Jacob, Mary Ann InesLoveria, and Rowena E. Concepcion. Panitikan: A Documentary on Philippine Literature. Videorecording. 1989.
oughly has it been absorbed into the native lifestyle. This particular aspect of cultural borrowing and change bears investigation; not only are the results of immediate and gut-level concern to every Filipino, but the process is one in which not only a few, but the greater majority of
Panitikan: Isang Sanaysay Tungkol Sa Panitikang Pilipino. Manila: Sentrong
Filipinos, participated. The process of borrowing went on
Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Special Publications Of ce, 1990.
in innumerable Philippine households through many
Palanca, Clinton. "Doreen Fernandez: Writer in Her Milieu." Pen & Ink: The
years. It was a conscious and yet unconscious cultural reac-
Philippine Literary Journal Book 6 (1999).
tion, in that borrowers knew that they were cooking foreign
The Filipino Drama [1905]. Manila: Ministry of Human Settlements, Intramuros Administration, 1981.
dishes while making necessary adaptations, but were not aware that they were transforming the dish and making
Valdez, Violet B., Doreen Fernandez, Ateneo de Manila University, Dept. of Communication, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Risky Ventures: Readings on Communicating Health and Environmental News and Issues. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University, Dept. of Communication: Konrad Adenauer Foundation: Distributed by the Of ce of Research and Publication, Ateneo de Manila University, 1999. Vidad, Rudy, and Doreen Fernandez. In Performance. [Manila]: Vera-Reyes, 1981.
it their own. Pancit, for example, from a Chinese noodle dish, is now the signature of many a town or region (pancit Malabon, pancit Marilao, pancit habhab of Lucban), and of many an individual (pancit ni Aling Nena). That certainly shows that both evolution and creation have been involved.
Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, "Patikim," 2002. Digital Image. cou rtesy of the artist
The process seems to start with a foreign dish in its original
Secondly, to conventional reSearch methods like docu-
form, brought in by foreigners (Chinese traders, Spanish
menting and comparing variants, recording changes and
missionaries). It is then taught to a native cook, who naturally seeking reasons for them, one must add critical and analyti-
adapts it to the tastes he knows and the ingredients he can get, cal tasting--a process dif cult to standardize and imprison
thus both borrowing and adapting. Eventually, he improvises in formulae. For this preliminary exploration, I have used a
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on it, thus creating a new dish that in time becomes so
method that combines examination of the dish as done in
entrenched in the native cuisine and lifestyle that its origins the original culture and as extant in Filipino cooking, and
are practically forgotten. That is indigenization, and in the
then analysis to determine the culture change or pattern
Philippines the process starts with a foreign element and ends discernible from this.
with a dish that can truly be called part of Philippine cuisine.
methodology The principal dif culty in this investigation is methodology. The evidence for this research is generally consumed, digested and transformed--and thus no longer available in archives, or for carbon dating. Yet in a way one can say that the evidence is always being manufactured and discovered anew, every day, in every meal in every home. Still, the work of one cook is not hard and fast evidence, and is fraught with variables and at best can only indicate a pattern.
names How then does one recognize these indigenized dishes on the Philippine table? Firstly by their names, since these were often borrowed along with the dish. Siopao, for example, is a Hokkien borrowing that suggests the cooking process, steaming, pao being steamed bread. Pancit, which comes from the Hokkien pian + e + sit is still recognizably Chinese, although originally it did not necessarily mean a noodle dish. Gloria Chan-Yap tells us that it literally means "something that is conveniently cooked" and indicates the
frying process. Since noodles are easy to prepare by frying,
other hand, the fact that there are many loanwords for meat
the word often, but not necessarily, means noodles. Pesa
(goto, kamto, kasim, paykot, liempo) suggests that the Tagalog
in Hokkien simply means "`plain boiled' and it is used only people learned the habit of eating some meat cuts, especially
in reference to the cooking of sh, the complete term in
pork, from the Hokkien speakers and the habit of eating
Hokkien being peq + sa + hi, the last morpheme meaning
beef from the Spanish, since many of the terms for beef are
` sh."' Chan-Yap cites this as an example of semantic
Spanish (punta y pecho, cadera, lomo, solomillo).6
"widening" since in Tagalog pesa in isolation does mean
sh, but can mean "boiled" when one says pesang manok. However, the point remains: the names indicate the origin.3
Adobo is the noun derived from adobado, the name of a The ingredients contained in the original dish, and those in
stewed meat dish in Mexico, from where Carmen Guerrero- the local edition, are also clues to the process of indigenization.
Nakpil says the Philippine adobo comes.4 In Spain, however, Noodles in Chinese cuisine, for example, are generally cooked
adobo is a pickling sauce, made by cooking together olive
with meat and vegetables to avor the noodles. Filipino pancit
oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, laurel, oregano, paprika and salt. has local meats and vegetables--and a few other things not
The Filipino has thus given the name adobo to a particular found in Chinese cooking at all. Pancit Malabon, being the
dish of chicken or pork-and-chicken, and derived from it an signature noodle of a shing town, has squid and oysters and
adjective to describe other foods using the same or a similar salted eggs, which individually may conceivably be found in
cooking process (adobong pusit). The term adobado has
a Chinese dish, but not in that combination. Pancit Marilao
moved from the dish to the process of stewing in a spiced or has crumbled okoy of rice our, since its home base, Bulacan,
avored broth (e.g., "Ang itik sa Angono'y adobado na bago is rice-growing country; pancit palabok has aked tinapa
prituhin"),5 thus using the basic meaning--to cook in a
and crumbled chicharron. The tinapa is from the native cui-
pickling sauce. And indeed Philippine adobo is adobado,
sine (smoking being one of the ways of preserving food in
but in condiments chosen by the native taste: vinegar and
the days before refrigeration), and chicharron is from the
garlic, bayleaf and peppercorns, and more recently soy
Spanish, but they are combined in a dish of Chinese origin.
sauce, the Chinese contribution.
A special example of adaptation through ingredients is
Some borrowings from Spanish are literal and do not
pancit buko, in which our noodles are replaced by strips
undergo semantic shifts like the above: cocido, salpicon, cro- of young coconut cut and treated like noodles.
quetas. Some are only portions of the original name, e.g.
Bringhe would also be an example of a cultural change
carne mechada (meat with a lardoon) has become mechado; made through the use of ingredients from the Philippine
gallina rellenada has become relleno, relleno in Spanish
landscape. Paella is generally made in Spain with chicken
being the forcemeat with which one stuffs the chicken.
or rabbit, with rice and seasoning, especially saffron. Bringhe
Especially interesting cases are dishes like pescado en salsa
does use chicken, but the rice is malagkit and the sauce is
agrio-dulce and morisqueta tostada, which in spite of their
coconut milk, to which is added a bark called ange, which
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Spanish names are really Chinese. These are panciteria
turns the rice green instead of saffron yellow. Paella was
dishes, which in the Spanish period were translated into
created from the Spanish country landscape--the rabbit
Spanish for printing on menus. The dishes entered the
scampering by, the chicken bought from a farmer, the
native kitchen from the panciteria and so retain the Spanish saffron which is the most expensive spice in the world and
names. Some of these menus survive in small panciterias,
grows in Spain. Eating paella, therefore, is ingesting the
and although the years have corrupted the spelling in amus- Spanish landscape. Eating bringhe, however, is ingesting
ing ways, the Spanish words cloak a Chinese dish which most the Philippine landscape--the chicken running around on
Filipinos recognize as Chinese, but now consider Filipino.
the farm, the coconut from a nearby tree, and the malagkit
semantic analysis of the names of food would thus
for esta cakes. This is a clear example of indigenization
reveal origin, something of the nature of the change and
through a change of substance, spirit and name.
also further information. For example, the Chan-Yap study
nds that loanwords are fewest in the category of rice products and fowl, and suggests that this may be because both
the cooking process
rice and fowl had long been food sources for Filipinos, who This is probably the anvil in which many a cultural change
"already had in their possession the culinary words appropri- is red and given a Philippine shape. We have already men-
ate for describing referents" in these categories. On the
tioned adobo, in which stewing with spices became stewing
in vinegar, garlic, pepper and bay leaf, in the process mak-
What really adjusts the food to the individual and his
ing sure that the dish would keep long without need of
learned food values, and adapts it to the particular regional
refrigeration and endowing it with that slight sourness that
individual culture of the diner, is the sawsawan. Chinese
is a favored Philippine avor.
food does not have this galaxy of avor-adjusters: vinegar
Pag-gigisa, or sautйeing, is a technique foreign to the
and garlic; kalamansi; soy sauce, patis and garlic; bagoong,
indigenous cuisine, which is mostly boiled, roasted, or
tomatoes and onions; green mango or kamyas with tomatoes
steamed (halabos). It may have been learned from the
and onions; chicharron, bagoong and coriander leaf; bagoong
Chinese stir-frying, in which food cut up in small pieces
Balayan and kalamansi; sinamak--vinegar in which chilis,
is moved quickly around in a little oil/lard. But certainly
garlic and pepper are marinated; native pearl onions (sibuyas
most of it was learned from the Spanish (the terms
Tagalog) and vinegar (sukang Iloco); miso (soy bean cake)
gisa/gisado, derived from the Spanish guisado, or cooked
sautйed in garlic, onions and tomatoes; sliced fresh tomatoes
dish, indicate that), who sautй in olive oil with perhaps
(for sh); sliced paho (tiny, tart mangoes); crushed tamarind,
an onion and a garlic clove.
etc. etc.--and now, of course, ketchup and Worcestershire
The Filipino sautйeing, however, has become set into
sauce as well.
a pattern: heat the oil; sautй the garlic till golden brown;
What does this mean, and why is the Filipino diner
add the onions and sautй till soft and transparent; add the
allowed to tamper with his food in such pro igate, extrava-
sliced tomatoes and sautй till cooked; and then add sahog
gant ways? When he does, the chef in the kitchen will not
(the principal avoring ingredients, usually shrimps and/or
threaten murder or suicide, because it is understood that the
pork)--and then add whatever else is being cooked, like
diner can take part in the preparation of the dish by using
beans for ginisang sitaw. Through the years it has become a his sawsawan. I read this as evidence of the sense of com-
standard formula, and many cooks say that the secret of
munity of the Filipino, the bond between all cooks and
good cooking is in the pace and contents of the gisado. One their clients, all the backstage crew and the guys onstage,
must know exactly when the next item should be added,
the farmer and the neighbors and relatives who form his
and it is also said of good cooks that their pag-gigisa can
support network. It is like plowing a eld or moving a house
make any lowly vegetable or leftover taste good.
bayanihan style; it is like a whole town staging a komedya,
What we have here is a particular indigenizing process
when even the director is not the absolute dictator, her-
discovered and set through the years. The Filipino gisado has manos and elders having a large say in product and process.
to have that garlic, onion, tomato and sahog base, and this
The sawsawan is itself another indigenizing process.
preliminary process can Filipinize anything--cauli ower,
The Filipino conquers the foreign taste and culture with an
leftover sh, scrambled eggs, noodles, paella (restaurateur
army of sawsawan, insists on participation and involvement,
and chef Leny Guerrero says that is the secret of her
accepts nothing passively, but takes active part in the cre-
paella), and even canned mackerel from Japan (colloquially ation of his food. The sawsawan is not dish-speci c, not
called sardinas). The sahog may be optional, but not the
assigned to particular recipes, although there are some tradi-
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garlic, onion and tomato; while in Spanish cuisine a
tional partners. This is indeed an arsenal with which to
guisado may have one or two of the above, but not usually
meet and subdue the foreign invader, and render him / it
all three. The Filipino gisado is indeed an indigenizing
acceptable to the native culture. It indicates an ethos com-
process all by itself.
pletely different from that prevailing in France, where the
64 flavor i ng
chef is the master creator and has sole authority over the dish. For the diner to tamper with it is discourtesy and insult. In the Philippine experience, the diner cooperates
If the gisado tunes the food to Filipino tastes, even more
and participates, and the creation is communal. The saw-
so do the dipping sauces called sawsawan and the standard
sawan thus transforms not only the taste, but also the
table sauces like bagoong and patis. Bagoong and patis
relationship behind the experience.
are used not only to salt food, but also to give the food an
acceptable Filipino taste. Tales have been told of Filipino travellers and honeymooners venturing into alien cuisines,
social position
armed with bottles of patis. No matter how strange or differ- Still another element that must be examined in the process
ent the food, the patis gives it Filipino avor, so that the
of indigenization is the social position given the dish in the
diner's culture-bound taste buds can relate to it.
cross-cultural transfer. In China, for example, siomai and
sicpao are foods of everyday, eaten at breakfast, or at tea-
mation of paella has much to say about the original (colo-
time, not generally at festivals or for main meals. Where do nizer) and receiving (colonized) cultures, as well as about
we nd them in the Philippine menu? At merienda, in
colonization and the process of culture change.
homes, schools, the streets; not usually at principal or festive
We thus note that the Chinese food now found in
meals either. These foods, as well as most of Chinese cui-
homes, merenderos, school cafeterias, cheap restaurants and
sine, entered Philippine culture at "ground-level," at the
the streets came in from traders and not from conquerors.
level of everyday food, and found their nal place there,
The food of the conquerors, because of both the source
among the kakanin of the native culture. Since the ingredi- and the sheer cost, can now be found on esta tables, on
ents and the nature of these dishes were found compatible
the dining tables of the elite, and in expensive restaurants,
with the budget of that level, and with the other accompani- where it is billed as Spanish and not Filipino food. The
ments (such as tea, coffee and salabat), the social rank in
Nielson Tower restaurant in Makati offers this "ante-bellum
which indigenization ensconced it in Philippine cuisine
Philippine food" in a menu written in Spanish.
was equivalent to that which it held in China. The porridge
(lugaw) with chicken, sh or pork of Chinese breakfasts and late-night suppers is now the arroz caldo (note the change
the native cuisine
of name and language) and goto of Philippine meriendas
Having examined the names, ingredients, cooking methods,
and late-night snacks. The everyday noodles of China are
means for avor adjustment and social position of foreign
also ordinary in the Philippines--mami, lomi, pancit bihon-- food borrowed, adapted and indigenized by the Filipino, let
although with special ingredients they can become esta
us now take a look at the indigenous cuisine. This was the
food, just as there are special noodles in China.
standard for indigenization--taking the process to mean
The Spanish food absorbed into the culture, however,
that by which the foreign food is made compatible with the
has acquired a high social position and is located in the
native cuisine.
level of special, or festive food. Cocido, in Spain, is a simple
If the foreign-in uenced food in the culture has
dish in which one nds a meat (beef or lamb) and a piece
Chinese, Spanish, Mexican and, in Mindanao, Arab and
each of blood sausage (morcilla), salt pork (tocino), and
Indian roots, it would follow that the indigenous cuisine
ham--items found hanging in almost every Spanish
would be all the rest that is in the food lexicon. Here would
kitchen--cooked with garbanzos and a bit of cabbage. It
belong the sour-stewed (sinigang, paksiw), steamed (pina-
is daily food, ordinary, a pot thrown together, a one-dish
singaw, halabos), roasted (inihaw) and boiled (nilaga)--the
meal that is not special.
terminology, we note, exists in the vernacular--dishes we
In the Philippines, however, since the ham and sausages still have in the present. The ingredients for these are culled
are rare in the native kitchen and, being imported, are
from the landscape: sh and shell sh from the seas, rivers,
expensive, the dish has ascended the social ladder to become brooks, streams, ooded rice elds; the esh of domesticated
special food, for Christmases and family reunions. When
animals like pig and chicken and yes, dog and carabao, and
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set against the background of the indigenous sh-and-vegetable that of undomesticated (wild) animals like usa (deer), baboy
cuisine, this is indeed a rare and expensive dish. Moreover, dame (wild boar), musang (wildcat), bayawak (iguana),
coming from the alien, dominant culture, it acquires a
paniqui (fruit bat); other edible creatures like kamaru (mole
cachet of "class" and a position in the cuisine of the elite. It cricket), salagubang (June beetle) and locusts; and of course
would, quite simply, be beyond the ordinary man's budget.
the leaves, bulbs, tendrils, seeds and fruits of the ever-green
Paella has had an even more noticeable change in social Philippine landscape.
position. Originally a dish cooked in the eld in Spain, the
The cooking methods probably evolved from the fresh-
paellera set on stones over a wood re, the ingredients what- ness, proximity and availability of the ingredients. Native
ever could be conveniently found in the eld (a rabbit, a
wisdom shows that the best way to treat these is to cook
chicken), in the Philippines it has become the prime esta
them very little, or not at all (kinilaw). The cuisine did not
food. Because it is Spanish and special, it is usually enriched evolve sauces because there was no need to disguise avors
with pork, chicken, crabs, clams, prawns and Spanish
going bad or slightly off (one function of sauces and spices
sausages (rare then, expensive now). The wine added to it
in Europe). Sour cooking, smoking and pickling evolved
in Spain is generally table wine, which is drunk like water,
because there was need to preserve without refrigeration.
while cooking with wine in the Philippines means adding
This native cuisine is also subject to the avoring pro-
something rare ed and expensive. Thus the social transfor-
vided by sauces like patis and bagoong, and the sawsawan,
because this is where the communal creation of food
interaction has been one of borrowing whole dishes, then
started, in the agricultural lifestyle of the tribal communities adapting and indigenizing them, rather than borrowing
of the pre-Hispanic Filipino. In this cuisine are expressed
elements to impose on native dishes. The result is a cuisine
the avors of the native tongue and taste. It is to this stan-
enriched rather than bastardized, its integrity kept, its
dard that the foreign foods are compared, and to which they dynamism that of judicious response to change.
are adjusted in budget, taste and economic level. This is
Could this perhaps serve as an analogue with which to
quite naturally the cuisine in the heartland of the Filipino,
understand indigenization in language, in theatre and in other
the one he longs for when he is away, the one he nds com- areas of Philippine culture? Surely the pattern cannot be
forting. It is part of his ethos.
identical in all areas. Perhaps in some the borrowed elements
This is a cuisine linked and allied to those of the rest of may have overwhelmed the native forces. But it is important
Southeast Asia. With the rest, it shares rice as a staple
to realize that in food, the most popular form of popular culture,
food--rice treated not only as cereal, but as background for created by the mass in their daily activity, in an act of uncon-
all other tastes, and thus determinant of other tastes--rice
scious transformation and creation, this is what happened.
as ritual food, rice not just as extender but as highly valued
The native culture stood rm and "kept the faith," bor-
taste and aroma. With the rest it also shares the extensive
rowing only technology (freezers, pressure cookers, instant
and varied uses of coconut--water, esh, milk, heart of
avorings) when necessary, but not changing in essence.
palm. There is an easily perceptible similarity between sini- Foreign culture was tried, examined, adjusted and then used
gang and all the sour broths of the region, like the Thai
as the base for creation within the Philippine lifestyle. The
tomyam. And there is a common use of fermented sauces,
fact that borrowed Spanish culture came to have a high
like bagoong (trassi in Indonesia, blachan in Malaysia, kapi place in social estimation and regard is eloquent about colo-
in Thailand, main tom in Vietnam) and patis (nam pla in
nization and the attitudes it engenders in the colonized. It
Thailand, nuoc main in Vietnam, petis in Indonesia).
also suggests that the colonial attitude (mentality) may not
This native cuisine is, amazingly, hardly changed in
have come about only because of conquest but because of
nature or spirit. Sinigang is still soured with sour fruits and
such a pragmatic dimension as cost, budget, economics.
leaves from the Philippine landscape. It is still as exible,
(Chinese food is de nitely within reach; the ingredients of
friendly to any kind of sh, meat or vegetable, adjustable
Spanish food are not.) Only the native elite, not the masses,
to any kind of budget or circumstance. What has become
could afford the colonizer's lifestyle, and so the former
available to sinigang, however, is new technology. Sour
became colonized not only by the desire to emulate prestige
broth from tamarind can now be had in an instant "add-
and class, but through their wealth.
water-only" package, which Filipinos consider good for
These preliminary notes on the indigenization of food
emergencies and for Filipinos in the u.s., but which house- suggest further research: on the linguistic factor, the names
wives here scorn to use because the fresh ingredients are
not only of food, but of cooking implements and processes;
available and of better value even if less convenient.
and on the nature of all the culinary sources, and the change
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Paksiw and inihaw are still cooked in the same way,
in them through indigenization. What, for example, do
even though the need for coal res and preservation in
the carajay, sianse and sinaing indicate about native and
vinegar is no longer present in houses with gas and electric adapted food? The transformation of the Cantonese breakfast,
stoves, and refrigerators. When the Filipino entertains family rice porridge, into the goto and arroz caldo of the Philippine
or intimate friends, or when he wants to eat in relaxed
merienda--what does it say?
familiarity--with his hands--he returns to this native cuisine
Research should also be extended to such related sub-
and tries to have it in as pristine a form as possible. Fish are jects as the service of food, food etiquette and ways, the
caught in ponds or pens and roasted on the spot; restaurants non-nutritional functions of food (ritual, medicinal, social),
have opened on the Bicutan bayshore and feature lake sh; and the further functions of food as language (what are all
milk sh is stuffed with onions and tomatoes and roasted
the many messages it bears?).
over coals in the yard, with the cook fanning away.
We have suggested how eating is the ingestion of cul-
The native cuisine proved itself strong and resistant to
ture. Deeper exploration is called for. When the Filipino
"fraternization" with the foreign invaders. The original
adapted paella and pancit, pag-gigisa and pressure-cooking,
dishes have retained their ingredients, cooking methods and what effect did that have on him, on his culinary culture
spirit. Foreign dishes have been Filipinized, but Philippine
and on the future of the native culture?
dishes have not been Sinicized or Hispanized. The cultural
Food, obviously, is not only for eating.
Balut: fertilized ducks' eggs that have already developed embryos and
1. cf. Doreen G. Fernandez, "Food and the Filipino," in Philippine World-View, Virgilio G. Enriquez, ed. (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1986), pp. 20­44; and "Why Sinigang?" in The Culinary Culture of the Philippines, Gilda Cordero-Fernando, ed. (Manila: Bancom Audiovision Corporation. 1976), pp. 24­29. 2. Naomichi Ishige, "What is Dietary Culture?" Ajicomunications, No. 9, March­April 1981, pp. 1­5. 3. Gloria Chan-Yap, "Hokkien Chinese In uence on Tagalog Cookery," Philippine Studies, Vol. 24, Third Quarter 1976, 288­302. 4. Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, "Filipino Food," in A Question of Identity (Manila: Vessel Books, 1973), p.19.
are boiled and eaten with salt Banak: [banac] mullet Bangus/Bangros: [Chanos-Chanos] milk sh Batuan: a sour fruit about 2 cm. in diameter, with an acidic, juicy, edible pulp around a large seed; also used for souring broth Bayanihan: cooperative endeavor or labor, especially in a community project Bayawak: iguana; a big lizard Baye-bahe: Ilongo rice cake
5. "Duck cooked the Angono way is stewed in a pickling liquid before frying."
Bayo: to pound rice with pestle and mortar
6. Chan-Yap, `Hokkien Chinese In uence."
Bibingka: a rice cake cooked with re under and over it
Bigas: unhusked and milled rice; hulled rice grains
Bihon: rice noodles Biko: a cake of sweetened glutinous rice (malagkit) cooked in coconut
Achara: pickled fruits or vegetables
milk (gata) and sometimes embellished with latik (toasted coconut)
Adobo: pork and/or chicken stewed in vinegar, garlic, bay leaves
Bilo-bilo: small steamed rice cakes; small balls of dough made from
and peppercorns
glutinous rice, used especially in cooking ginatan
Adobong pusit: squid cooked adobo style
Binagoongang baboy: pork cooked in bagoong
Adobo sa gata: adobo with coconut milk
Binakol: a boiled chicken dish formerly cooked in a length of bamboo
Alac/Alak: [arrack] Generic term for alcoholic drink of any kind
or in a coconut, usually with strips of young coconut
Alalay: carefulness in doing something; care in holding or carrying
Bisita: visitor; outsider making a professional visit or call
something; colloquially, an aide or assistant
Biya: the common name for all species of goby (Family Gobidae)
Alamang: tiny shrimps, often made into a salty paste called bagoong
Biyaya na lupa: the earth's bounty
Alibangbang: a small stocky tree, the young leaves of which are used
Blachan: Malaysian shrimp paste similar to bagoong
in souring or avoring meat or sh
Borrachos: small Spanish cakes soaked in wine
Almud: a dry measure
Brazo: a dessert of Spanish origin; a roll of meringue lled with a
Alugb ate: a succulent, herbaceous vine called "Malabar Night Shade" butter sauce
or Ceylon Spinach
Brazo de la Reina: the above, but lled or sprinkled with nuts
Ampalaya: (Momordica Balsamina) bitter gourd; a bitter melon
Bringhe: native dish derived from Spanish paella, of rice, chicken and
Ampaw-pinipig: cakes made of dried pinipig (pounded rice grains)
coconut milk
Ange: bark used for avoring rice which colors it green
Broas: [bruas] lady ngers
Anghang: pepperiness; chili hotness in food; spiciness
Bugas: Visayan term for rice
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Angi: the smell of burning rice
Buko: young coconut fruit
Angkak: a specially treated cereal used for seasoning, particularly for
Buro: sh or meat preserved in brine or salt; pickled green fruits; sh
sh and shrimps
or shrimp fermented with rice
Apahap: silver sea bass
Burong dalag: fermented mud sh
Apan-apan: [Ilongo] vegetables cooked with bagoong Arroz caldo: chicken and rice gruel avored with ginger
Busa: to toast or cook without lard
Caban: [kaban] a dry measure equivalent to 75 liters or 25 gantas
Arroz a la Valenciana: rice and chicken dish
Cadera: sirloin; side of beef
Ayungin: silver perch
Callos: Sp. tripe
Babaylan: native high priest
Camaron rebozado dorado con hamon: batter-fried shrimp with a
Baboy damo: wild boar; wild pig
piece of ham
Bagoong: small sh or shrimps preserved in brine, usually used as sauce Camote: sweet potato
Bagoong Balayan: a bagoong made of small sh, for which the town of Capiz: [kapis] placuna shell; commonly used in making lampshades
Balayan, Batangas is known
and window panes. (The sea creature within is edible.)
Bahaque: [bahag] loincloth; g-string; breechcloth
Carajay: [karahay] large frying pan. Syn. kawali
Bahoc: [bahog] eating rice with broth; the act of mixing broth or other
Carne mechada: [Spanish] a dish of beef with lardoons
liquid with cooked rice
Carta: letter
Castillo: a mounted "castle" of pastry, often made of glazed cream puffs Gilic: [gilik] powdery substance covering husks of rice, straw and
Cavaravan: liquor made from the honey of bees
blades of some grasses, which usually causes irritation or itchiness
Chicharron: [sitsaron] crisp, fried pork rind; cracklings
on the skin
Chorizo de Bilbao: Sp. sausage usually used in such dishes as paella,
Ginataang gulay: vegetables cooked in or with coconut milk
cocido, puchero
Ginisang ampalaya: sautйed bitter gourd
Chupa: smallest standard measure for rice
Ginisang sitaw: sautйed stringbeans
Cocido: [kusido] Spanish stew of meat, vegetables and chickpeas
Gisa/Gisado: derived from Spanish guisar, to sautй; the act or manner
Compadrazgo: godfather system
of sautйeing
Copcop: [kupkop] act of keeping or protecting someone needing help
Golosinas: little cookies, pastries, sweetmeats
or care, as a hen shelters chicks under her wings
Goto: rice porridge with tripe
Cronicas: histories or reports of missionary work
Gulay: plant grown for food; green vegetables
Croquetas: croquettes
Habhab: to eat from a container
Dacot: [dakot] a handful of rice; amount or quantity taken in one scoop Halabos: steamed
Dacotan: [dakutan] to scoop up handfuls of rice
Halabos na hipon: steamed shrimps
Dahong bawang: garlic leaves used as green vegetable or made
Halo-halo: [halu-halo] refreshment made up of a mixture of beans,
into pickles
corn, jackfruit, banana slices, jelly, etc. with sugar, milk, shaved ice
Daing: sh split longitudinally down the back, salted and dried in the sun or ice cream
Dalag: a species of fresh-water mud sh; murrel
Helado: frozen; something stored on ice
Dampalit: an asteraceous maritime shrub called "samphire,"
Hermano: literally, brother; also, the sponsor of a esta
usually pickled
Hindi ka naman bisita: "You are not a guest"
Dapog: transplanting rice seedlings; re in an open space in which
Hindi ibang tao: one of us
rewood is used
Hipon sa gala: shrimp cooked in or with coconut milk
Darac: husk left after the rice is milled; powdered or pulverized rice bran Hito: fresh-water cat sh
Dayami: rice straw
Ibang tao: idiom for "outsider"
Dedicatoria: dedication, e.g. in a book
Igud: coconut robber crab
Dedos: pili candy wrapped in lumpia wrapper
Ilustrado: a learned, educated, cultured man
Diccionario: Sp. dictionary
Indio: name given by the Spanish colonizers to the native of
Dilaw: a ginger-like plant called turmeric, the root of which is used
the Philippines
as condiment
Inihaw: broiled; roasted
Dinuguan: a dish of animal entrails and blood, seasoned with vinegar,
Inihaw na tulingan: broiled big-eyed tuna
garlic, salt, etc.
Inihaw sa uling: broiled over charcoal
Dulang: a kind of low dining table
Jamon China: Chinese ham
Embutido: Sp. a meat roll
Kakang gala: thick coconut milk, usually the rst juice extracted from
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Ensaimada: [ensaymada] Sp. sweet roll, usually buttered, dusted with
grated coconut meat. Syn. unang gata
sugar and sometimes with cheese
Kakanin: sweetmeats; tidbits
Ensalada: Sp. salad
Kalabasa: squash plant; the eshy fruit of this plant eaten as vegetable
Entablado: stage; speaker's platform or stand
Kalabaw: carabao; with reference to mango, the largest variety
Espasol: [ispasol] a sweetmeat made from the our of glutinous
rice (malagkit)
Kalamansi: a spiny citrus tree that bears small spherical acidic fruit, used in seasoning food and for making a juice preparation like lemonade
Fanega: Spanish rice measure
Kamaro/Kamaru: mole cricket
Gabang: a unit of dry measure
Kamayan: act of eating with bare hands, often referring to a group of
Gabi: a species of tuber also called "taro"
persons eating together
Gachas: watery mass; porridge, mash, pap
Kamias: [kamyas] a small tree, the fruits of which are acidic, edible and
Galantina: stuffed chicken, sliced and served cold
commonly used as condiment in cooking native stew (sinigang)
Galapong: rice our
Kamoteng kahoy: cassava; manioc, a tropical plant with edible
Gallina rellenada: deboned stuffed chicken
starchy roots
Galunggong: round scad
Kamto: beef ank meat; dish of ank meat stewed with radish
Garbanzos: [grabanzos; garabansos] chick-pea
Kanduli: [candoli] sea cat sh (Family Ariidae)
Gala: the juice squeezed from grated coconut meat; coconut milk
Kanin/Canin: cooked or boiled rice. Syn. sinaing
Kaong: sugar palm tree; the fruit of this palm, the seeds of which are
Maaskad: having a bitterish or acrid taste
usually made into sweetmeats
Macapuno: the fruit of a species of coconut tree which is lled (puno)
Kari-kari/Kare-kare: a stew of oxtail, calf's foot and/or tripe, with veg-
with esh instead of coconut water, and is usually made into sweets
etables and the broth slightly thickened with ground rice and peanuts
Magsanaya: a variety of rice favored in Western Visayas
Kaserola: casserole; saucepan; stewpan
Maja Blanca: a kind of rice or corn pudding
Kasim: sourish taste as of food beginning to have slight fermentation
Malabo: turbid or muddy as water; unclear; indistinct
Kasubha: a plant, the dried stigmas of which are used for coloring and
Malabo: spongy in consistency as fruits or tubers
avoring food; a kind of saffron
Malacapas: a species of sh known as "spoiled mojarras"
Katuray: a semi-wild tree the white owers of which are eaten raw or
Malagkit: sticky; also glutinous rice
steamed; the young pods are also edible
Malanay: a species of sh
Kekiam: [kikyam] Chinese meat roll
Malangsa: [malansa] shy; having a shy taste or smell
Kilawin/Kinilaw: a dish similar to ceviche, made by marinating
Malinamnam: delicious; very tasty or savory; creamy and tender
uncooked sh or shrimps in vinegar and seasoning with salt, black pepper, quality of taste and texture associated with something fresh
etc., e.g. kilawing dilis, hipon, tanguingue (sa gata: with coconut milk)
Maliputo: cavalla sh thriving in Taal Lake
Kinchay: Chinese celery
Malunggay: a small tree, the young leaves, owers and pods of which
Kinunot na paing: (baby) shark cooked in coconut milk
are commonly used as vegetables; horseradish plant
Kiping: edible, bright-colored leaf-shaped thin wafers used as decora-
Mamali: tassel sh; four- ngered thread n
tion at the Lucban and other Quezon Maytime estas
Mami: a dish of Chinese origin consisting principally of noodles with
Komedya: a folk drama form also called Moro-Moro
condiments and broth
Kulitis: [kolitis/colitis] an edible common weed; amaranth
Manamisnamis: on the sweet side
(Amaranthus viridis Linn.); also called native spinach
Mapait: bitter
Kutsinta: a kind of native cake made of rice our, similar to puto but
Mapakla: acrid in taste, as of a young guava fruit or banana
more sticky and somewhat gelatinous
Marquesotas: a type of biscuit
Laing: Bicol dish made of the stalks and leaves of gabi (taro plant)
Matamis: sweet; having the taste of sugar
cooked in coconut milk and chilis
Mechado: Sp. a dish of meat with lardoons
Lambanog: native wine distilled from coconut palm juice
Media noche: midnight repast; the midnight meal traditionally taken
Langkawas: an aromatic, ginger-like root
on Christmas Eve
Latik: residuum of coconut milk after extracting oil by boiling; sweet
Merenderos: restaurants that sell snacks
preparation made from coconut milk used as sauce for suman
Miki: [mike] Chinese noodles made from wheat our and usually used
Leche an: [letseplan] creme caramel; milk custard, usually with a
in making pancit; sold fresh, not dried
caramelized syrup
Misa de Gallo: Midnight mass; dawn masses held for nine consecutive
Lechon: [litson] roast pig with lemon grass or tamarind leaf stuf ng
days before Christmas
Lengua estofada: stewed ox tongue
Miso: soybean cake; boiled bean mash used as ingredient in sautйeing
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Liempo: pork belly
or in making sauce for pesa
Lihiya: [lehiya] lye. Syn. sosa
Morcilla: blood sausage
Logao/Lugaw: rice cooked soft and wet as a gruel
Morcon: a large meat roll
Lomi: at noodles sauteed with meat and vegetables, served with broth Morisqueta tostada: fried rice
Lomo: loin Losong/Lusong: mortar
Musang: wild or mountain cat; civet cat
Nakakahiya: shameful; disgraceful
Loualo: [luwalo, liwalo] climbing perch. Syn. martiniko
Nangka: [langka] jackfruit
Lumahan: striped mackerel; Japanese mackerel
Nilaga: [linaga] meat stew; something boiled, like corn, banana, esp. saba
Lumbalumba: dolphin
Ninong: a male sponsor at a wedding, baptism or con rmation; godfather
Lumpia: spring roll; a dish made of shrimp, meat and/or vegetables
Nuoc mam: Vietnamese sh sauce similar to patis
wrapped or rolled up in a thin our wrapper, eaten fresh or fried
Okoy: [ukoy] a patty or cake of grated vegetables with or without pork
Lumpiang ubod: the pith or heart of a palm wrapped in a
or shrimps, deep-fried in lard or oil
lumpia wrapper
Olam/Ulam: victuals like sh, meat, vegetables eaten with boiled rice
Maalat: salty; containing salt
Paella: Spanish dish with rice, seafood, sausages, meat, vegetables
Maanggo: having the odor of fermented milk
Paellera: shallow iron pan in which paella is cooked
Maasim: sour; rancid, spoiled by fermentation
Pag-gigisa: sautйeing
Paho: tiny, tart mangoes
Puchero: [putsero] a stew, Spanish in origin, consisting of beef,
Pako: edible fern
chicken, sausages, chick-peas, vegetables and a tomato sauce
Paksiw: a dish of sh or meat cooked in vinegar with salt, ginger
Pulutan: canapes; hors d'oeuvre; food taken with drinks
and garlic
Punta y pecho: beef brisket
Paksiw na banak: mullet cooked in vinegar (above)
Puto: generic term for steamed rice cake
Palaspas: palm leaves woven into various shapes and gures and
Puto bumbong: a chewy rice cake made from the glutinous rice called
taken to the church on Palm Sunday for blessing
pirurutong, molded and steamed in a small bamboo segment and eaten
Palay: unhusked rice grain
with sugar and grated coconut
Palitaw: small cakes made from the starch of glutinous rice and
Putong lusong: a white anise- avored rice cake
eaten with sugar
Putong Polo: little round rice cakes from Polo, Bulacan
Palmito: palm leaf or plant
Putong sulot: little rice our cake molded and steamed in a small
Pamutat: appetizer side dish
bamboo tube
Panara: a little pasty lled with vegetables
Putos: completely full or lled up, as a bag or sack
Pancit: [pansit] a generic term for noodle dishes
Qisa: [kisa] to mix corn, other grains, or shredded kamote with rice
Pancit Canton: a dish of noodles originating from Canton, China
before steaming
Panciteria: a restaurant specializing in Chinese food
Quartillo: a dry measure equivalent to one-half of a ganta or 1.5 liters
Pancit habhab: Lucban noodles eaten off a leaf
Rosquetas: a type of biscuit
Pancit Langlang: dish of sautйed noodles, somtimes with a broth
Relleno: stuffed chicken, sh or turkey, etc.
Pancit Luglog: noodles shaken in hot water and served with sauce
Sabalo: a large milk sh from the sea and not from the shpond
Pancit Malabon: noodles cooked with seafood
Sahog: principal avoring ingredients
Pancit Molo: soup of pork- lled wantons with shrimps and chicken
Salabat: ginger ale or ginger tea
Pancit na sabaw: noodles in broth
Salagubang: June beetle; June bug
Pangasi: rice wine
Salop: a cubicle receptacle for measuring grains equal to three
Paniqui: fruit bat
liters or gantas
Pantat: the young of fresh-water cat sh. Syn. anak hito
Salpicon: tenderloin tips sautйed in oil and garlic
Pasingaw: to steam in boiling water
Saluyot: an erect, branched, annual herb, the tops of which are eaten
Pastillas: sweets in the form of little bars, usually made of milk
as vegetables, especially by Ilocanos
Pastillas de pili: a little bar or cylinder made of pili nuts
Sampalok: [Tagalog] tamarind
Patis: a salty, thin, amber-colored sh or shrimp sauce
Sangag/busa: to toast or fry rice; to roast popcorn, coffee, etc.
Pavo embuchado: Sp. stuffed turkey
Sangke: star anise
Pechay: [petsay] Chinese cabbage; one of the most widely-grown veg-
Sapsap: a species of slipmouth ( sh)
etables in the Philipines with soft, large, green leaves and white petioles
Sardinas: canned sardines; also colloquial for cannel mackerel
Pesa: sh boiled in rice-washing water with ginger, tomatoes and onions from Japan
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Pesang manok: a dish of boiled chicken
Sawsawan: dipping sauce usually mixed by the diner himself at the
Pescado en salsa agrio-dulce: sh in sweet-sour sauce
table to go with whatever he is about to eat
Petis: [Indonesia] sh sauce
Sayote: mirliton pear; a light green, oval fruit that becomes soft and
Pilit: [Visayan] sticky rice
bland when cooked
Pinais: sh or shrimp wrapped in banana leaves and steamed with
onions, tomatoes and young coconut
Sianse: [siyanse] turner; a kitchen utensil used for turning food that is being fried
Pinangat: spicy Bicol dish of stuffed taro leaves and hot chilis
Sibuyas Tagalog: native pearl onions; scallions
Pinasingaw: steamed dish
Sinaing: boiled rice prepared for every meal; rice that is being cooked
Pingolpingol: species of sh
or boiled still in the pot; also sh cooked in a little water and salt
Pinipig/Pilipig: young rice pounded at, somewhat like corn akes,
Sinamak/Sinamac: vinegar in which chilis, garlic and pepper
usually eaten with coconut milk or hot chocolate
are marinated
Pirurutong: dark-colored glutinous rice
Singkamas: tuberous root, large, white- eshed and turnip shaped,
Potomaya: [putomaya] a rice cake made from glutinous rice and eaten
eaten raw as a fruit or cooked as a vegetable; a variety of turnip
with grated coconut and sugar
Sinigan: a dish of pork, beef, shrimp or sh and vegetables in a broth
Principalia: the rst families of a town; the elite
soured with acidic fruits
Pritong galunggong: fried round scad
Sinigang na baboy: pork in a soured broth
Sinigang na bangus: milk sh in a soured broth
Turo-turo: a practice in small local restaurants or eateries in which
Siomai: Chinese steamed dumpling
customers point at what they want; a way of ordering cooked food from
Siopao: steamed stuffed Chinese bun
the counter display
Solomillo: Sp. tenderloin
Turron de Almendras: Sp. almond torte
Sorbete sa garapinera: ice cream made in an old-fashioned grinder
Tutong: the crusty part of boiled rice left sticking to the bottom of
Sotanghon: translucent noodles made from mung beans
the cooking pot
Suka: vinegar
Tuyo: whole, dried, salted sh
Sukang Iloco: palm vinegar from the Ilocos region
Ube: purple yam, usually made into sweets
Suman: a native delicacy made of glutinous rice or cassava our,
Ubud: [ubod] pith or heart of a palm, especially coconut, eaten raw
wrapped in banana or palm leaves
as a salad or cooked
Suman bodbod: a variety of suman made in Cebu
Ulang: large variety of fresh-water cray sh
Suspiros: spun-sugar candy
Upo: bottle-gourd
Taba: fat; the white or yellow oily substance in the body of animals;
Usa: deer
lard; the inner fat of hogs
Utang na loob: debt of gratitude; favor
Tabios: [tabyos] a species of tiny goby found in Lake Buhi in the
Vocabularia: Sp. dictionary
Bicol region
Walang tabong, mahal ang gabi? kangkong na lang!: There's no
Talangka: a species of small crab. Syn. katang
eggplant available, gabi is expensive? Kangkong will do!
Talbos ng ampalaya: tendrils of the bitter melon or bitter gourd used
Walis tingting: a stiff broom made from the ribs of coconut leaves
as vegetable
Wansoy: coriander leaves used as seasoning
Talinum: a eshy herb used as substitute for spinach Talong: eggplant Talunang manok: "defeated cock"; a dish made from a rooster defeated
Reprinted from Sarap: Essays on Philippine Food by Doreen G. Fernandez and Edilberto N. Alegre (Manila: Mr. & Ms. Publishing Company, Inc., 1988). Used by permission.
in a cock ght
Tamales: rice cake derived from Mexican tamale
Tamilok: edible woodworm
Tanduay: nipa wine
Tanglad: lemon grass or citronella; sweetgrass; gingergrass
Tanguingue/Tanigui: Spanish mackerel
Tapa: dried meat slices, e.g. pork, beef, venison, wild boar
Tinapa: sh dried by smoking; smoked sh
Tinapai/Tinapay: bread
Tinola: a dish of boiled chicken, green papaya, common gourd and
broth, avored with ginger and peppercorn
WINTE R 2003
Tinubong: rice cake cooked in a bamboo tube; a Christmas food of
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Tocino: salt pork, bacon
Tocino del Cielo: tiny sweet custards in syrup
Tokwa: soybean curd
Tomyam: Thai sour soup
Torta imperial: Spanish torte; a multi-layered cake
Toyo: soy sauce
Trassi: Indonesian salted shrimp paste, like bagoong
Tuba: the fresh sweet juice obtained from nipa or buri palm by
cutting the top; this juice is usually drunk fresh, and also made into
wine or vinegar
Tulingan: big-eyed tuna
Tulya: tiny fresh-water clams; a species of small bivalves
Tumpok: a small mound, used as a unit for selling sh or vegetables,
shrimps, grain, etc.

B Kirshenblatt

File: culture-ingested.pdf
Title: Culture Ingested: On the Indigenization of Phillipine Food
Author: B Kirshenblatt
Published: Thu Oct 30 22:40:37 2003
Pages: 14
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