Specialty Food Magazine

JAN-FEB 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/55305

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Page 113 of 159

CUISINE SPOTLIGHT Focus on the Philippines: A Tasty Marriage of Familiar and Exotic Flavors Centuries of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Spanish influences has developed this global cuisine, known for its big, bold flavors. BY JOANNA PRUESS C ommunal dining is steeped in Filipino tradition. You may not find many upscale restaurants in the Philippines, simply because most Filipinos believe the best meals are informal and shared at home with family and friends. When Willie and Elena Juan opened their cozy eatery in Manhattan's East Village, their goal was to introduce authentic Filipino cuisine served with traditional hospitality. At Sa Aming Nayon, which translates from Tagalog to "in our hometown," the Juans' generous spirit makes guests feel like family. "We definitely like to eat and eat often," Elena says. "That means five or six substantial meals a days." Even breakfast includes items like tapsilog or tocilog—marinated beef or pork served with garlic-fried rice and two eggs—or champorado, chocolate rice por- ridge made with sticky rice and served with dried salted fish flakes. Between meals, Willie adds, meriendas are savory-sweet snacks enjoyed throughout the day. On the restaurant's extensive menu, the mixture of words in Malay, Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog illustrates centuries of invaders—and influencers—to the islands. 112 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com Early Invaders Create a Global Melting Pot The first inhabitants of this archipelago of more than 7,100 islands are speculated to have come from the Asian mainland via Taiwan some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. When the Malays arrived around 3000 BC, they drove the natives to the mountainous outlying regions of Mindanao and Luzon. By the 14th century, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian traders had joined the Malays in this pivotal early trading area. Important ingredients and cooking methods introduced at this time included tofu, soy sauce, fish sauce and spring rolls, as well as

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