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.

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Page 115 of 159

Foreign Legacies FILIPINO INGREDIENTS Anchovy sauce (bagoong isla): a strong-flavored sauce made from fermented anchovies Annatto seeds: flavorless, dried reddish seeds used as a coloring agent Bitter melon: gourd with a green, ridged, edible skin and a very assertive flavor Cabbage (pak choi): also known as Chinese or Napa cabbage, used especially in stir-fries and stews Cassava: also known as yucca or manioc; a long, very starchy root used in desserts and sauces, also fried, used for alcoholic beverages, and made into tapioca pearls Chile peppers: bird's eye chilies (siling labuyo) are minced and used raw in dipping sauces; siling mahaba are finger- length green chiles used in cooking Coconut: milk is widely used both in a thick, cream form and a thinner liquid; meat is often grated and used in preparations Fish sauce (patis): amber-colored salty, fermented sauce, similar to Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce Long beans (sitaw): similar to Western green beans Noodles (pancit): varieties are made from rice (behon), mung bean (sotanghon), cornstarch (luglug) or wheat Purple yam powder (ube): ground from a large, purple- fleshed tuber; used in desserts for a flavoring or coloring Rice: varieties include glutinous malagkit, used in dessert cakes or toasted and ground for thickening soups and stews; pinipig is immature, light green rice pounded into flakes, eaten raw or toasted for dessert topping Sauteed shrimp paste (bagoong): intensely flavored, thick liquid made from salted and fermented baby shrimp, used as a condiment and seasoning Spring roll wrapper (lumpia): very thin, delicate, crêpe-like pancake used both for fresh and fried spring rolls Tamarind (sampalok): fruit that is often boiled, then strained to add characteristic sour taste to many dishes; also sweetened for use in drinks and desserts Taro (gabi): brown-skinned root with purplish or gray flesh, ; used like potatoes, and in soups and desserts Vinegar (sukang): local varieties are less acidic than grape varieties; sukang paombong is made mostly from sugar cane; sukang niyog is coconut vinegar Water spinach (kangkong): leafy green vegetable that grows in water, with long, thin leaves and hollow stems (pictured) While the Spanish cannot claim credit for bringing adobo to the Philippines, they certainly left their imprint with local versions of many Spanish and Mexican dishes, including paella, tamales and chorizo, which is called longaniza locally. Traces of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines are also evident especially with the use of peanuts and coconut. Kare-kare is one of many stews simmered in a savory peanut sauce, and sariwa'ng lumpiag, or fresh spring rolls, are often served with a sweet and tangy peanut sauce, as are sates, small skewers of grilled meat or poultry. Coconut milk and its meat appear in many guises from soups and sauces to custards and sweets. The Chinese who came to the Philippines to trade and sub- sequently stayed brought noodle dishes called pancit to Philippine cuisine. The term originated from the Hokkien pian i sit, which refers to a convenient or quickly cooked recipe. These are generally stir-fried dishes. Pancit dishes are often served at birthday parties, as it is believed they promote long life for the celebrant. While a large bowl of rice is the standard accompaniment for most stews or a main course, rice has an array of uses in Philippine dishes. Toasted ground glutinous rice is used to thicken kare-kare, and many Filipino cakes and pastries are made using ground rice and/or ground roots like cassava (yucca) or ube (purple yam powder). Bibingka is a slightly sweet rice cake made with coconut milk, typi- cally baked on a banana leaf and topped with salted eggs. It is usually served warm and is most popular during the Christmas season. A more typical end to a meal is halo-halo, a traditional Filipino treat that consists of a blend of fruits, sweet preserves, evaporated milk, and shaved ice topped with a scoop of ice cream, a little flan and ube. It's worth noting that Filipinos are quite conscious of the aesthet- ics of their foods. While unpretentious, food is presented with care. For example, in the sariwa'ng lumpiag served at Sa Aming Nayon, the handmade wrapper is filled with a colorful mixture of vegetables— including julienned carrots, shredded bok choy and diced jicama—cut into different shapes. A romaine leaf, peeking out from the edge of the roll, is a simple accent that adds color and texture. Some dishes grab the attention of other senses. "Sizzling sisig—a mixture of pork belly, ears and snout flavored with hot chile sauce and topped with an egg—has been very popular," Willie Juan notes. "The sizzling sound and the aroma always make a great combination to capture the attention and satisfy the craving of new and old customers alike." New customers are a growing occurrence as the cuisine becomes more familiar to the American palate. "Our first custom- ers were Filipinos but now all kinds of people come to eat here," Willie says. |SFM| Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine. 114 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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