This is a topic that friends and I sometimes talk about when we’re out gorging on Filipino food — why our homegrown cuisine never gets the same kind of international publicity/recognition Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian cuisines get. My own theory is that our cuisine, like us as a people, can adapt or blend into its environment. Filipinos are great adapters, a survival skill we have honed to perfection especially since so many of us work outside the country. Same way with our cuisine. I love Filipino food, not just because it is my own, but because I personally think that it can compare with the best in the world. But why has it not been publicized more often than it should? Because it is adaptable. Add a few ingredients here, replace something with another, and you have a familiar dish that might have come from somewhere else. It frustrates me sometimes — which is why it always gives me a kick to see Filipino food getting attention in the international press, like these reviews in The New York Times of Pinoy restaurants thriving in the Big Apple. Hey, it’s New York. If we can make it there, surely we can make it anywhere.
[photo of Pig and Khao, one of the Filipino restaurants]
[image borrowed from the article in The New York Times]