Posted: 10/27/2016 06:26:00 PM
Through efforts by the Filipino Food Movement, broader availability of Filipino food, and endorsements by celebrity chefs and other food influencers, Filipino food will only increase in popularity and claim a place on the global food menu
Thanks to growing numbers of Filipino restaurants, broader availability of Filipino food in grocery stores, a larger Filipino population, and endorsements by celebrity chefs, Filipino food is growing in popularity. Every year, more and more people are discovering the unique and delicious flavors of Filipino cuisine; these flavors could rival the popularity of such food-du-jours as Korean and Peruvian cuisine. In fact, Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods has called Filipino food the “next big thing.” His dish of choice? FilStop’s balut, of course!
Zimmern notes that many people love Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food, but that these cuisines are ubiquitous; it seems like every neighborhood has a local Chinese, Japanese, or Thai joint. Filipino food combines the best of all of these cuisines “with Spanish technique.”
The Philippines were colonized by the Spanish for 500 years, and they left gems such as adobo and using vinegar in cooking; these techniques, according to Zimmern, are “miraculous.” Plus, as seen by places like FilStop, chefs aren’t scared to simplify their tastes to appeal to the American palate. Rather, FilStop–and many other restaurants–are being celebrated for maintaining various cultural foods which might seem rather strange to the unfamiliar eye.
While the word “miraculous” can be used to describe some Filipino cooking techniques, the word “bizarre” aptly describes some Filipino dishes. One such dish is the famous balut, which was featured on FilStop’s appearance in Bizarre Foods. Balut is a fertilized duck or chicken egg that is boiled and eaten from the shell. It’s a common street food in the Philippines.
These unique dishes attract attention, but Filipino food is also inching closer to the spotlight through the work of the Filipino Food Movement, a collaborative organization of chefs, restaurateurs, food manufacturers, students, and academics dedicated to raising understanding and awareness of Filipino cuisine.
The Movement started as a marketing initiative for Ramar Foods, a nearly 50-year-old company in Pittsburg that produces lumpia, cured meats, and ice creams. Almost every Filipino grocery in the country carries Ramar Foods’ products.
Board Chairman Primo “PJ” Quesada said that the Filipino Food Movement “is more than just food” and that they are aiming to “create a community around the appreciation of Filipino Culinary Arts through education and empowerment.” They hope that Filipino food “can become part of the regular diet and Filipino culture is experienced firsthand, at the dinner table.”
And their hard work seems to be paying off. In just a few years, Filipino Food Movement has garnered attention in the press and millions of impressions on social media. In 2014, the Movement organized Savor Filipino, the country’s first Filipino food festival, which took place in San Francisco. The event attracted almost 30,000 people. Filipino Food Movement also has almost 48,000 followers on Instagram.
Through efforts by the Filipino Food Movement, broader availability of Filipino food, and endorsements by celebrity chefs and other food influencers, Filipino food will only increase in popularity and claim a place on the global food menu. The future is bright for Filipino cuisine!