Did you know that each country has a national dish? Until my co-worker Steve asked me this morning what the national dish of the Philippines was, I had no idea such a thing existed. After a bit of research, I learned that the Filipino national dish is adobo.
Though adobo is a Spanish word (meaning seasoning or marinade) this cooking process is indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish colonized the Philippines in the late 16th century and early 17th century, they came across a cooking process which involved stewing with vinegar. Dishes prepared in this way were referred to as adobo, and lost its indigenous name.
The Filipino adobo differs specifically to the Spanish adobo because of its ingredients and process. In the Philippines, adobo is a pork or chicken dish, slowly cooked in vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns and soy sauce then browned in the oven or pan-fried. It is served with rice daily or for fiestas and gatherings. Adobo has become a staple of Filipino diet because of its combination of ingredients and also because it has a long shelf-life because of its vinegar base.