Favorite Foods that Filipinos Love to Share during the Holidays


Filipinos love food. They love to cook and eat, but they love it more when they are able to share them with guests or at a potluck or dinner party.  

There are so many stories behind any kind of food. It’s part of culture! But did you know there are many cuisines from other countries that Filipinos actually have their own version with? There are several on the menu!


Filipinos love to prepare and they most definitely love to share them. Let’s say you visit a family’s house for either a birthday party or maybe a Christmas party, all attendees will have shared food they cooked (or probably ordered) but when the party ends, more than half of the attendees will probably have gone home with food they didn’t even bring themselves inside food containers or food bags. The reason behind this ‘food sharing’ is because Filipinos’ are naturally hospitable and generous, with this kind of personality Filipinos take joy when the food they prepare is enjoyed by many.



Pancit

When noodles were introduced by the Chinese alongside how many variants you can cook with it, Filipinos loved how versatile you can get with this ingredient thus an assortment of dishes were created in many regions in the Philippines. Thick or thin noodles added with vegetables, meats, and sauces, this dish is a favorite by many Filipinos as this won’t only be enjoyed by many but it will also fill more with a small probability of leftover for tomorrow’s lunch. Pancit is a healthy dish but because it also tastes good you might forget that you were actually on a diet.



Spaghetti/Carbonara

Spaghetti and Carbonara are both Italian cuisines, and Filipinos have their own version of these. Spaghetti in Italy is a little bit sour whereas Filipinos style spaghetti is sweeter and has hotdogs instead of carrots. Now, Filipinos’ version of carbonara is actually an alfredo in Italy. The classic carbonara is made with eggs, bacon, cheese, pasta noodles, and olive oil. But if you ask a Filipino to make a carbonara they would whip out ingredients that you would add in an alfredo (includes milk or cream and butter). But really what’s important is that the people you are going to share this food with won’t mind how you cooked it as long as it’s good, and it’s a go.




Lechon

Now here’s a number one classic in any party or any celebration. A fiesta, Christmas, or New Year’s party, a Lechon is there to greet you. Originating from Spain, Lechon as part of Filipino culture has been a constant food staple and most Pinoys look for Lechon even though it might spike their cholesterol. Joking aside, Lechon actually describes not only as a pork dish but there are others like Lechon manok (roasted chicken) and Lechon Baka (roasted cow meat), there’s also Lechon belly (roasted pork belly) which is usually called liempo. What’s good about this dish is because a lot of people could enjoy it where the meat is juicy and tasty because of the herbs added inside the body while roasting and the most enjoyable part is also its crispy skin.



Desserts

Any kind of party is not complete without a ‘panghimagas’ or dessert in Filipino. Remember most Filipinos love their food sweet so Salad can mean two things in the Philippines, either it’s a vegetable appetizer or dessert salad dressed in sweetened milk and cream with an assortment of fruits. Desserts can be anything from buko salad to Leche flan. Some Filipinos serve ice cream but if you really want to fill your guests' stomach, fruit salad is recommended but it takes longer to prepare, especially when you're serving multiple guests. 



Rice Cakes

Technically, rice cakes are a kind of dessert but they deserve their own spot as many Filipinos usually have rice cakes as part of their ‘handaan’ or a food party. Kakanin (Rice cake in Filipino) is always there to bless the table, with a variety of colors and ways they were prepared. Some are cooked by steaming, some are cooked with sugar and mixed constantly to even out the taste in a big wok, and it can be taxing, though it can last a few days if you store it properly.




Chicken

Chicken is to prepare. And if there is a sudden dinner party it is also easier to locate a place where they sell either a roasted chicken or a fried one in a bucket. And if you’re not buying you can always cook it bug batches, of course, if you’re not trying to cook a whole chicken in a rotisserie, an oven where you can roast a whole chicken while it rotates inside.



Barbecue

In some countries, barbecue is usually either a side dish of some sort or the main dish. But in the Philippines, specifically, if it’s a pork barbecue, expect in a party you will see someone getting 3 or 4 sticks of pork skewers pairing them with either rice, pancit, spaghetti, or maybe all of the above!



Lumpiang Shanghai

Lumpiang Shanghai or Shanghai Rolls is another Chinese cuisine; it’s also another name for spring rolls. Now, there are several finger foods that can be served at dinner parties, BUT Shanghai takes the crown when it comes to the fastest finger food to be devoured by Filipino guests. Shanghai is so tasty you would want more and look for more even though you are already aware there’s none left. Filipinos love lumpiang shanghai and most people from other countries who tasted this version of spring rolls share the same love for it. Though it does take more of your time preparing it than frying them, the feeling of exhaustion from preparing the filling to rolling them in egg wraps, makes the person feel proud of it.


When holidays like Christmas and New Year arrive, they always take the time to prepare a LOT of food. Why? Because even if it’s only a family of three or a party with your grandparents, 1st or 2nd cousins, aunts, and uncles that is celebrating; Filipinos love to go all out on holiday dinners. It’s like thanksgiving to other countries but spent on the most significant holidays in the Philippines.


To put it simply, food has a way to anyone’s heart and also to their stomach. Filipinos wherever they are and whatever cuisine they would have tasted they would definitely love them and most likely make their own version out of it and probably share it with someone. Well, that’s how recipes get passed down from generation to generation.

 

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