Top 10 Most Challenging Filipino Food
1. Chicken feet and head locally known as Adidas and Helmet
It is the most common street food. Boiled along with spices like garlic, ginger and onion, it is then made into skewers and grilled again. You may choose your sauce from sweet-sour or spicy vinegar. You may see stalls from afternoon to late night along with other street food such as kwek-kwek(boiled egg in orange breading), fish balls and kikiam.
Are you into something crunchy and juicy at the same time? Deep-fried field cricket is a kind of insect but is said to be rich in protein. So if you are up for a unique taste, go ahead and have a bite!
3. Etag/Itag or Innasin
In the Cordilleras in the Northern part of the country, there is a popular traditional way of preserving food. Big slabs of meat, usually pork, is cured in salt and air-dried for weeks or even months. They use a specific kind of wood to smoke the meat and the meat turns darker and darker due to aging process. Others may find it unpalatable due to the foul smell and at times, have maggots during the first few days of air-drying due to exposure to flies. But once the meat is covered in milky-white mold, it may be rinsed and grilled then served with rice.The taste is similar to ham but without the sweet taste.
4. Dinuguan (Pig blood stew)
If you have hematophobia, this dish isn’t for you. Dinuguan is a flavorful dish with pork innards such as lungs, intestines, heart and snout cooked in dark gravy made from pig blood seasoned with salt, pepper, onions, ginger and vinegar. Some people prefer it a bit sweet. It may vary from runny/soupy or dry but is usually paired with Filipino rice cake called puto. A specific religion prohibits its members to eat this dish due to a biblical reference of blood being dirty.
If you are into the ethical treatment of animals, this may cause your stomach to churn. From the Ilocano word “pikpik” which loosely means “hitting repeatedly’, the chicken is prepared by beating it with a stick repeatedly while still alive.The beating bruises the chicken’s flesh, bringing blood to its surface, which is said to improve the flavour after cooking. The process violates the Animal Welfare Act 1998 but it is hard to tell whether the practice is long gone or not.
From the Ilocano word “pait” which means “bitter”, the dish is true to its name. Goat or cow innards are usually used in the dish. The bitter taste of the soup comes from the bile and added with green peppers and spices. It must be eaten hot, otherwise, the soup will become too greasy.
7. Soup #5
This dish is not for the modest because the soup is made from cow’s testes and penis. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac. But it’s becoming rare and only few eateries particularly at Chinatowns serve this delicacy.
It loosely means “fermented” or ” pickled” but the most popular is the Burong isda (fermented fish). It is prepared by deboning raw fish and rubbing with salt and pepper. Cooked rice should be well-cooked then add the rest of the salt and pepper. Store in a sealed jar and wait about two weeks. Cook by sautéing and add a bit of sugar to counter the sourness. Serve as a siding to fried or dried fish or vegetables.
This dish isn’t for the faint of heart. Tamilok or “woodworm or shipworm” is a slimy dish. It is eaten as “kinilaw” or raw and marinated in vinegar or lime juice, chili peppers and onions. The taste was compared to milk or even oysters.
Probably the most horrifying and challenging food the Philippines is known for, the fertilized duck egg is boiled and sold in the streets. It is eaten on the shell with a bit of salt or vinegar with chili peppers. It is believed to revive stamina and best paired with beer.But consumption should be limited to two eggs a day.
Food is part of one’s culture. It takes courage to go and give it a try. Some may seem gross or scary but one can acquire the taste after few tries. Regardless, food gives a great experience to a country’s tradition and culture. So, wanna grab a bite?
♦Let’s talk with aimtalk teachers
- Do you know some unique food in your country? If so, tell me what they look like?
- Have you ever eaten unique food like the ones in article? If so, Please share your experience.
- Nowadays, we can choose various ingredients at the supermarket regardless the seasons or places and you can even get vegetables which come from the opposite side of the world. Do you think people still eat these kind of unique food?
cure(v): preserved something like food by drying it, smoking or covering it with salt
maggot(n): a small creature like worm which is the young form of a fly
churn(v): if your stomach churns, you feel sick because you are nervous
bile(n): a bitter green-brown liquid formed in the liver which helps you to digest fats
debone(v): remove bones
acquire the taste: begin to like something
grab a bite: to get something to eat