Dining

Sisig in cosmopolitan New York is as unheard of as halo-halo in Alaska. But elevate the Filipino dish and you’ll find it in good company with other hip eateries in eclectic East Village in New York City.

2016 was an exciting year for the Philippine culinary scene on the Canadian stage when two Canadian Filipinos ended up in the final three of that year’s MasterChef Canada. One of them, Matthew Astorga, charmed audiences and judges alike with not only his culinary skills but also with his disarming smile and signature fedora hat.

Sisig is everything that Winnipeg chef Allan Pineda is – innovative, rebellious and totally unapologetic. And, of course, both are as Filipino as pulutan, a term for which there’s hardly any direct English translation(pulutan is an appetizer or snack that go well with alcoholic drinks, one example of which is the sisig).

Luming was known as the “Pride of Pampanga” among Filipinos in Ottawa in the 1970s. She was well known for her extraordinary and uniquely creative Pampanga cuisine. The province itself is famous for its sophisticated and richly sauced meat fares and stuffed dishes like rellenong manok or bangus or pata (stuffed deboned whole chicken, milkfish or pork hocks), morcon (stuffed rolled beef) and embutido (pork sausage stuffed with hardboiled eggs and pepperoni).

I love Filipino food.  But other than adobo and rice - I don’t cook it.  There’s too much chopping and cutting, a lot of frying and the smell of garlic (although I love the taste!)!   So when I hear that another Filipino restaurant, newly opened, has again caught the attention of Toronto food reviewers, I am excited at the thought that there’s another table where I can enjoy my native dishes.

Whether you are a nostalgic Filipino who misses the flavour of traditional Filipino dishes or someone who is about to try Filipino cuisine for the first time in a restaurant, this top 10 list of must-try dishes defines the unparalleled flavour profile of Philippine cuisine.

How do Filipinos celebrate Christmas?  Let’s just say that in the Philippines, the countdown to Christmas begins in September, yes, September. They call it the start of the “ber” months, and the stores start to stock up on and display Christmas gifts and decorations for sale.

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