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Filipino cuisine next for 2017, by Holly Green

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Pop-up restaurants, endless street food choices and food crazes, there’s always something on the horizon for foodies to look out for. But the next big flavours on our lips should be Filipino and here are several reasons why western palates are apparently ready for the cuisine…

It’s been a long time coming. Award-winning food writer Andrew Zimmern predicted Filipino food would be the next big thing five years ago. Now, even the likes of Vogue magazine agree.

Despite common misconceptions of Pinoy dining, opinions on the food of the Philippines are undeniably beginning to change. In a recent article by Bloomberg, it was reported that searches for ‘Filipino food’ via Google have doubled since 2012, while queries for ‘lumpia near me’ have sharply increased by 3,350 per cent.

Filipino food culture has expanded to include tastes from around the world that Westerners are already familiar with. Elements of Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Pacific Islander dishes are amongst the most notable flavours.

Since Filipino cuisine is notoriously free from dairy and gluten, this makes it suitable for a variety of dietary needs and health regimes. Meals will fit in especially with the up and coming trend of communal dining and sharing platters considering meals are traditionally enjoyed family style in the Philippines.

However, although top chef Anthony Bourdain agrees that Filipino food is ‘underrated’, certain dishes are expected to be much more popular than others. In fact, Bourdain recommends one of his favourite dishes ‘sisig’, which includes various parts of a pig, as a readily-available, casual dish to enjoy. But will the western world be open to eating pig snout, ear and tongue? We aren’t sure if we’re convinced just yet.

When it comes to PR, global perceptions of Filipino food are very important, especially in terms of tourism which directly affects the nation’s economic success. If countries like Cambodia and Thailand can make munching on insects seem tempting, perhaps we can do the same for the Philippines and its famous ‘balut’ (developing bird embryo) street-food!


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