EP 12: American Influence On Filipino Food With Alex Orquiza

While lots of people talk about Filipino food in America today, I'm more interested in telling my story as a middle-class kid who grew up in Manila in the 90s. While I wasn't ashamed of having Filipino food in my lunch box, I definitely wanted hotdogs and french fries more than rice - and so did everyone else. But how exactly did Filipinos come to love American food so much? I asked Rene Alexander Orquiza, a professor based in Rhode Island whose research and teaching interests focus on 20th century American and Philippine history. He’s got fascinating stories to share about how 50 years of American colonial rule really shaped not just our food, but to a broader extent, the culture and traditions of the Philippines.

Show notes

05:15 About
08:05 Finding an area of study
11:15 Old menus in libraries
12:20 What I found in school syllabi
13:10 American missionaries arrive
15:00 The Fannie Farmer effect
17:05 A trickle down of knowledge
18:15 Del Monte ads
19:45 "The perfect drink for new mothers"
21:40 Hotdogs, ketchup and coca-cola
23:25 Giving context to our food culture
24:50 Why is American influence so important?
26:00 "That colonial mentality"
27:00 Another missing piece
28:05 "Filipino food was from 5 provinces"
29:20 On regionality
30:45 A visit to Marawi State University
33:55 The restaurant reviewer
35:50 Travel guides
37:00 Dinner and a show
39:40 The worldview of Mrs. Taft
44:30 "My parents make more sense now"
46:05 Regional cuisines are the future
48:40 Building a collective
50:00 Tying narratives together


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