How To Fall In Love With Filipino Food

On today’s show

Why am I so keen to learn about the history, traditions and culture that surround the food from my homeland? This episode, I share how I fell in love with Filipino food in four stages – and what drives my desire to explore the country’s foodways.

What prompted this episode?

For a really long time, I wondered about how to best convey the feelings I had toward food from the Philippines. Why did it matter so much that I felt an intense disconnect between how the world and I perceived the food traditions I grew up with? Why did I want to visit someplace where my parents worried for my safety, to visit farms where chocolate and cacao trees grew? Why did I spend my hard-earned money working overnights at a hotel, on books about food history and culture?

In the end – it’s because I needed to write and speak in my own voice, in a way that felt truly my own. It took some getting used to.

If you think a little deeper about Filipino food, emerge with a desire to read books by Doreen Fernandez, or just crave a sliver of lechon with golden skin that crackles after listening – your own journey into exploring Filipino kitchens is well on its way.

Show notes

01:10 Step 1: Uncover the romance
03:30 Excerpt from “Kinilaw Artistry In Old Sagay” by Doreen Fernandez
08:50 Step 2: Give into jealousy (the good kind)
12:40 Step 3: Putting yourself out there
13:50 Eating durian
15:40 Eating pako (fiddlehead ferns)
16:30 A visit to a monastery
17:45 A bevvy of bagoong (fermented shrimp/fish) at a market in Davao
18:40 Eating lato (“sea grapes”)
19:50 Climbing a mountain
20:20 Step 4: Indulge in your desires
22:20 “Philippine cuisine began as other cuisines do”

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2 thoughts on “How To Fall In Love With Filipino Food

  1. Felice Prudente Sta. Maria

    Enjoyed listening to you, Natasha. The Philippines is generous to those who love it. So happy that Doreen, dear friend, has inspired you and moved you into a culinary romance that grows deliriously rapturous with the years. Love the foods that flirt with your nose amusingly and those that dive straight into your gut with bravura. Good luck sharing your sensual affair. Felice

    • Dear Felice,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. As a reader of your work (and a student of your approach to Philippine history), it humbles and fills me with gratitude that you have taken time to listen. There really is so much to tell about food in the Philippines – like the kinds of fruit you can see in a market, Filipino disposition and hospitality shines in this regard! And the best part is that people who like to eat good food…tend to be very good storytellers too 🙂

      My heartfelt thanks!

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