The Department of Agriculture (DA) spearheaded this year’s Filipino Food Month (FFM) to preserve, enrich and promote cuisines that are part of the nation’s cultural heritage, history and identity.
“Aside from highlighting our rich culinary tradition, may this event provide a platform to acknowledge the role of our local communities especially our farmers, fisherfolk, and other sector involved in food production, the culinary industry, and national food security,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said during the Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino on Tuesday, March 21.
This year, with the theme, “Pagkaing Sariling Atin, Mahalin at Pagyamanin,” the FFM kicked off at the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
For its part, the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM) said that Filipino food is often referred to as one of the world’s earliest fusion cuisines, having its ancestral cooking influenced mostly by the surrounding environment of people’s settlements and early foreign visitors, such as the Mexicans from the galleon trade period and the Muslims from neighboring countries.
“Filipino cuisine has complex and distinct flavors—mostly a combination of salty, sour, sweet and bitter, although spicy dishes are also highly concentrated in Bicol and in the Muslim areas of Mindanao,” the PCHM added.
Moreover, majority of the movement’s dishes are also best served as viands with rice—the country’s major food staple—and dipping sauces and condiments such as buro (fermented rice and fish), bagoong (fermented salted fish or shrimp), and suka (vinegar).
Dishes vary from one region to another, province to province depending on the local ingredients available in the area, the PCHM said.