History and Influences
page 2... History and Influences
Spanish settlers in the 16th century brought with them produce from the Americas like chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and the method of sautéing with garlic and onions.
Although chili peppers are nowhere as widely used in Filipino cooking compared to much of Southeast Asia, chili leaves are frequently used as a cooking green, again distinct from the cooking of neighbors. Spanish (and Mexican) dishes were eventually incorporated into Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes usually being prepared for special occasions.
Some dishes such as arroz a la valenciana remain largely the same in the Philippine context. Some have been adapted or have come to take on a slightly or significantly different meaning.
Arroz a la cubana served in the Philippines usually includes ground beef picadillo. Philippine longganisa despite its name is more akin to chorizo than Spanish longaniza (in Visayan regions, it is still known as chorizo). Morcon is likely to refer to a beef roulade dish not the bulbous specialty Spanish sausage.
Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques, styles of cooking, and ingredients find their way into the country.
Traditional dishes both simple and elaborate, indigenous and foreign-influenced, are seen as are more current popular international viands and fast food fare.
However, the Filipino diet is higher in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than other Asian cuisines.