Filipino cuisine is yet to make a mark on the UK food map, and this is Kusina Ni Lola’s mission.
With over 7000 islands making up the Philippine archipelago, the Philippines has been (for hundreds of years!) and continues to be an important hub for trade and culture. Visitors from distant lands have enriched our Malayo-Polynesian origins with Asian, Hispanic, Chinese and American influences to name a few, and therefore one might describe Filipino cuisine as a melting pot of flavours from around the world.
Many friends, friends of friends, work colleagues and other acquaintances have often asked me, ‘What is Filipino food like?’ My vegetarian hubby’s first trip to the Philippines proved to be a challenge for him (lots of rice, vegetarian pancit, chop suey and vegetable spring rolls!), my family and Filipino cuisine as we currently know it.
It has been my dream for some time now to share with you what you’ve been missing. To let you taste what us Filipinos have been enjoying on our dining tables since we were born. To let you experience how we celebrate special occasions, large or small through food. To show you our hospitality by feeding you until you cannot physically move (My husband’s first ever phrase in Tagalog was ‘Busog na ako’ – I am full). To prove to you that Filipino cuisine can be delicious and vegetarian friendly… all at the same time! And most especially, to let you feel the love and warmth from my Grandma’s kitchen through the dishes that she has taught me to cook. It is in her memory that inspired me to attempt to fulfil this dream. Here’s hoping (with everything crossed) that one day, it will be a dream come true.
This is for you Bai Felising.