For the Love of Filipino Food and Cooking at Home

There’s nothing like cooking at home and enjoying the dishes you’ve prepared so lovingly in the kitchen. It gets better when your family and guests enjoy the dishes you serve them. Hearing them say “wow and sarap!” or “grabeng busog!” will surely make you smile from ear to ear. This is what my mother always tells us whenever she hears compliments from us and from the people who are lucky to taste her home-cooked dishes.

Me and my sister are trying to replicate this skill because our mother is truly a gifted cook with standard taste buds. She’s a traditional cook mainly because she sticks with the basic Filipino ingredients. She hates it when we try to jazz up some of her cooking by adding spices that are not included in the original recipes. So, we often get kicked out of the kitchen, literally. [And, hence the title of this blog – The Kitchen Invader.]

But nothing really beats the standard and staple Filipino dishes such as lechon, sinigang, pinakbet, kare-kare, sisig, lumpiang sariwa, and many others. Though it is true that Filipino food is a mixture of Spanish and Chinese influences, these dishes are considered truly our own as they have been in our history for years.

And who can forget the numerous ‘kakanin’ and ‘meryenda’ and other delicacies that originate from various parts of the country. There’s buko pie, espasol, palitaw, puto bumbong, puto, and many more.

Also, it is no wonder why many foreigners also dig some of our famous dishes and desserts. I have friends and relatives who are married to foreigners, and they like Filipino food. There are also numerous restaurants – not fast food chains, by the way – that also lurk in some famous cities abroad.

I don’t want to think further and wonder about these things. I just often think that Filipino food, no matter how simple or complicated it may be, is always lovingly prepared. A passionate and talented cook, like my mother, will always make the best dishes in the kitchen. And whoever has the opportunity to take a bite or two will always enjoy the experience.