Pampanga holds the title of being the Culinary Capital of the Philippines as the province is blessed with great cooks which are trained by the Spaniards during the colonial period. These great cooks pass their culinary expertise from generation to generation.
Here are some of the famous foods which the province is known for:
- Tocino or “Pindang Babi”
Tocino is the Filipino’s bacon. In the Philippines, it refers to sweetened and cured pork belly. This is usually being served at breakfast paired with fried egg and sliced tomatoes.
This delish Filipino-style Paella is a perfect one-pot meal for any occasion. Made with glutinous rice, chicken, chorizo de bilbao, different vegetables, and coconut milk that makes it more tasty. Top with sliced boiled egg for final touch.
The name sisig comes from an old Tagalog word “sisigan” which means “to make it sour”. Lucia Cunanan or well known as “Aling Lucing” unexpectedly invented this dish by accidentally burning a pork’s face and belly that is for barbeque. To make a remedy for the burned pork, she minced it, put chopped onion, chicken liver, chili , squeeze with some calamansi juice and mix everything. And voila!
4. Kamaru or Mole Cricket
The typical way to cook the Kamaru is by sautéing them with onion, garlic, sliced tomatoes, and chili pepper then simmer for 5 minutes. Add a 1/4 cup of vinegar and wait for another 2 minutes to boil, then add salt & pepper to taste.
5. Burong Kapampangan
This is one of the most famous food specialties of Kapampangans’. Buro is a Tagalog word which means fermented or pickled. Burong Kapampangan is a form of fermented rice with fish or small shrimps. This serves as a side dish or dipping sauce for fried fish and steamed vegetables.
I know that you are all now feeling excited to try these Kapampangan dishes. But wait, hold a little tighter because there’s more! These great cooks are not just masters in making main dishes, but they are also great in spoiling our sweet tooth with their famous desserts.
Here are some of the Kapampangan desserts which you should not missed in trying when you visit Pampanga.
Tibok-tibok is a milk pudding which is made of carabao’s milk, rice flour, and topped with “latik” or solid coconut curds. The name tibok-tibok came from the Tagalog word “tibok” means “heartbeat”. This is due to the method of determining if the dish is cooked. Once it has reduced to a firm consistency, the bubbles barely break the surface, making it look like it is pulsating.
2. Kabigting’s Halo-Halo
Halo-halo is the Filipino’s ultimate summer treat. It resembles Korea’s Bingsu. Halo-halo is consists of shaved ice, layered with different caramelized fruits like kidney beans, sweet potatoes, bananas and other treats. Drizzled with milk and topped with ube ice cream. Meanwhile, Flora and Jacinto Kabigting has a small snack store in Arayat, Pampanga and were thinking of altering the usual halo-halo that Filipinos’ are used to. Jacinto’s sister Geraldine suggested incorporating sugared white kidney beans (they come in different colors) into the mix. Different from the traditional halo-halo that consists of different ingredients, Kabigting’s halo-halo only comprised of chewy and slightly sticky mashed white kidney bean and or carabao milk “pastillas” or milk tablet, and drizzled with milk.
3. Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan Salad
One of the famous “pasalubong” or gift/souvenir store in Pampanga is Nathaniel’s Bakeshop. It offers variety of food treats to people visiting the province, from different kinds of breads, baked goodies, cakes, pasta and many more. But Nathaniel’s has been known for it’s Buko Pandan Salad because of its right amount of sweetness and generous portion of coconut strip and sliced pandan jelly.