Andrew Zimmern needs to come back to the Philippines. He hasn’t tried most of this list just yet. Here is my top Philippine Bizzare Foods.
Filipino’s are known for humility and hospitality and therefore respects foreigners who embody the same traits when visiting the Philippines. The things I will mention here will help you break the ice and will gain you friends and will help you get your way around town without garnering suspicion typical of a new visitor and new face in town. The numbers don’t mean anything, you can apply these traits in any order depending on the circumstance.
- Smile. I know it sounds silly. And you’re probably expect something like bow your head, remove your shoes etc, but a simple smile signifies humility and filipino’s will radiate from this gesture of good will and will readily open up to help you with anything you need. Specially right off the airport when things don’t go your way.
- Take it to go. Many Filipino’s embodied the tradition of always giving even during times of need. I believe this trait came during wartime where everything is hard to come by and to survive. Filipino’s came together and shared what they had between families. No, we are not in survival anymore but there are those really good addicting foods like lumpia, pancit and adobe that we just want more off after a party that we want to take home. Its ok. Take a plate to go. That means the food was good and most family’s will probably insist that you take some home with you.
- Always say thank you. The simplest of things that we take for granted means a lot to Filipino’s. This humble gesture will encourage whomever you’re dealing to do more for you. Now, you are not going to get the same positive response all the time but this is a good guide to start with specially if you’re a visitor in town.
- Bless. No you’re not going to offer a prayer. Grab an elderly’s hand and put it in your forehead then say. “Bless Po”. Asians hold their elderly with a lot of respect. This gesture will ensure instant positive feed back to whomever you applied this to and to the people seeing you doing it. Just like in the portrayal of the image in the painting above.
- Bring Gifts. Its a tradition that is known to all from time immemorial. Most Filipino’s travel outside of the country to find good opportunities so they can support their family’s. Most times the family left behind is usually holding for dear times where basic needs is mostly important than wants. When the breadwinner comes home. The little “Pasalubongs” or gifts brought back for the family brings a lot of joy and promise to the coming future. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You just have to do the act.
- Buy Groceries. If you’re living on someone’s house for the duration of the visit. Bringing food to the table on your first day gives a very str
I know the feeling of looking at a new cuisine and you don’t want to look like a newbie. If you follow this guide on how to eat Balot. You more than likely to make new friends and much deserved respect.
- Pick the heaviest from the bunch. That means you will have more of the savory soup inside that taste just like chicken. (The Darker the Egg. The bigger the Chick.)
- Find the airpocket in the egg and start cracking.
- Once you have a crater to this volcanic treat. Add the condiments either rock salt or a vinegar concoction with hot peppers and all kinds of secret stuff. (Available at the site of purchase)
- Start slurping the soupy, savory chicken juice.
- After all the juice is gone. Peel the egg all the way down almost the other end. Have a little bit of shell left so you can hold onto it. Add more of the salt or vinegar mix at this time. (Optional)
- Say your prayers and take a big bite.
- The Beer to flush down all your sins. Amen.
Balot – One of the most googled foods in the internet. The famous savory unborn chicken or duck still in its egg called Balot. Yeah, yeah I know, I know. This looked like a freaky scene from an alien movie and the thought that this is a delicacy is a little scary and you would ask yourself the question why would people eat this? Before we answer that question. Lets look back in time and find out where Balot came from. I don’t want to bore you with wikipedia material but i’ll give a short historical background of how Balot came about to the Philippines. Chinese Traders introduced this delicacy to the Philippines in the 17th century and was adopted locally to become one of the most common street food in the Philippines. There you go. Now I know most of you are not going to visit the Philippines just to eat Balot but I can tell you that if you want an ice breaker. Gobble one of this down and follow it with a good bottle of San Miguel beer and you will have a crowd cheering your name and maybe get a date. Just kidding. There’s a process to eating balot. You have to select the heaviest egg from the bunch to make sure its juicy. Peel the butt end of the balot just enough to expose the contents but make sure to not spill the soup. Drink the soup and slowly peel the rest of the egg to expose the embryo. Dip it with the offering sause, either a vinegar mix or salt and pepper, then take the whole thing in one bite. If you think you won’t be able to handle the visual experience. Don’t look at the contents. Just put it in your mouth and enjoy. It doesn’t taste like what you think it is. Its actually good. Taste just like chicken.