Food Ingredients » Philippines » San Juan, Metro Manila
Food Product Language : English
Product Types : Mixes and sauces
KALUTO NG PILIPINO:
A GEOGRAPHY OF THE FILIPINO APPETITE
If islands are countries unto their own, then the Philippines is invariably a whole planet in itself. The country’s dynamic, kinetic and continuously evolving culture takes root from a myriad of influences and is continuously shaped by the diverse geographical features of its more than 7,000 islands. These influences find their most eloquent expression in the way Filipino regional and tribal group’s cook and eat. Collectively, these dishes form the kaluto (cuisine) that is uniquely Filipino.
The frugal and hardworking Ilocanos living on the harsh strip of land in the northwest part of Luzon have developed a rudimentary cuisine. They are best known for dinengdeng and pinakbet, both stews consisting of vegetables that can be easily grown in the backyard (like talong, squash, okra, tomatoes and ampalaya) seasoned with fermented fish or shrimp sauce (bagoong), or cooked with grilled fish. Caught between sea and mountain range, the region’s sandy soil is better suited to growing tobacco.
The provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, sitting on river deltas and fertile plains, are homes to the landed gentry. Thus, their culinary cultures boast of some of most lavish cuisine such as relleno, estofado and asado. The fields with their over abundant harvest of grains have yielded a seemingly endless selection of rice cakes and savory rice entrees such as bringhe and paella.
With the sea, rivers, lakes, rich grazing lands and farms forming a prolific matrix of food source, the Southern Tagalog provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite and Rizal have developed a cuisine that resonates with the unadulterated flavors of land and sea: sinaing na tulingan and bulalo of Batangas, seafoods of Cavite, dinilawang carpa and sinigang na kanduli of Rizal, the jardinera and pancit habhab of Quezon Province, and the puto at kutsinta of Laguna.
In the Bicol peninsula where typhoons can blow strong and cold, Bicolanos have perfected the use of sili to concoct a cuisine that is fiery hot. The abundance of coconuts has also enhanced the regional cookery. Together, coconut milk and sili work their magic in such dishes as Bicol Express (named, conspicuously, after the train that plies between Manila and Bicol), pinangat and the ubiquitous laing.
The islands of the Visayas, whose reefs teem with fish and whose lands are some of the most arable in the country, are home to some of the purest flavors in Philippine cuisine. In some cases, food is eaten raw such as the oysters and sisi of Capiz and Iloilo. Aside from its prized oysters, Capiz has distinguished itself as the ‘Seafood Capital of the Philippines’ with its bountiful catches of crabs (alimango), prawns and mussels.
In Dumaguete, on the island of Negros, freshly caught dilis is painstakingly gutted and marinated in vinegar, lime juice, sili and the cream of grated coconut to create a kinilaw of a rich and delightfully spicy flavor. In Bacolod, inasal, or grilling, is the favored method of cooking poultry. Chicken meat is marinated in lime or calamansi juice and annatto, and grilled to golden perfection.
Jutting close to the islands of Malaysia and Indonesia, Mindanao shares many of the flora and fauna of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Thus, nowhere are spices such as turmeric, lemongrass, cilantro and curry used more extensively than in Mindanao cookery. Here, tables are laden with exotic harvests such as durian, mangosteen and marang.
The seas surrounding Mindanao are also famous for the yield of gigantic tuna – making the fish and its parts a rich source of recipes such as tuna belly and panga, which are grilled and dipped in sili-spiked soy sauce. In Zamboanga, two unusual crabs – the tatos and curacha – emerge from the sea to eat coconuts and enrich the cuisine even more. They are simply steamed, boiled, or simmered in coconut milk and enjoyed with gusto.
While commercial interaction and marriage with people from neighboring Asian countries have invariably added color, texture and flavor to local cuisine, it is the influences from the Chinese that continues to shape Filipino cookery. The dynamic relationship between Chinese and Filipino flavors is best captured in the many mutations of pancit, the generic term for noodles.
From the Chinese, Filipino cooks have learned to use canton (thick egg noodles), bihon (dried rice vermicelli) and sotanghon (glass mung bean noodles) which were generally sautéed with vegetables and pork, chicken, or shrimps. The love affair with pancit was so strong and extensive that Filipinos all over learned to create their own versions. There’s pancit Malabon (cooked with shrimps, squid and mussels which the seaside town is famous for), pancit habhab (served in banana leaves and bathed in vinegar and sold in the streets of Lucena and Lucban) and even pancit buko (a tasty concoction using the grated meat of young coconut rather than noodles).
Under Spanish rule for centuries, the Filipino taste buds acquired a yen for the richly flavored stews of the Iberian conquerors. The Spaniards brought with them the jamon Serrano and chorizo de Bilbao, and new ingredients such as acete de oliva, Mexican paprika, cheeses and butter, wines and other distilled spirits. Filipinos embraced the foreign flavors and learned to cook the Spanish way. This love affair comes to the fore in the Filipino festive dishes that are highly treasured, such as, lengua estofado, paella, cocido, morcon, menudo, galantina and relleno.
The Americans may have stayed the shortest as the country’s administrators but their hold on the Filipino palate remains strong and compelling. The Americans changed the landscape of Philippine cuisine forever when they introduced such easy-to-cook morsels as hotdogs and hamburgers. Today, Filipinos wake up craving for hotdog served with fried rice and eggs, or as a filling between sliced pandesal. From mami, goto and tokwa’t baboy, Filipinos have shifted their devotion to hamburgers as the preferred snack. This has been highly Filipinized as well by using local beef and more redolent seasonings to make the beef patty tastier.
Archipelagos they say are most wont to go with the shifts in global trends and ideologies—the waters surrounding the islands are relentless harbingers of change. For millennia, Filipinos have embraced such changes—welcoming but altering them to suit the climate, the temperament and the persuasive powers of the taste buds.
WHO IS MAMA SITA?
Are you Filipino? If you are, then you probably know who Mama Sita is. Most likely, you first met her in the kitchen, through the all the mouth-watering meals she would prepare for everyone to eat. Or you may have met her while you were in another country, while searching for the
incomparable taste of home-cooked food. The name “Mama Sita” has always been associated with genuinely delicious Filipino food.
Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes is well known for her extraordinary gift with food- cooking, incorporating, even selecting ingredients that really make our favorite food taste even better. Her mother, Doña Engracia Reyes, is known as the “Mother of Filipino Cooking”. Through her parents, Mama Sita first learned that nothing could compare to the goodness of Filipino cooking. Her family ran the restaurant Aristocrat, which is why at an early age, her life already revolved around the world of food.
Food wasn’t her only interest. She was also very business-minded. She would wake up early in the morning and would go to markets such as Divisoria and Nepa Q-Mart to check out the items they offered. When it came to buying things, Mama Sita was number one. As soon as someone would offer her products at a discounted price, she couldn’t stop herself from buying them. From sacks of rice to a dozen cans of evaporated milk, or ten baskets of mangos, she really would not let the opportunity pass. As long as she was able to buy something, anything at all, she would go home satisfied, and with a smile on her face.
Her hard-working efforts were not only seen in her traveling to so many places just to gather delectable and reasonably priced food. It was also apparent in the kitchen, of course. She was able to come up with countless recipes and innovative ways of preparing food, due to her
productive ethics. She never got tired of experimenting with different ingredients. Writing her newfound recipes and discoveries on her diaries and journals also became a hobby of hers, which lead to us finding out fascinating secrets and tips on cooking! Another thing that stood out about Mama Sita was her character. Those who were fortunate enough to have met her can still remember her laugh. They also recall how she would pick on lansones and butong pakuan, even her habit of going to places that were far, just so she could taste the food they were well known for.
Even by the mere mention of her name, we can remember so many memories and stories about her. But above all those, we must remember the real reasons behind the word “mama” in “Mama Sita”. Her relationship with food cannot be separated with her love for people. Using her talent with food, she reached out and showed everyone that you cannot separate from a Filipino his love for his own food and his own country. That’s who Mama Sita is- a conscientious businesswoman, an industrious co-worker, a loving relative, and a real mother, in every sense of the word.
TAMARIND SEASONING MIX
Sinigang sa Sampalok
A distinctly fruity tamarind soup made from fresh unripe tamarind and select spices. It is most commonly used in the preparation of Sinigang, a healthy one dish soup popular in the Philippines.
SPICY STEW MIX
A mixture of Spanish and Asian spices of just the right proportions make this a widely popular seasoning for mouth-watering Caldereta.
As both spice and natural coloring, achuete imparts a mild semi-sweet flavor and a hearty red color to food. Soluble in oil and water.
Made from a combination of natural ingredients rather than artificial substitutes the label of Mama Sita’s Pang Gisá Mix, which follows the BFAD’s mandate to print an ordinal list of ingredients on the label, reveals its exceptional health value -no MSG! Mama Sita’s Pang Gisá Mix gets its delicious, homegrown ginisa flavor and aroma from pure chicken extract and choice spices grown in pristine surroundings and harvested painstakingly by hand.
GUAVA SOUP BASE MIX
Sinigang sa Bayabas
Organically-grown, tree ripened Philippine guavas, so prized for their intense flavor, serve as the base ingredient for this mix. Sinigang sa bayabas is a regional Philippine delicacy, a variation of the traditional Sinigang traditionally prepared with Bangus (Milk Fish) and a variety of Asian Vegetables.
PEANUT SAUCE MIX
This all-natural combination of toasted rice and annatto gives you the authentic taste of traditional Kare-kare (a rich peanut-based stew). This is the first peanut-based mix in the country to be proven aflatoxin-free. Mama Sita's was the first to use a special process that detects and removes aflatoxin-contaminated peanuts.
Tamarind Seasoning Paste
Made from fresh sour tamarind, Mama Sita's Tamarind Seasoning Paste is thickened with yam for a truly fruity sinigang. It has a more natural flavor because it is in paste form.
Mama Sita’s Adobo Marinade is just the right blend of soy sauce, vinegar and spices. Removes the guesswork from achieving the perfect adobo.
PURE LABUYO SAUCE
Red Hot Pepper Sauce
Made From Native Philippine Bird’s Eye Red Hot Peppers known as Labuyo, Mama Sita’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce is an all-natural and preservative free condiment that is perfect wherever you need a sharp yet delectable bite.
MUSHROOM OYSTER SAUCE
Capture the real taste of mushroom masterfully blended in Oyster Sauce. A new favorite for everyday dishes.
HOW TO ORDER
For product inquiries and availability concerns, you can reach:
MARIGOLD MFG. CORPORATION
Mailing Address :
131 F. Manalo Street, San Juan Metro Manila, 1500 Philippines
Tel. Nos. :
Fax Nos. :
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