Despite the high position of many of the top Los Angeles chefs, many of whom are Filipino and grew up on Filipino food, few traces of Filipino food can be found in the restaurants they work for or own. The private kitchens of these chefs churn out dish after ethnic dish for their families or private company, but diners at the restaurants would find no such dishes. Marvin Gapultos, a Filipino-American food blogger, cites the geography of the Philippines as a factor of the lack of a unifying dish, where “there are 7,000 ways to make [adobo]”. The history of the Philippines offers glimpses into the foreign influences that shape what Filipino cuisine is today: Indonesian and Malaysian cultures brought biko and suman; the Chinese, lumpia and pancit, the Mexicans, tamarind, chiles, and chocolate; and the Americans, hot dogs, spaghetti, and Spam. Read more…
If Filipinos can assimilate into other dominant cultures (Spaniards brought Roman Catholicism and the Latin script; the Americans brought English), why has Filipino food not yet assimilated into mainstream American cuisine?
Related: Recipes for chicken adobo
Auntie Fe’s bichu-bichu