Filipino food – Too slow to assimilate into the mainstream?

Filipino food has not assimilated into mainstream American cuisine.  Why not?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

Mom’s nilaga

Auntie Fe’s bichu-bichu

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Francis M. Unson

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3 Responses to “Filipino food – Too slow to assimilate into the mainstream?”

  1. Dale Kamp Says:

    Regardless of why it has or hastn’t, I hope it does soon. Filipinos have some good cuisine.

  2. Randall Says:

    Those who who have never tried Filipino food are missing out!

    Have you ever had Okoy?

    Nothing like a good Pork (Baboy) Adobo!

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