Pampanga is a province of the Philippines located in Central Luzon or region 3. City of San Fernando is the capital which surrounded by the provinces of Bataan and Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan.
A Little Bit of History
The name Pampanga was given by the Spaniard which is from the word pampang meaning river bank. It is consider as the first Spanish province in the country in 1571.
Why called as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines?
Pampanga is called as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines because the province is blessed which great cooks which are trained by the Spaniards during the colonial period. These great cooks pass their culinary expertise from generation to generation for kapampangan choose spouse that are good in cooking.
The passion of Kapampangans in preparing food is evident in some cooking practices such as Singkutsa and preserving techniques such that one used in creating Burong Isda.
What is Singkutsa?
Singkutsa means parboil,marinate or cooking it halfway. It is done mainly to avoid spoilage. This is done usually during fiesta for they need to cook many dishes so they do the singkutsa the day before the event so that they can easily cook the food in the early morning of the event, saving time in cooking.
This method of cooking also enhance the flavors of the food since the spices will linger into every strands of the meat making it more tasty and flavorful.
The Birth of Kapampangan Exotic Food
Exotic food in Pampanga are invented due to revolts, floods, disasters and the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, Kapampangans experienced extreme famine, hunger and poverty in the 18th century. Kapampangan tried to cook insects and other ugly creatures to have a food in their table for food source in that time is limited.
Famous Food in Pampanga
The province is known for the food such as tocino, sisig, halo halo, pancit palabok, tibok tibok, biringhe, betute or stuffed frog, kamaru or mole crickets, buru or fermented rice with fish or shrimps, native sweets and delicacies like turonnes de casuy, pastillas and sanikulas, a famous cookie from Mexico made by Mrs. Lillian Borromeo, a Kapampangan Food Historian.
Tocino or Pindang Babi
Cured Pork which is usually sweet. This is created to prolong the life of the food.
Pancit Palabok or Pancit Luglug
A tasty pancit of the province, you can taste the shrimps in the sauce of the dish.Very flavorful!
One the dish that Pampanga is well-known for is Sisig. Lucia Cunanan “Aling Lucing” accidentally invented the said dish by burning the pork’s face and belly which is supposedly as barbecue, to make a remedy for the burned pork, she minced it, put chopped onion, chicken liver, chili , little of calamansi juice and mix everything. Today, this dish is famous in the whole Philippines with different version now such as Chicken, Tofu and Seafood.
Biringhe or Poor Man’s Paella
Paella with only native chicken as meat, that’s Biringhe of Pampanga, simple dish yet delicious.
Made with carabao’s milk and coconut cream topped with latik, coconut cream cooked for an hour to reduce and form a nice golden brown look.
Specifically from Nataniel’s, this dessert is really creamy and cold which is perfect to cleanse the palate after a sumptuous meal or as a refreshment for the hot weather.
How would you love your halo halo with homemade yema? That’s Kabigting Halo Halo. You can also try another version halo halo from Razon’s .
Kapampangan are also good in making the leche flan.
Pampanga is also know for its exotic dishes such as Betute or Stuffed Frog and Kamaru or Mole Crickets. Be brave and try these sumptuous delicacies of the province.
Kamaru or Mole Crickets
Mole Crickets cooked in soy sauce, vinegar and sauted with tomatoes, onion and garlic until slightly crispy.
Betute or Stuffed Frog
Dressed frog stuffed with minced pork and deep fried.
These are only few of the dishes that Pampanga is famous, there are tons of other delicious dishes out there to be discovered. Pampanga is indeed the Culinary Capital of the Philippines given also the numerous restaurants in the city of Angeles and San Fernando. Have gastronomic experience in Pampanga! Let’s Eat! Delicious Food in Pampanga! Tara! Mangan! Manyaman Pamangan kening Pampanga!