I often hear comparisons of food from the West to the Philippines and statements of it not being any good here or lower quality. Truth of the matter is you don’t see many cows wandering around here, but like when I visit Greece the whole point is not to bring the UK or U.S. menu to the table but the local ingredients. The seafood here is cheap and there is export quality available if you know where to shop. Cebu has around 1000 restaurants and that is another subject than what I want to discuss because the truth of the matter is changing your diet could also be beneficial health wise. I have started getting a taste for coconut water which I am going to swap out the fizzy cokes etc and replace with. There are a lot of health benefits from drinking coconut water and being in the Philippines there is no shortage of coconuts so its a cheap item to have daily. I buy a large piece of water melon every few days for around P15.00 and if its dry tomorrow I will take a trip into the market with my camera and do a bit more rooting around so people can get an idea of what they are missing if they go local..
Another thing about doing things yourself or with friends is it inspires people to be more creative as well as the opportunity to try new things. We recently went to a “pot luck” party at our friends and for it I had prepared a very fruity but tasty curry (as most people don’t appreciate my hotter flavours) and April made some dips as well as flat bread that was used for scooping the curry as well as for the various dips. As you can see from the table there is a lot of variety as different people brought different things and its something I would like to do more often. The other reason I like these type of get togethers besides the food is there is always good company.
I have started to appreciate the regular gatherings we have more I think its partly the fact I am starting to pick up more of the local language and also its more like a big family than just friends. I know this doesn’t fit into what a lot of Expat’s want to do as they prefer hanging out with just Expat’s and I can understand that side of things as well as I have started to do that more lately as well. One major difference though is I find our local friends are more into the chat and the food than anything else. Where as the Expat groups we seem to drink too much as its mainly external meet ups involving drinking bars or in a resort or beach with beer/spirits. But at the same time its an opportunity to have a bit of flair for cooking and its something me and April enjoy doing a lot so I am tempted to look at starting doing more dishes on the blog with things you can do on a budget with local ingredients but its also good for me and my wife as we just love doing it. Anyway I will just post a few photos from my wife April’s blog so you can get an idea of what is easy to do here even on a budget and I will look to start putting things together on priced budgets and with a variety of food types etc.
So is the food no good in the Philippines? If you still think so your not living. There is a huge variety of food out there a lot of the local dishes may seem a bit bland to Western taste buds but the Philippines is still a bit of a garden of eden if you know where to look. Also its a good idea to grow a few things yourself if you have space. We have Chillies growing in a large bucket which are giving us enough for our table regularly and now our bell peppers are starting to develop. Doesn’t take much to make that table have an inviting meal sat on it..