The saga continues in discovering what truly defines the culinary taste of every Juan. Is it adobo or sinigang?
Yes, even Filipinos are confused as to what the national food really must be. Which dish, adobo or sinigang, can completely sum up what the Filipino cuisine is all about?
Battle for the Ultimate Filipino Food
Other dishes deserved recognition, too. For example, the personal favorite of world renowned chef, Anthony Bourdain, mentioned the sisig to be the “gateway dish” to the world. This crunchy, spicy, and savory dish convinces any diner that there is more to Filipino food than what meets the eye.
Sisig was just one of the many nominated dishes for the ultimate Pinoy dish alongside the famous adobo and sinigang. Lechon and kinilaw were also among the top contenders for dish recognition.
A Nation Divided by Taste
Stirring up social media, the hype lingered and soared with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts popped the question on their Facebook. It was just for fun asking the Filipinos’ opinion on what should be the national food of the Philippines. Is it adobo or sinigang?
The same Twitter poll by the NCCA concluded with users voting 40 percent for sinigang and 42 percent for adobo. With just a 2-percent lead, does this provide a consensus of what majority of Filipinos have in mind?
Designating an official signature dish for Filipinos could divide citizens instead of unifying us because it’s a sensitive matter. Just like the presidential race, the topic on selecting one national dish can be divisive. It tends to focus on just one cuisine and draws attention away from the rest of the delectable dishes that the Pinoys have.
Is it Adobo or Sinigang?
Doreen Fernandez, a food historian and writer, states that sinigang represents the Filipino taste most because the taste is everything in between. Filipinos love comfort food that is lightly sour, boiled and is versatile because it can include fish, shrimp, vegetables, or meat. This dish has evolved over the years including its cooking method. Ingredients have been added for more flavor. Now you have sinigang using green mangoes or watermelon!
On the other hand, adobo lovers attest that it stands to be the most popular dish that even foreigners recognize us of. Adobo or “adobar” in Spanish which means “picking sauce” or “marinade” is mainly cooked back in the days to preserve food with the use of vinegar. It has the soy sauce ingredient which was first introduced by early Chinese traders. Nowadays, adobo is cooked in different versions all over the Philippines. Bicolanos would use gata or coconut milk while Ilokanos would use Ilokanongsuka.
While adobo and sinigang are two different Filipino cuisines, they share the same element. Both dishes reflect the culture, geography, and lifestyle of Filipinos. In this light, there shouldn’t be much fuss about which one is the authentic Filipino dish. After all, it’s in the continuous pursuit that shapes and perfects these two popular Filipino dishes.