A Taste of the Philippines
May 3, 2016
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The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia with over 7,000 islands and more than 90 million people residing in the country. It’s known for the white sand beaches, the people and the food.
Most of the pre-packaged foods in the Philippines are locally made on its home island. One of these foods, found on the island of Cebu, is the torta de Argao, or the torta as most Filipinos call it. The flower-shaped pastry is made in the province of Argao and is famous throughout the country. There are many torta bakeries around the province, but the most popular is Chitang’s Torta of Argao.
People travel for hours from the city just to get a taste of this treat. The torta has special ingredients that makes the taste unique including palm wine and lard and is specially baked in a clay oven. It also has flour, sugar, and egg yolks. Chitang’s torta uniquely adds raisins, sugar, and grated cheese on top.
The torta is ideal for sharing and is to be eaten with a fork. It’s soft and breaks apart easily, leaving crumbs behind. It melts in your mouth and tastes bitter-sweet, giving your tastebuds a little kick.
Another Filipino delicacy found throughout the country is kwek-kwek. Kwek-kwek is boiled quail egg, dipped in an orange batter and then fried. It is usually served on a stick and eaten with sauces that can be sweet or spicy.
Kwek-kwek usually costs 10 Philippine pesos for three eggs and is equivalent to about 20 cents in U.S. currency. It is most popular as an afternoon snack among Filipinos, especially after school among students. Street vendors selling kwek-kwek as well as other street foods such as tempura and fish balls, usually loiter around schools targeting the hungry students.
Served with the sweet and spicy sauce, the crunch from the fried batter and the softness of the boiled egg is a perfect combination with the sauce being a tangy addition.
The torta de Argao and kwek-kwek are unique to the Philippines and can be hard to imitate in the United States, as well as many more Filipino foods. Overall, the foods of the Philippines are unique and delicious and is definitely a must-try.