A symphony of flavors awaits as Filipino cuisine soars in international recognition, with four local pork dishes making their mark on the popular Taste Atlas list of “50 Best Pork Dishes in the World”.
This gastronomic revelation on May 8, 2023, puts Filipino cuisine on a global pedestal, proving that the Philippines has more to offer than just beautiful beaches and heartfelt hospitality.
Lechon: A Festive Filipino Staple
In 17th place is the beloved Lechon, a slow-roasted suckling pig that takes center stage at every Filipino celebration. Taste Atlas describes lechon as “stuffed with lemongrass, tamarind, garlic, onions, and chives, then roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire.” They added that the succulent meat and crispy skin make it a universal favorite.
The Taste Atlas feature observes, “Once the meat is properly roasted and falls off the bone, people tend to eat every part of the pig, and the crispy, reddish-brown, crackling skin is especially beloved.”
Lechon Kawali: The Golden, Crispy Delight
Next up, at 22nd place, is Lechon Kawali, the deep-fried pork belly version of the lechon. Boiled in water and rubbed with salt, it is then deep-fried until the skin turns golden brown and crispy while retaining the tenderness inside. Taste Atlas remarks that it’s typically eaten with lechon liver sauce (Mang Tomas) on the side.
Bicol Express: A Spicy, Creamy Adventure
Securing the 23rd spot is Bicol Express, a sliced pork dish enveloped in a creamy and spicy coconut-based sauce, seasoned with shrimp paste and chili peppers. Named after the train service running from Manila to the Bicol region, Bicol Express serves as a tasteful journey for your palate.
Sisig: The Flavorful Kapampangan Creation
Lastly, at 28th place, is Sisig, a dish born from the creativity of Kapampangan cuisine. This dish involves “boiling, chopping, and grilling parts of pig’s head such as ears, cheeks, and jowls, which are then seasoned with salt, pepper, and vinegar,” according to Taste Atlas. The meat is combined with fried onions, chili pepper, liver, pork cracklings, and topped with an egg, presenting an explosion of flavors in every bite. As Taste Atlas explains, “The name of the dish is believed to derive from the word sisigan, meaning to make sour.”
— GoodNewsPilipinas.com (@GoodNewsPinas_) May 29, 2023
The list’s expanded Top 100 Best Pork Dishes of the World also ranked three other Philippine pork dishes: Binagoongan in 52nd place, Inihaw na Liempo in 53rd, and Crispy Pata in 57th.
Filipino gastronomy’s vibrant and unique characteristics continue to capture the world’s attention. As Taste Atlas notes, “Their purpose is to promote excellent local foods, instill pride in traditional dishes, and arouse curiosity about dishes you haven’t tried.” With this international recognition, there’s no doubt that Filipino cuisine will continue to hog the global limelight.
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