Party Dishes That Make Every Filipino Celebration Feel Like a Fiesta
You know it is going to be a literal feast if you see plates of these on the table.
One thing is true about the Filipino stereotype: the Philippines is a nation of happy people. Filipinos are unbelievably resilient; we smile through our stories of hardship and sacrifice. More so when there is joyous reason to celebrate, which is probably why Filipinos are known for throwing lavish parties for every milestone of their lives. Merrymaking is in our cultural DNA probably because, ultimately, Filipinos are grateful people who celebrate the faintest wind of fortune that come their way. But it’s also because Filipinos bond with family and friends over food during celebrations—they love to treat their guests well.
Foreigners are often surprised when they find out that Filipinos’ fondness for food and occasions makes them a hospitable bunch. It’s not uncommon for Filipinos to greet a stranger who happens to be passing by and invite the person over to break bread with them even when there’s barely an extra serving. This is perhaps influenced by the Filipino tradition of opening up the house to as many merry-goers as they can accommodate for a bountiful feast during a fiesta to honor the patron saint of the town. Once you step inside, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sight of a long table too small to hold the dishes that are arranged meticulously to lead your eyes to the center where the lechon (roasted pig) is and main course dishes that are almost stacked on top of the other.
Here are some of the traditional party dishes you’ll see during any Filipino occasion:
You can think of embutido as a Filipino-style meatloaf. The idea of a Filipino version can be traced to sausage recipes introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonization of the archipelago. The word itself is a generic term for cured, dried sausages of the Iberian Peninsula and former territories. However, the modern recipe and preparation of embutido is largely influenced by canned American meatloaf in its heyday during the second World War. Although many variants exist depending on the region, embutido is made of seasoned ground pork, sausages or hotdogs, well beaten eggs, minced onion and carrots, sweet pickle relish, and then filled with cheese and hard-boiled eggs. The ingredients are combined into a roll and wrapped in aluminum foil before stored in the freezer. Embutido can be served lightly fried or cold after thawing it at room temperature.
Try Sarangani’s Frozen Embutido (USD 9.99), available in the Frozen section.