The Philippine islands are home to various ethnic groups resulting in varied regional cuisines. Pinakbet with shrimp
Ilocanos from the rugged Ilocos region boast of a diet heavy in boiled or steamed vegetables and freshwater fish, but they are particularly fond of dishes flavored with bagoong, fermented fish that is often used instead of salt. Ilocanos often season boiled vegetables with bagoong monamon (fermented anchovy paste) to produce pinakbet. Local specialties include the soft white larvae of ants and "jumping salad" of tiny live shrimp.
The Igorots prefer roasted meats, particularly carabao meat, goat meat, and venison.
Due to its mild, sub-tropical climate, Baguio, along with the outlying mountainous regions, is renowned for its produce. Temperate-zone fruits and vegetables (strawberries being a notable example) which would otherwise wilt in lower regions are grown there. It is also known for a snack called sundot-kulangot which literally means "poke the booger." It's actually a sticky kind of sweet made from milled glutinous rice flour mixed with molasses, and served inside pitogo shells, and with a stick to "poke" its sticky substance with.
The town of Calasiao in Pangasinan is known for its puto, a type of steamed rice cake.
Pampanga is the culinary center of the Philippines. Kapampangan cuisine makes use of all the produce in the region available to the native cook. Among the treats produced in Pampanga are longganisa (original sweet and spicy sausages), calderetang kambing (savory goat stew), and tocino (sweetened cured pork). Combining pork cheeks and offal, Kapampangans make sisig. Kare-kare is also thought to have been originated from Pampanga.
Bicol is known for its very spicy Bicol express. The region is also the well-known home of natong also known as laing or pinangat (a pork or fish stew in taro leaves). Sapin-sapin, a Filipino rice-based delicacy, sprinkled with latik -- latik is the reduction of coconut milk until all of the liquid has evaporated
Bulacan is popular for chicharon (pork rinds) and steamed rice and tuber cakes like puto. It is a center for panghimagas or desserts, like brown rice cake or kutsinta, sapin-sapin, suman, cassava cake, halaya ube and the king of sweets, in San Miguel, Bulacan, the famous carabao milk candy pastillas de leche, with its pabalat wrapper.
Cainta in Rizal province east of Manila is known for its Filipino rice cakes and puddings. These are usually topped with latik, a mixture of coconut milk and brown sugar, reduced to a dry crumbly texture. A more modern, and time saving alternative to latik are coconut flakes toasted in a frying pan.
Antipolo, straddled mid-level in the mountainous regions of the Philippine Sierra Madre, is a town known for its suman and cashew products.
Laguna is known for buko pie (coconut pie) and panutsa (peanut brittle).
Batangas is home to Taal Lake, a body of water that surrounds Taal Volcano. The lake is home to 75 species of freshwater fish. Among these, the maliputo and tawilis are two not commonly found elsewhere. These fish are delicious native delicacies. Batangas is also known for its special coffee, kapeng barako.
Bacolod is known for chicken "inasal" which is a kind of roast chicken served on skewers.
Iloilo is known for La Paz batchoy, pancit molo, dinuguan, puto, biscocho and piyaya.
Cebu is known for its lechón. Lechon prepared "Cebu style" is characterized by a crispy outer skin and a moist juicy meat with a unique taste given by a blend of spices. Cebu is also known for sweets like dried mangoes and caramel tarts.
Farther south in Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi dishes are filled with the spices of the rest of Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, cumin, and chillies — ingredients not commonly used in the rest of Filipino cooking (except in the Bicol Region where there is a fairly liberal use of chillies). Being free from Hispanicization, the cuisine of the indigenous Moro and Lumad peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago differs greatly from much of the cooking found throughout the rest of the Philippines, having more in common with the rich and spicy Malay cuisines of Malaysia, Brunei and to an extent Sumatra, Indonesia, with well-known dishes from the region being satti (satay) and ginataang manok (chicken cooked in coconut milk). Since this region is predominantly Muslim, pork is rarely if ever consumed. Popular crops such as cassava root, sweet potatoes, and yams are grown. Sambal is a popular sauce in the region. Another popular dish from this region is tiyula itum, a dark broth of beef or chicken lightly flavored with ginger, chili, turmeric, and toasted coconut flesh (which gives it its dark color).
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