Filipino cuisine. If you’re in Europe and most parts of the world other than the Philippines, chances are you won’t find it anywhere else other than on your friendly Filipino neighbor’s table or one of their gatherings. It’s never found as an Asian food stall around the corner, nor mentioned in Southeast Asian cookbooks compared with neighboring Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. What gives?!
One of the TV shows I liked while still in the Philippines is Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. It’s a show I could have hosted had I been a TV personality. Travel, food, and good script distilled in one programme. I stopped watching it, or TV in general, once I arrived Germany. I was scooping spoonfuls of choco muesli and oatmeal drowned in milk when I saw a Youtube video of No Reservations featuring the Philippines on Facebook through Gratz’s (a friend from highschool) update. The programme surely made my mouth water while watching Bourdain have a good time with the food I am used to- sinigang (sour soup-based meat), sisig (random pig parts sizzling on a hot platter), and fish balls (no, not testicles). Although there were some versions of which from other parts of the country that I have never tried, like sinigang consisting of goat’s head.
The show touches not only on gastronomy, but also history and culture from the eyes of a New Yorker and an American. This was made possible through Augusto, a Fil-Am from Long Island, New York. He submitted an entry to the fan-special feature of the show, and convinced Bourdain to pack his bags together with the rest of the show’s crew to fly and get a taste of Filipino food- with no reservations.