Pampanga is touted as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, and why not? The Kapampangan cuisine is legendary. If a Pampanga food trip is what is on your mind, it will be surely helpful to determine which food you must try first before gearing up to go to the province.
Be prepared though because the dish are so exotic you won’t find most of them in the usual Filipino household menu.
Did you know that the Kapampangans spend about 70% of their time during the day on the kitchen? Yes, they do. Perhaps, they are preparing any of the dishes and delicacies listed below.
Murcon is like embotido, but this Kapampangan embotido combines ground pork and ground beef. Chorizo de bilbao, and perhaps the addition of pimiento, is what makes morcon pungently tasty.
Betute tagak (stuffed frog)
Frogs used in betute are farm-raised, so these are safe to eat. The filling is usually ground beef although some Pampangueños experiment with ground pork or ground shrimp as filling.
Pindang kalabaw (water buffalo tocino)
Kapampangans cook tocino by adding a little water (just enough to cover the meat) and cooking oil. The meat is cooked until it turns reddish brown. The locals eat pindang kalabaw with sukang sasa, which you should certainly try once you embark on a Pampanga food trip.
Adobong kamaru (mole cricket)
Kamaru is cooked like ordinary adobo using sukang sasa. However, some locals enjoy the exotic food when it is braised with tomatoes and vinegar before sautéing them.
Sisig is originally from Angeles City, and Luciana Cunanan (aka Aling Lucing) was the one who invented the dish. Sisig is made mostly from pig’s head. The meat is boiled, grilled and fried before putting it on a sizzling plate and after slicing it in bits.
Buro or balo balo (fermented rice)
Buro is typically mixed with shrimp or fish. Buro is best eaten with fried hito (catfish), mustasa (mustard leaves) or boiled vegetables such as eggplant and okra.
Bringhe is a rice dish. Bringhe is usually cooked with luyang dilaw (turmeric) and gata (coconut milk). The dish is topped with carrots, bell peppers and boiled eggs. Sometimes, chicken leg quarters are put in the middle as topping as well.
Aligui (crab fat)
Crab fat is sautéed on garlic. It is best-served with calamansi or lemon juice. Sometimes, the crab fat is mixed with prawns and grated cheese. After completing your Pampanga food trip, you might as well take home some bottled crab fat.
Bulanglang Kapampangan (guava sour soup)
Bulanglang kapampangan is like a typical sinigang. However, sinigang uses tamarind paste while bulanglang makes use of native guava. Kapampangan’s bulanglang has ulang (prawns), pork or milkfish belly as its main ingredient.
Tibuk-tibuk is one of Kapampangan’s best-tasting desserts. Tibuk-tibuk is made from carabao’s milk and has a latik on top. A hint of dayap zest (local lemon) is added.
Halo-halo, which means ‘mixed’ in English, is made from sweetened ingredients poured into the glass bottom before putting the crushed ice above them. Leche flan, ube halaya or both is placed at the top after pouring carabao’s milk generously.
Panecillos de San Nicolas (San Nicolas cookies)
This Pampangan cookie is made using a very few ingredients. What makes the panecillos special is its intricate design. A hand-carved mold of San Nicolas is used in making the cookie. The cookies are best-served with hot coffee and chocolate de batirol.
Turrones de casuy (cashew nuts)
Turrones de casuy is like nougat-like delicacy made from chopped cashew nuts. The turrones is wrapped in edible paper-thin wafer.
When embarking in a Pampanga food trip, don’t miss dropping by at any of these places:
- Everybody’s Café
- Aling Lucing
- Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy
- Susie’s Cuisines
- Razon’s of Guagua
- Kabigting’s Halo-halo
- Abe’s Farm
- Binulo Restaurant
- Atching Lilian Borromeo
- Carreon’s Sweets and Pastries
- FNC-Nathaniel’s Bakeshop
- Camalig Restaurant
- 19 Copung Copung
- Didi’s Pizza
- Gill’s Sherbet
You can only say that your Pampanga food trip is complete by eating any of the authentic Kapampangan dishes or delicacies noted above. The same goes with eating in of the eateries discussed above as well. Eating what the locals are eating and seeing how the locals prepare the food are what make such a trip a gratifying experience.