Star of the Show: Ice Cream on wheels brought from the Philippines for the celebration
By Margaux Cintrano
Photos: Rose Maramba unless otherwise stated
Philippine Gastronomy is a merger of 144 distinct ethnological groups found in the Philippine Archipelago. Filippino cuisine, as is commonly called, has evolved down the centuries from its Austronesian origins shared with Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines to a renovated blending of Indian, Chinese, Spanish and North American influences.
At the 120th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Philippine Independence, and simultaneously the 16th Anniversary of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, last June 12, the very best of the cuisine graced the glittering and warm reception hosted by the Philippine Ambassador to Spain, His Excellency Philippe Jones Lhuillier, and wife Edna D. Lhuillier.
If one sure way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the shortest and most pleasurable route to the true essence of the Filipino people with their legendary hospitality is through their colorful and luscious dishes, thereby getting to know them well and truly.
The dishes prepared for the special event by Culinary Artist Miguel De La Fuente, the Executive Chef of the Five Star Hotel Intercontinental Madrid, with the help of independent Filipino restaurateurs in Madrid including Joy de Asis and staff, included:
Prawn Cocktail served on bamboo sticks: The freshly cooked prawns were served with a lovely Ali Oli type mayonnaise dipping sauce.
Fish Escabeche: This amazingly dazzling dynamic fresh fish stew was prepared with an array of fresh seasonal vegetables and served with a choice of rices.
Lechón: Whole roast pig or Suckling Piglet: During festive occasions, tables are always laden with the renowned Litson, or Lechón, which was served as the centerpiece of the buffet table. bite-size slices of white roasted pork with crispy edges were the highlight.
Kaldereta, a stew meat braised in tomatoes, which was simply sensational and served with a wide variety of rices.
Pancit Bihon, a beloved Philippine Noodle Dish prepared with prawns, strips of pork and vegetables. This noodle specialty was absolutely extraordinary and was prepared with a noodle, called Pancit, a noodle produced from wheat. Yummy!
Fried Mini Eggrolls, soft crépe rolls wrapped around fillings that included sweet potato, jicama, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots and pork strips. These were accompanied by a sweet and sour chutney and an ali oli type garlicky mayonnaise.
Longganisa, Philippine Spicy Sausages. A warm treat with lots of savory goodness and aromatic spices.
Pinakbet, a vegetarian vegetable dish consisting of Eggplant, Okra, and Tomatoes. Truly a lovely stew for those that are vegetarians or veering toward a vegan lifestyle.
Desserts: Philippine and international desserts filled the sumptuous Buffet Tables with all types of incredible sweet tooth concoctions. As the Philippines are subtropical, it does not come as a surprise that there are so many sweet snacks and desserts prepared from rice, coconut, and mango.
The stars of the show were the Philippine Ice Cream Cones. The flavors offered were: Cassava, Mango, and Coconut.
Spanish Tapa: Freshly sautéed Tope Shark which was marinated in Adobe, known in Spanish as Cazon en Adobe. The adobe tenderizes the fish and provides extraordinarily exceptional flavor. The famous Adobe is prepared with Smoked Paprika, called Pimentón de La Vera.
The International Cheeses: Divinely heavenly were the aged Reggiano Parmigiano and the Manchego.
Hats off to the Filipino hospitality! Mabuhay!
The Scene of the Savory Celebration
THE PHILIPPINE EMBASSY CELEBRATES THE PHILIPPINES’ SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP WITH SPAIN EVEN AS IT COMMEMORATES ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM IT: https://www.guidepost.es/the-philippine-embassy-celebrates-its-special-friendship-with-spain-even-as-it-commemorates-its-independence-from-it/
THE PHILIPPINE EMBASSY CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE AND PHILIPPINE-SPANISH FRIENDSHIP DAY: