Filipino food experience at Learn from What You Eat programme
The culture and cuisines of Filipino food were explained late last month at a project "Learn from What You Eat" gathering at Hagley Community College.
As for previous culture and food session, the funding from The Tindall Foundation has enabled the migrants and newcomers families as well as the local residents to understand the NZ's diverse culture and people from different background through the traditional ethnic dish.
Elvisa Cragg with the assistance of her son James demonstrated delicious seafood pansit (stir fried rice noodle) and adobo. There were about 40 people who attended the session and they enjoyed not just Filipino cuisine but also learned about Filipino culture. It looked like not so hard to cook traditional Filipino food. There has been massive influx of Filipino rebuild workers and many families embraced Christchurch as their new home. Christchurch has been already set as a cultural melting pot, so the Filipino food and culture session was a perfect fit.
Considering the fast increase in the Filipino population in Christchurch, Filipino food and culture has been generally unknown in New Zealand. However, Filipinos would associate us as to nursing, caregiving as the common occupations in New Zealand.
A traditional Philippine dish Adobo Chicken is prepared using pantry basics, like white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves, to create a marinade. The meat is marinated in this mixture overnight, then simmered in the same marinade on the stove top until the meat is cooked through. A signature of the cooking method is that after the chicken is simmered to perfection in the sauce, it's usually browned in oil before serving.
Another Filipino cuisine Elvie demonstrated during the session was pansit or pancit. Pancit means "convenient food" literally and this noodle was introduced by the Chinese but adopted into a local cuisine in the Philippines. People can buy the noodle in any Asian grocery stores and it can then be cooked at home with ease. The most common method is to blanch the dried noodles in boiling water for a few seconds then draining them, or blanching the noodles, and then lightly frying them in oil and stir with the meat, vegetables and sauce are poured over the fried noodles.
There are many elements to make this project both very enjoyable and informative. I'd appreciate Irene Wan Po Lee, nurse from Doctors on Riccarton for her healthy tips on "sugar intake". _Also Delia Richards, leader of Filipino community in Christchurch gave the attendees an excellent insight on their culture and traditional food through her presentation.
Most importantly, Carina Hoellersberger and Pedro Carmona who have volunteered for 6 months for this programme had to say farewell as they returned to Spain after their stay in New Zealand. You might have read Carina's story in the last The Migrant Times issue but they have been great contributors to make this project a success. All the credits should go to Carina, Pedro and other volunteers.