Pampanga is a province in the Central Luzon Region celebrated for its rich culture and heritage. Its people are known to be born with a passion for food; their cooking practices and preserving techniques are really good, thus earning the title “Culinary Capital of the Philippines.” Some of the best and recognized chefs in the country have a trace of Kapampangan blood in their veins. Needless to say, when you’re in Pampanga, savouring Kapampangan food is a must in your itinerary. We short-listed 6 top dishes you should hunt for!
The iconic dish of Pampanga, sisig is a famous viand or bar chow in the whole country. The authentic Kapampangan sisig is composed of only simple ingredients of grilled pork cheek, chicken liver, salt, pepper, onions, red chili peppers and calamansi juice.
Photo credits: @maryannlousironlacap via IG
This thick, flavourful paste is a fermented condiment or dipping sauce made from rice mixed with shrimp or fish. It has a strong smell, but goes well with boiled vegetables like okra and eggplant and a perfect pairing with fried catfish.
Photo credits: @danupancu via IG
Bulanglang Kapampangan is a dish similar to sinigang and has the same vegetable ingredients, but this savory dish uses guava as its base flavoring. Prawns or bangus belly is also added for a more unique, delicious taste.
Photo credits: @marianggala via IG
This is not your usual tapa because pindang damulag is made from cured meat carabao meat. It has a bit of sour taste that is paired perfectly with hot, fried rice for breakfast.
Photo credits: @drpaulforonda via IG
A popular delicacy in Pampanga, tibok tibok is the Kapampangan’s version of maja blanca. Made from fresh carabao milk topped with latik (coconut curds use as garnishing for desserts), tibok tibok is a must- try dessert when in Pampanga.
Photo credits: @rafaelitoffu via IG
San Nicolas Cookies
Another Pampanga delicacy that should not be missed is the heritage cookie called Panecillos de San Nicolas, popularly known as San Nicolas Cookie. Introduced by the Augustinian friars during the Spanish colonial period, these beautiful religious cookies are made from arrowroot flour, egg yolks and coconut milk, with various dainty, intricate design of San Nicolas on it.
Photo credits: @davaofoodieguy via IG
These are just some of the iconic foods to try in the Culinary Capital of the Philippines; there are plenty more dishes worth discovering that will surely make you go back to Pampanga over and over.
Mengan na ka? Mangan ta na!
Cover photo credits: @pogingcjmagat via IG