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Cavite City : Cuisines

A cuisine is style or method of cooking, especially as characteristic of a particular country, region, or establishment. It is often made unique by the special ingredients readily available in the area locally or thru trade, as well as the locals’ own take of using it on their dishes.

Caviteñean cuisine is primarily influenced by ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Manila Bay is the main source of seafood and the once agricultural land of upland Cavite supply fresh fruits and vegetables. The markets of Zapote, Imus, Silang and Cavite City are the main trading centers.

Here are some of the traditional Cavite City cuisines that truly bursting in flavors: 

Bacalao - a popular Lenten season dish made of dried fish, potatoes, garbanzos and bell pepper.

Calandracas - soup similar to minestrone sans the tomato sauce

Adobo de Carajay - a ”sankutiado“ dish of pork , liver and chicken cooked in wok, flavored with  vinegar, atusuete for color and taste, bay leaf and potatoes, more of a cross between adobo and afritada but richer.

Chicken Pipian - chicken in spicy peanut sauce, which has a very strong Mexican influence

Malabanos - catfish prepared with turmeric (luyang dilaw), cooked adobo style.

Lugada de Pagi - a sting ray (pagi), shark (pating) and eel (igat) are always cooked with alagaw leaves and fresh ginger.

And because of Chinese influences, Cavite also has its own three savory and delicious noodle dishes:

Pansit Choco en su Tinta or Pancit Pusit - bihon or rice noodles cooked in squid ink and squid meat. It can be topped with chopped fresh kamias fruit.

Pansate - a saucy stir fry egg noodle in sate sauce- medium hot best served as midnight snack and eaten with hot pandesal.

Pansit de Carajay with Puso ng Saging or Pancit Puso – bihon and miki noodles with vegetables, pork slices and banana heart with vinegar as sour sauce.

“In traditional Cavite cuisine there is no distinction between food for the rich and food for the poor. What we have is pagkaing pambisita at pagkaing pambahay. During fiestas bibingkoy, pancit pusit, tamales, bacalao and quesillo are not highlighted but instead the standard kare-kare, mechado, morcon, and menudo are served. Making the guests ignorant of the true essence of what Caviteño food is all about.”

 – Mr. Ige Ramos
  Cavite food writer and historian

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