Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pants + Shit = Pancit

To be honest, I forgot I had even started this Blog. It wasn't until my Filipino in-laws decided to drop in and spend a week living with us that I remembered how much I hate Filipino food. To my amusement - and delight I might add - I actually had a reader comment who shared my disdain for Filipino cuisine and a special request: to talk about pancit.

Where to begin? Pancit refers to one of what seems like thousands of different noodle dishes. Some noodles are skinny. Some noodles are fat. They all taste like crap.

Go to any Filipino party, and you will likely see at least three iterations of this dish sitting right next to one another. I can all but promise you the noodles will be dry and there will be random pieces of overcooked Grade F- beef, imitation crab, and hard boiled egg littering the mess. Even Filipinos who supposedly love this dish usually squeeze lemon on it - either to kill off the bacteria (aka: noodle cooties) they know have accumulated or to give the dish some sort of flavor (albeit the flavor of a NYC taxicab air-freshener).

If you have to eat this stuff I recommend dousing it in some sort of gravy/sauce from a nearby dish - or making sure you have access to a large beverage (preferably an alcoholic/antiseptic one) to help you get this stuff to move down your esophagus.

Like lumpia, pancit is a great source of pride in many Filipino households. All claim that they make it better than anyone else and they will hound you until you have at least three helping of it. Some will even make outlandish claims about its medicinal qualities - which if you are comparing it to Ipecac syrup or stool softener - well then I guess I can't argue.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I think the thing I hate most about lumpia is that fact that there is so much pride behind this simple, and rather bland, less-than-spectacular 'egg-roll'. Lumpia comes in many variations, and I've sampled my fair share. I've had it from restaurants, at my in-laws, and at literally every gathering of Filipino people I've ever been to, from communions to graduations to Christmas dinner to American Thanksgiving. No matter what the occasion, there always seems to be a huge pile of lumpia near by. What I'm describing, is the version known as lumpia 'Shanghai' - the style that I most often come across and have grown to despise.

My major problem with lumpia is that unlike that fat Chinese American egg-rolls I grew up on, lumpia tends to be very skinny. You basically end up with this long, narrow fried stick that has so little filling, you absolutely have to dip it in some sort of sauce or soak it in garlic/vinegar to give it some sort of flavor - other than of the oil used to fry it. Because it's usually cooked in such large quantities and usually hours (and sometimes even days and weeks) before consumption - it tends to be served in a soggy, room-temperature condition...often with a little freezer burn.

I think it's hilarious how every Auntie seems to think that only she knows how to make good lumpia - and that all others are inedible. In my opinion, all lumpia is stale and gross. Vietnamese goi cuon and the also-fried-but-much-lighter Thai version of spring rolls are far superior in flavor and freshness, and I much rather snack on those then the awful Filipino fried tubes of crap called lumpia.

The only reason non-Filipino people tend to chow them down so readily and pretend to like them so much when at a Filipino party is because they're not as horrendous as some of the other offerings we'll be discussing in future postings.

Welcome to "Filipino Food Sucks" - My Latest Blogging Adventure

I'm going to start this new project off by saying what every white person says before they are about to say something painfully racist:

"I'm not racists or anything but...."

...but Filipino food sucks! I have dated a couple Filipinas in my lifetime. Hell, I even married an American woman of Filipino descent. I spent a month of my life traveling around and living in the Philippines with her, and have been to countless barbecues and parties at her various Uncles and Aunties' houses over the years. For many of those years I pretended that I enjoyed Filipino cuisine...but I think I'm finally ready to admit that in actuality, I despise it.

And it's not that I don't enjoy ethnic foods. In fact, I am quite the 'foodie'. I enjoy Persian, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, German, French, Caribbean, Peruvian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Moroccan, Ethiopian...I could go on all night. And it's not that I'm squeamish about eating things that are 'strange' to your average, boring American. I have eaten raw beef, guinea pig, embryonic duck egg, frog legs, cow heart, foie gras, schmaltz, crickets, tongue, bone marrow, veal brain, boiled silk worms, pig lung, live octopus, and many other pieces of animals that may or may not sound appetizing.

My point is that I enjoy food and I'm not afraid to try new things and I gave Filipino food an honest chance. And while more often than I'd like to admit I have pretended to enjoy it and declared my "love of lumpia" or my "passion for pancit" - the truth is I hate most of it - and this Blog will serve as an outlet for my disdain.

Welcome to my latest culinary creation, "Filipino Food Sucks".