French cuisine has expanded all around the world and has influenced a lot of other cuisines. For example, Vietnamese cuisine has a lot of dishes that have French roots in them. But French cuisine also finds its way to another Southeast Asian country, which is the Philippines. Let us talk about how Filipino dishes have been influenced by the French as you read further.
The French Starters
Filipino cuisine is influenced by several different cultures and that includes the French. Two French nationals may have started the influence on Filipino foods. Paul de la Gironière and Jean Mallat lived in the Philippines and influenced some of the famous Filipino dishes, including sinigang.
Aside from these Frenchmen, some Filipinos who traveled to Paris have also brought the influence upon coming back home. Felix Roxas is one of those who went to Paris and wrote about how the Filipinos lived their life in that place.
When he went home, his friends and family had the most luxurious Filipino food with a French touch on them. From the furniture to the food, Roxas would incorporate French on them. If his guests visit him at his home, he will serve them tiny maya or rice bird, shellfish, savory fruits, perfect ices, and syrups. Fine wine, like red wine, would be served as the drinks.
Some Filipino bakeries are also inspired by the French. Red Robin took the French macaron and created their own version of it. Other pastries that are inspired by French techniques are also made in this famous bakery in the Philippines. Like the mamon, which is a soft little cake with butter on top.
How Filipino Dish Is Made with French Cooking Methods
As you might know, the Philippines is a country rich in culture and history. They have been colonized by different countries and it affects how their foods would be presented. But even though the French did not colonize this country, French cooking has found its way to influence the Filipino recipes.
The French cuisine’s secret method is to “mise en place”, which means to “put in place” and is the process of gathering and organizing all the ingredients before starting to cook. When it comes to the ingredients in their recipes, an executive chef of cooking French cuisine in a French restaurant would say the secrets would be butter, butter and butter. This has been made famous by the famous Monégasque chef, Alain Ducasse.
Now, Filipinos love seafood. One of the famous recipes that would have a great French food influence is the Mussels with cheese. The fusion of cultures is evident on this dish as the method of cooking includes the use of butter and olive oil.
If you love bread, there is the baguette called Hors d’oeuvres which has spicy meat, fish, cheese, or a preparation of chopped or creamed foods. It is then served on crackers or small pieces of toast served at cocktail parties or other gatherings where drinks are served with no other food.
For desserts, panna cotta would be the one of the famous recipes of French cuisine to have infiltrated the Philippines. It uses different ingredients such as white chocolat, skimmed milk, gelatin, whole cream, sugar, and frozen raspberries, strawberries or berries.
The French Way
In the culinary world, most of the methods of cooking food, may it be fried food, can be learned at a culinary school. This is where the basics would start. This famous dish of the Philippines, sinigang, has been greatly influenced and was made exquisite by the Frenchmen.
A magnificent set of Sèvres tableware is one of the solid evidences of the French-influenced lifestyle. The plates and glasses part of the tableware are monogrammed and complete with large platters for pièces montées and carafes for wine. It is believed to be a gift of the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia.
If you are looking on how to inspire your food with some ways from France, check out a cookbook or read the information that follows.
Select The Best Ingredients
Whether you are looking for a spice or choosing a type of meat, always look for the best-quality ingredients. This is how a chef in Paris would prepare their food, using only the best ingredients. For example, chefs may use old cuts of meat that are slow cooked for hours on the dish called boeuf bourguignon, but the chefs should use freshly caught fish for the dish called bouillabaisse.
Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables
People in Paris would also head to the local markets to check what vegetables are freshly produced. They will then decide what dish to prepare based on the available ingredients. It is not practical as of these days to common people, but a high-end restaurant will still do this process.
It is imperative that if you work in a restaurant as a chef, you should only use the right kitchenware and they must provide the best output. If you are going to cut different types of meat, a chicken for example, then you should look for a nice sharp knife. This will also be usable for cutting the vegetables.
A Lot of Butter
Recipes from France don’t hold back from butter. They would lavishly use butter as they can on their food. Restaurants would prepare their food with lots of butter in it. Butter in France is also lighter than American butter.
Mise En Place
Put your things in place – this is the main rule in restaurants in France. Before you start preparing your dish, gather and organize all of the ingredients in place. Read the recipe and familiarize yourself with the procedures.
It is the saddest thing to happen if you will waste your food. People in France and the chefs would use all available parts of the animal, such as innards, tongue or feet so that they won’t go to waste. From beef to chicken guts, livers and stock jewels, these things are served as a delicacy in France and eating them would be a different experience to try on.
Spice It Up
French cuisine uses a lot of herbs and spices. A restaurant may have a bulk reserves of these herbs and spice, including but not limited to bay leaves, parsley, thyme, coriander, cilantro, basil, chili, peppercorns or tarragon.
If you eat food from the Philippines with the influence of France, may it be in a restaurant or at the street stalls, let it remind you of the rich culture and history of these two countries. Both cuisines may have different standards, but when mixed together, they should provide you the satisfaction you deserve for a great gastronomy experience.