Introduction: Filipino Food: Canned Foods in the Philippines
In the Philippines, you can find canned goods in almost every home (especially in the cities). You can be sure that every Filipino home which has canned goods in stock will not have problems with preparing delicious meals for the next few days.
Canned food can be eaten straight from the can or can be included in delicious recipes.
Filipinos are better at making short-term plans. They know what meals to prepare for the family in a given day, but they might just forget preparing meals for unexpected guests or extended hours in the night. They have a simple solution for that – opening a can of delicious, ready-to-eat food.
Canned foods at home
Filipinos would want to eat any meat-based canned food with cooked rice. Whenever I open a canned food, I always search for rice to pair it with. It is convenient for me to list all of them here, because I have been to every house with lots of canned goods.
The canned goods listed below are best eaten with rice.
· Corned beef – These are best served sauteed, but some people who do not want to cook would eat them straight from the can.
· Sardines – These belong to the most commonly available types of canned foods. They are also one of the cheapest, which makes it somehow practical for preparing daily meals. Canned sardines are commonly available with tomato sauce, but may be prepared with Filipino meals.
· Tuna – The term generally refers to flavored tuna chunks. The general type of canned tuna comes with vegetable oil, but depending on the brand, the tuna content may be prepared with Filipino recipes (afritada,caldereta, mechado, lechon, adobo, to name a few). That said, canned tuna may come with carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes and different sauces. The different flavors of canned tuna make eating them delightful everytime.
· Sausage – Most sausages in the Philippines are available only in cans, if not in high-quality restaurants. They can be eaten well without rice, but combining it with rice will still make it taste better for Filipinos. I could eat sausages only less than once a month, but the availability of other Filipino goods does not make me miss this type of canned food.
· Mackerel – When canned, these fishes are usually combined with water and salt. Even if they are canned that simple, they make a great combination with rice. Some brands offer them mixed with tomato sauce.
· Salmon – I could say that they taste much like mackerel, and they are also usually combined with salt and water. They are quite more expensive than mackerel, but are generally more nutritious and higher quality.
· Luncheon Meat – These almost always come out of the can soft, but it shows its best taste and texture after it is fried before being served with rice. These are usually sold by small Filipino eateries, who buy large cans of them and prepare quick but delicious dishes.
· Squid – These are usually available as pure squid, with water and salt added. That is how the full flavor of the squid can be tasted. Canned squid can be mixed in soy sauce. Some brands also offer them mixed with Filipino recipes.
There are also common canned goods that are used as part of Filipino recipes. They are not eaten with rice however.
· Green peas – These are seldom available fresh in the markets, so they are most commonly bought canned. They are mixed with many delicious recipes, and they also include sauteed corned beef.
· Mushroom – For whatever dishes mushrooms are used for, canned mushrooms are good. There are also Filipino dishes in which mushroom is the main ingredient.
· Corn bits – Canned corn is commonly available in classic, sweetened or creamy forms. Because they are freshly canned, they can be delightfully eaten straight from the can.
· Young corn – As its name says, they are small corn cobs which are carefully canned. They are best part of vegetable-based recipes.
· Fresh milk – They are usually packed in cartons, but they can also be bought canned. Buying milk this way will make it easier to store. Canned milk however is quite more expensive than when they are in cartons.
· Evaporated milk – These are best for Filipino desserts. For the person who already wants to drink readily-available milk, a can of evaporated milk can be opened, and the milk is mixed with water.
· Condensed milk – These are more concentrated than evaporated milk. These are used for desserts which need more taste in every serving.
Canned goods are great in every home. There are types of food that can only be available in cans. During special occassions, there can be so much more canned goods than what I have listed here. Nevertheless, one should remember that buying fresh foods from the market is generally cheaper compared to buying canned goods. Fresh is also better, as they contain minimal to no artificial additives.