Underrated. Ascendant. A work in progress.
These are the words Anthony Bourdain uses to describe Filipino food, which the celebrity chef believes is on track to become the next big North American food trend.
“A lot of traditional Filipino food has sour and bitter notes, which are very unfamiliar to American palates of a few years ago,” Bourdain recently told CNN. “American palates have changed drastically. I think there’s a really bright future.”
Bourdain sees one Filipino dish more capable than any other of capturing the interest of Western foodies: sisig, which is made from the snout, jowl, ear and tongue of a pig.
“I think certain Filipino dishes are more likely to take root and take hold more quickly than others,” he said. “I think sisig is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world as a whole.”
“I think it's the most likely to convince people abroad who have had no exposure to Filipino food to maybe look further and investigate further beyond sisig. I think that’s the one that’s gonna hook them,” he said.
Bourdain added that Filipinos who relocated to the United States “were able to assimilate and Americanise very easily and very quickly.”
“I think Filipinos embraced America and were embraced by America in a way that other cultures might not have been,” he said. “I think Filipinos in America maybe underrated their own food. They used to be mocked for balut [a hard-boiled duck embryo].”
Bourdain expects to see Filipino cuisine explode in the United States in years to come, similar to the steady takeover of Korean restaurants in the last decade.