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The great adobo challenge of 2021

“Filipino cuisine: it’s fatty, everything tastes the same except for the bird’s-eye pepper from time to time and shows the culinary creativity of a tribe of hunter-gatherers who have just discovered fire. »- European food blogger.

“I too have come to the sad conclusion that the food in the Philippines is just not good. I researched, tasted, then found the answer I was looking for: Sofitel Manila Sunday Brunch. ”—

“I think sisig is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world. Filipino cuisine is underrated. ”—Anthony Bourdain.

“The Department of Commerce and Industry-Philippine Bureau of Standards established the Technical Committee on Filipino Dishes [BPS/TC 92] develop Philippine national standards on popular Filipino dishes such as adobo, Sinigan, Lechon, and Sisig taking into account the variations observed in all regions of the country. Let the controversy begin.

WHY? WHY ???!!!” “Authentic taste of Filipino adobo?” Who has the right to say that a taste is authentically Filipino? “It will be the death of our cuisine” and we know that an important part of the culture of any people is its cuisine. #DontTouchMyAdobo. “What good is the use of ‘standardizing’ the Filipino #adobo when I will always maintain that my lola‘s adobo is the best.

The DTI clarified that the standards were not mandatory and would only “define what we are going to promote internationally”. Almost immediately, a surfer came up with this slogan, which we think is awesome: “We have more adobo variations than islands, but each one is guaranteed to give you a taste of the rich and varied culture and traditions of the region. Philippines. Adobo, the flavors of the Philippines.

“Culinary diplomacy” is actually one thing. The basic premise is that “the easiest way to win hearts and minds is through the stomach,” at least that’s what Taiwan said when they brought in bubble tea and oyster omelets. in the world. Taiwan spent $ 25 million. “Taiwan has sought to boost its tourism sector. »We do not know too much about the tourism sector, but who has not drunk a« bubble tea »?

Thailand, as usual, took its “gastro-diplomacy” seriously in 2002 with the “Global Thai” program. The goal was to increase the number of Thai restaurants in the world to 8,000 by 2003, from around 5,500. By 2011, that number had grown to over 10,000 Thai restaurants worldwide and now stands. around 30,000. Along with the promotion and standards of recipes and ingredients, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand provided loans to Thai nationals wishing to open restaurants abroad and set up an infrastructure loans of up to $ 3 million for overseas food industry initiatives, including Thai restaurants.

South Korea launched its own culinary program in 2009 with an investment of $ 77 million in “Korean Cuisine to the World” or “Global Hansik” to promote Korean cuisine (hansik), as well as to increase the number of restaurants. Koreans in the world to 40,000 by 2017. It worked.

Since 2010, Malaysia has undertaken a similar project by running the “Malaysia Kitchen” program to promote Malaysian cuisine in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Is this DTI plan a good idea? We’ll probably never know. We love our freedom of individual choice and there are apparently a hundred wonderful recipes for adobo. How can we choose a single standard by consensus?

There are 15 presidential candidates – plus “I don’t know” – in the latest Pulse Asia poll and we know how incredibly difficult it will be to reduce that to one person by May 2022. Are we sure we are want to try choosing an adobo recipe?

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