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Multiculturalism vs national dishes: tips from our Philippines colleagues

Today Language Service Providers take multicultural working environments to a whole new level. Translation companies’ employees may interact with linguists, customers and colleagues from every corner of the planet on a daily basis, from Kyrgyzstan to Vanuatu and beyond. As a global business with offices in the UK, Romania, Panama and the Philippines, Lingo24 boasts a highly multicultural working environment and solid relationships between employees working in different parts of the world. Relationships that are often cemented with visits to our international hubs and friendly chats over a good meal. We asked our colleagues from The Café, Lingo24’s Philippines office, to tell us a few words about their favourite traditional dishes, to make sure we don’t miss any specialties next time we’re around. We start with the first (and most important, according to some) meal of the day – breakfast. Our colleague, Jasmin Galeos, suggested the ultimate traditional Pinoy breakfast: Puto Maya, Manggang Hinog, ug Sikwate. ‘My day wouldn’t be complete without this dish during my childhood. We always have our favorite suki in the neighborhood who sells this, available as early as 3AM. Puto Maya is glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and it must be paired with hot, pure cacao drink we call tableya. It’s extra special with some sweet, juicy, ripe mango on the side. Yum! Yum!’ Next, Oliver Jubay shared his go-to option for a healthy and nutritious lunch: Pako (wild fiddlehead fern salad). When the pako, or wild fiddlehead fern, is fresh, it’s crisp and crunchy and delicious, especially in a fresh salad with just tomatoes, shallots, salted egg and a drizzling of vinaigrette. ‘Munching this takes me back to the years when I travelled the mountains. Wild ferns grow on the rocky, muddy and moist parts of the riverbanks. Just imagine being close to nature, relaxing in a hammock under the shade of the trees, listening to the soothing sound of the gushing waters in the river, restoring the balance of energy in your body.’ For dinner, Vince Villocino suggested Sisig, a dish made of minced pig’s head, which is boiled first, grilled, then fried in butter with onions, garlic and loads of hot chili, and served in a hot-sizzling plate. ‘Perfect way to end the week with a plate of sizzling sisig and a cold beer!’sisig For a snack or an after-dinner treat, Winnie Saniel suggested a bowlful of Champorado (chocolate rice porridge). ‘It is sunshine on a cold summer or rainy day. It’s the perfect companion while reading a book, or binge watching a TV series. You can serve it with milk, but the popular choice is to serve it with salted dried fish – a sweet and salty treat in one serving.’ And now for something special suggested by Ivy Amodia: ‘When you think of Filipino feasts, Lechon is sure to take centre stage. Enjoy this special dish with gravy, or simply dipped in soy sauce or spicy vinegar. This slow roasted and succulent meat will entice your palate with flavors of lemongrass, star anise, bay leaf, peppercorns, onions, and tons of garlic. Pro tip: take a bite of the pork rind with the succulent meat and wallow into the heavenly crunching sound of crispy goodness.’ lechon ‘My hometown, Bohol, the land of the world-famous Chocolate Hills, is blessed with bountiful crops and produce of different colours, shapes and flavours. This island paradise boasts of world class purple yam locally known as ube. No party or get-together is ever complete without ube jam, which is prepared similarly to mashed potatoes. We add in condensed milk and evaporated milk to give it a sweet creamy texture and flavour. Finally, we top them with shredded milky cheese to balance out the sweetness of the dish. Who wouldn’t want to post an Instagram picture of the purple treat?’ Bon Appétit!


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