In truth, hip hop music is not a style of music that I listen to. I have definite preferences towards other kinds of music. However, when I came upon this music video by Hip Hop Group, Seattle's Blue Scholars, it spoke to me. In the video, two of the singers are shopping at an Asian Grocery Market and then go home to cook chicken adobo for friends and family to enjoy. Be sure to watch the end of the video, you'll even see the ingredients for chicken adobo.
The thought process behind the video is reflected on a post on the Guerilla Candy website, which you can read below.
Blue Scholars MC Geologic said the song was ”inspired by shopping trips we made to that grocery store when we lived in the heart of Beacon Hill, from 2004 to 2008.”
“We had house parties during recording sessions for The Long March and Bayani during that time, made a lot of coffee runs, had a lot of meetings, and the meals we shared were usually cooked with ingredients bought at our favorite Vietnamese-owned Philippine grocery store, where the staff greets you in Tagalog spoken with thick Vietnamese accents. This song uses food as an analogy for who we are – a mash-up of ingredients, chopped up and thrown onto a fire made from memory instead of recipe.”
Filipino cuisine to me is sometimes a mash-up of ingredients coming from a mash-up of different cultural influences, so it's not always easy to define what it is. Regardless of what it is, what I love about Filipino food is the communal aspect of it that is such a part of our culture. For special occasions, family members will be in the kitchen cooking together to feed the guests or bring potluck dishes so that they can contribute to the meal.
When we eat, it's not about courses that include an appetizer, an entree and dessert. Instead, food is put on platters and in bowls and along with rice scattered on the table for everyone to enjoy. Rice is passed around and dishes like chicken adobo are moved from one end of the table to the other where diners eagerly scoop the sabo onto their rice and eagerly savor the vinegary and sour flavors of a favorite Filipino dish.
It's not about being formal. Instead, I think Filipino dining fosters more of a community kind of dining and allows a good forum for conversation and bonding over delicious food and that's what makes it special to me.
While you're at it, check out this article by Andrew Matson, who delves more into the aspect of communal cooking and dining and click here for a Chicken Adobo recipe by the Oriental Mart in Pike Place Market posted by Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson.
Now that the introduction is over, take a look at the video for yourself!