Every year, FPAC is a festival where Filipinos and non-Filipinos gather to experience Filipino culture through music, song, dance, other forms of art and expression and of course, through food. Speaking of food, for those of you who have yet to try Filipino cuisine, FPAC would have been a great opportunity for you taste some of our food from different food vendors and all in one place. That doesn't happen very often, so it's something to think about for next year.
As a Filipina food blogger, Filipino food is definitely going to be the main topic of this post, so get ready to feel hungry. It all started with a visit to Neri's Curbside Cravings Food Truck.
Owner, Rhea Espino, gave us some delicious recommendations that started with her two Filipino-inspired gourmet burgers. First up was the Tocino Burger, which was a grilled sweetened pork patty, topped with cilantro, tomato and egg on a bed of a special mango-bell pepper slaw with a garlic aioli spread.
Following the Tocino Burger came the Tapa Burger, a grilled marinated beef patty that's topped with cilantro, tomato and egg and on a bed of a special mango-bell pepper slaw with garlic aioli spread.
Other dishes from Curbside Cravings were the Crispy Dinuguan, a blood stew with fried pork and the BBQ Chicken, which was grilled boneless chicken that had been marinated in a sweetened soy sauce. Josh of the Food GPS blog was quite enamoured with the Crispy Dinguan, which you can read about by clicking here.
After Neri's Curbside Cravings, an order of Crispy Chicken Adobo which is chicken adobo grilled into crunchy flakes and served over rice with more tender chunks of chicken came from the Tapa Boy Food Truck.
Okoy may be an unfamiliar dish for those of you who are non-Filipinos, but I think it would be hard resisting taking a bite out of what is a fried shrimp and veggie fritter. The one below came from Neri's Restaurant.
Filipino barbecue is generally on a stick and is either pork or chicken marinated in a soy-based sauce that also includes lemon-lime soda, brown sugar, garlic, lemons as well as other ingredients. When grilled right, there is a lovely caramelization on the meat's surface just like the Pork Barbecue Stick I had from the Ramar Foods International booth.
When it was time to take care of one's sweet tooth, there was something for everyone. For example, my grand-niece enjoyed a Grape Slush from Island Shaved Ice.
There was also a "Sweet Naman" booth that were manned by Filipino-owned dessert businesses. For example, you could get a scoop of goat milk ice cream from Delicieuse Artisanale French Ice Cream owned by Filipina, Patricia Sampson. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try it out. However, I made sure not to miss Tasty Clouds, owned by Nina Rodecker. After all, I wanted to make sure that I got a taste of their new cotton candy flavor that they decided to debut at FPAC, which was Philippine Mango. This flavor was so successful that Nina has added it to her Limited Edition Flavor List.
Also at the Sweet Naman booth was Creme Caramel, owned and operated by Kristine de la Cruz. Like Tasty Clouds, Kristine introduced two new Creme Caramel flavors, Ube and Ube/Macapuno. I was all over that Ube/Macapuno and loved how I had to dig through the creamy flan to get to that sweet coconut. I'm crossing my fingers that those are two flavors that Kristine will carry on a more regular basis.
My final food of the day was a dish of Mais-Queso ice cream from Magnolia, a Filipino ice cream company. Mais-Queso translates to corn and cheese and while that may seem like an odd pairing for ice cream, I love it. It's just something you'll have to try for yourself. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture so that you could see how good it looked, but trust me. It was delicious.
On our way out, we also passed a table with these humongous Filipino vegetables. Take a look and you'll know what I mean. In fact, one of them looks like a snake rearing its head.
Although most of the photos I took were geared towards the food, I did manage to capture a couple of stage shots, one of a band and the other which was a photo of Lea Salonga (wearing the black baseball hat) taking a photograph with the FilAm Arts Board of Directors.
All in all, it was a delicious way to spend a Saturday morning and hopefully, I'll bump into one or more of you at next year's Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture.
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