History of the Philippines & its food: A Timeline

Filipino cuisine is steadily gaining popularity around the world for its spice-packed flavorful dishes. Over thousands of years, other countries’ occupation in the Philippines have influenced the Filipino food we know today. Filipino cuisine is constantly growing and changing –– from the their first encounter with the Chinese, who introduced the small group of islands in the Pacific to rice, soy sauce, and the egg roll (aka future lumpia), siu mai (hello pockets!) to their interaction with the Spanish, who introduced cutlery, tomatoes and cattle-raising, and the Americans who brought canned meats and kitchen appliances. While the cuisine is always evolving, traditional Filipino culture and cooking are still represented in each dish, some even with a hint of peaceful resistance.



White Peaches

My father loved white peaches. We were year round pie people but in summer, particularly August, peaches held center stage. Thick yellow wedges bubbling through rick-rack lattice made an appearance most Sunday evenings. White peaches however, were to be eaten out of hand, their quiet sweetness dripping from chin to fingertips.

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Jenn De La Vega

Jenn de la Vega’s recipe for “Shumai, Oh My” may be be the sole nod to dumplings in her first cookbook, but, like a lot of the other recipes in Showdown, Comfort Food, Chili & BBQ, her shumai (aka sio mai, aka siu mai, aka shu mai) are open-faced pockets full of the porky, bacon-laden, complex flavor bombs Jenn is known for as a competitive chef.

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More Pocket Food Stories


The World In A Pocket is devoted to exploring the visual world of pocket foods, you know, food-inside-of-food, from the stories to the recipes, origins to modern-day adaptations. On the spectrum of dumplings to empanadas, spanakopita to gyoza, or pierogis to pop tarts, this is our love letter to pockets worldwide + the stories they tell.

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