Cavite is known for being one of the history capitals of the country, but seldom for its cuisine. But even though it’s missing the spotlight, the richness of Cavite’s home-cooked dishes and delicacies remains irreplaceable in the hearts of its people.
Trigger warning: NSFW. Do not read when lunch time is yet an hour away! Here are just some of the well-known and must-try dishes that every Caviteño tummy knows too well:
Bacalao is a constant in every Caviteño home during Lent, especially on Good Friday when abstaining from meat is observed by Catholics. It uses salted cod fish or dried labahita as the main ingredient. The dish clearly reflects Spanish and Mexican influence through the use of garbanzos, chopped potatoes, and tomatoes along with other ingredients.
2. Mutya ng Cavite
Made popular by Josephine’s Restaurant, Mutya ng Cavite is the Filipino version of bouillabaisse. It is a creamy soup dish featuring the abundance of seafood selection that Cavite boasts of.
3. Samala Rice Cakes
For some, the “Pasalubong ng Bayan” may be a box of donuts, but for us, Caviteños, it is a box of Samala Rice Cakes.
4. Pancit Pusit
It is just similar to our usual pancit bihon but with a twist of using squid slices instead of chicken or pork. It is made even more unique through using the squid ink to coat the noodles, which adds color and more flavor to it.
It is a native delicacy made with coconut milk, rice flour, and peanuts, topped with chicken, egg slices, and peas then wrapped with banana leaves. Cooking tamales is never easy but once you get a taste, it’s worth doing all over again.
6. Imus Longganisa
The city of Imus proudly celebrates a festival dedicated to this breakfast favorite. A unique longganisa variety with a hint of adobo flavor made with generous amounts of garlic. And, it’s certainly fresh and made without preservatives!
7. Amadeo Coffee
Caviteños may be frequently seen at expensive coffee shops, but Amadeo coffee and tablea will always have a special place in our hearts. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the Pahimis Blend at first sip?
It is our native version of crepe, made with fermented rice then served with cold coconut milk. A truly refreshing yet filling dessert-snack!
9. Tinapang Salinas
Whether it’s bangus, galunggong, tawilis, lawlaw, or whatever fish, as long as it was done in Salinas (now officially known as the town of Rosario), that tinapa or smoked fish is sure of superb quality with the perfect crisp, smoked-salty taste up to the last bite.
The historic province of Cavite will not only offer you a heritage walk that will take you back in time, but also a culinary feast that will certainly capture your heart and your taste buds. Tara uwi, sarap sa Cavite e! — Written by Leih Maruss Villares Sinsay
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