MANILA, Philippines – Oh no! Four Filipino dishes have (unfortunately) made it to 2023’s Top 100 Worst Dishes in the World list, according to international food database Taste Atlas.
Taste Atlas released the list on Saturday, February 4, where Bicol’s kinalas is in 17th place with a 2.4 rating, and breakfast staple hotsilog in 36th place with a 2.6 rating.
Naga City’s unsung delicacy, kinalas, is a traditional Filipino dish of noodles, spices, pork or beef brains, and scraped meat from pork or beef head. It looks somewhat similar to beef mami – a noodle dish that most Filipinos are familiar with – the addition of a thick and dark brown sauce on top of the noodles, described by Taste Atlas as “a shrimpy, garlicky brown gravy consisting of dried shrimps, vinegar, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and fish sauce.”
Kinalas is from the old Bicol word “kalas,” which means “fall off the bone” – a reference to how the noodle dish is traditionally made. “Kinalas is often garnished with spring onions, fried garlic, or chili peppers, but some people like to add a hard-boiled egg on top. The dish is always served hot,” Taste Atlas added. The dish is usually paired with puto, turon, chicharon, or banana cue.
Hotsilog is considered a traditional breakfast choice and a childhood favorite, featuring garlic fried rice, fried egg, and bright-red, Filipino-style hotdogs. The hotdogs are “usually slightly cut on the sides,” and then boiled, then fried in oil. According to Taste Atlas, the popular silog is accompanied by banana ketchup, atchara (pickled shredded papaya), and tomato slices on the side.
If you check Taste Atlas’ website, two more Filipino dishes were put on the chopping block – one is balut, the polarizing Filipino delicacy and street food favorite. “It is a duck egg that has been hard-boiled, fertilized, and incubated. Traditionally, the cooked embryo is consumed straight from the shell,” Taste Atlas wrote. The dish, which is also a pulutan fave, “can be seasoned with chili, garlic, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and ground pepper.”
The second dish is sweet-style Filipino Spaghetti, an iteration of Italy’s pasta that Italians may frown upon. A common birthday staple, Filipino spaghetti is sweet, made with ground meat, hot dogs, banana ketchup, and sugar, usually topped with grated cheese.
“It is believed that the dish was invented by Filipino mothers who noticed that their children love sugar, so they put a spin on the classic spaghetti dishes. Today, this inexpensive meal is known as the one that unites families,” Taste Atlas added.
Recently, bibingka was named the 16th Best Cake in the World. In December 2021, bibingka snagged the 65th spot on Taste Atlas’ 100 Best Dishes in the World list at 4.4 stars, alongside lugaw, kesong puti, and lechon.
Taste Atlas is an online gastronomic database that promotes the local culinary culture of countries all over the world. The website contains over 10,000 specialty dishes, drinks, recommended restaurants, and local ingredients for anyone to check out before an international trip. – Steph Arnaldo/Rappler.com
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