It’s sinigang’s time to shine! The savory-sour Filipino dish was deemed the world’s best vegetable soup by international food database Taste Atlas.
Sinigang currently tops Taste Atlas’ list with a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5, voted by culinary professionals and diners from around the world. It’s under Taste Atlas’ “Best” category, which includes other soups with a rating of 4.5 stars and above.
Sinigang is the sole soup with 4.8 stars, followed by skābeņu zupa (Latvia), fagiolata (Italy), and ogbono soup (Nigeria) with 4.7 stars each. Taste Atlas also mentioned mercimek çorbası (Turkey) with 4.6 stars and the 4.5-rated Šaltibarščiai (Lithuania).
The “Great” category features soups with a rating of 4 to 4.4 stars, and includes bessara soup (Moroco) with 4.4 stars, vichyssoise (France) with 4.5, sayur lodeh (Indonesia) with 4.4, and fakes (Greece) with 4.2. Borscht (Ukraine) and caldo verde (Portugal) soups both have a 4.1 rating.
Soups with a rating of 3.5 stars and above fall under the “OK” category, such as the 3.8-rated minestrone (Italy), the 3.9-rated gazpacho (Spain), and the 3.8-rated chlodnik litewksi soup (Poland). Ärtsoppa (Sweden) and sorrel soup (Ukraine) got a 3.6 rating, while toyga (Turkey) got 3.5.
Soups with less than 3.5 stars were considered part of the “Worst” category. Zeleninova polevka (Czech Republic) got 3.1 stars and krumplileves (Hungary) got 3.2 stars, while quibebe (Brazil) only has 2.9 stars.
According to Taste Atlas, sinigang is a Filipino soup that is flavored with the sampaloc, the fruit of the tamarind tree. Another local sour fruit, guava, can be used to flavor the broth. Sinigang is usually made with the following vegetables: radish, tomato, onions, eggplant, green pepper, water spinach (kangkong), long beans (sitaw), oil, water, and salt. Some might choose to add okra, taro (gabi), ginger, or fish sauce.
“The basic broth usually consists of rice washing, with the addition of a souring agent,” Taste Atlas wrote. Souring agents and ingredients can vary per region and household – aside from tamarind and guava, calamansi, santol, unripe mango, and kamias can be used. Most Filipinos add protein – pork, beef, chicken, fish, or shrimp – to the dish.
“With its sour lightness perfectly matching the harsh tropical heat of the country, sinigang is a unique soup that is a true representative of Filipino cuisine,” Taste Atlas wrote.
In 2019, Taste Atlas included kare-kare, lechon, and crispy pata as part of the Top 100 Best Traditional Dishes In The World list of the year.
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. – Rappler.com