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It is no secret that trying your hands on the local cuisines is something any traveler should do to get to know not just the culture of the place but to also get to know the people and bond with them. Though it may not be a common occurrence in the west, here in Asia, street foods are something we all learned to grow up with and helped differentiate our cultures from the rest of the Asian countries.

In the Philippines, our street food is a mixture of flavors and delicacies that were woven together and made our own. This is because we were colonized by several nationalities in long periods. Nevertheless, Pinoy street foods are something visitors and locals alike should try and take a bite of.

Photo courtesy of  Unsplash

 If you’re unsure or worried, however – because of the stories you’ve heard of that include upset stomachs and diarrhea – don’t worry. In every place you go, there’s always a chance that those things could happen. But just to put your minds at ease, we list down some tips that could help start your street food adventure here in the Philippines.

Research

It all begins with knowing what to eat.

Here in the Philippines, our street food varies. From snacks to desserts, you’ll find one with whatever palette you may have. It also differs from one region or island to another, so the options are countless.

Researching about the kinds of street food of a particular place here could help you determine which ones you could try – based on the ingredients, how it’s cooked, and more. It could even help you locate which stalls or areas you can buy them for authenticity and safety.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Observe

One of the fascinating things about street foods is that you get to see how your food is being prepared or cooked. This much is true about the many stalls you will find here in the Philippines.

Before you try your hands on some, it is best to see if the vendor is implementing some sort of sanitary regulations: is he wearing gloves, is he using his bare hands to handle money and food at the same time, etc. The regulations may not be at par with a restaurant’s but common sense goes a long way.

Wash your hands 

We already know how powerful washing our hands can be. If this pandemic isn’t proof enough, making sure our hygiene is well taken care of goes a long way in keeping us safe and healthy. Even though street food standards here have a reputation of being not-so-clean, it doesn’t mean you forgo the most basic of all hygiene.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Special Vendors

Many street food vendors sell multiple things with just one stall. Though that might be good – business-wise, as a customer, this might be something you should consider.

Choosing a vendor that specializes in one or two dishes means better quality in all sorts of ways: how they were prepared and cooked. It also has a higher chance that the ingredients used are fresh and not stored for a long time because they use it regularly.

Be careful with liquids and raw produce

Cooked dishes are one thing but liquids and raw produce are another. It is best to buy bottled or sealed drinks when it comes to refreshments especially with water – best to include ice here too. This goes the same as buying fruits and raw vegetables in food stalls especially if they have been under the sun for a while now.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Do as the locals do

A good indicator of a trustworthy and a tried-and-tested stall is when you see a long queue of locals just waiting to get their hands on whatever local dish or street food it offers. You can even ask for recommendations while you’re at it. 

Many Filipinos love doing this especially for first-timers in the country. You can be sure that all we want is for you to enjoy what you’re about to try on eating.

Don’t give in to pressure

We all love a little challenge especially when we’re in on an adventure. Though this will surely add a little bit of thrill and danger in our travels, taking in challenges is something you should think about before saying yes to – more so if it involves food.

The Philippines has a lot of local food (not just street foods) that some locals don’t even try. If it’s something you aren’t sure where it came from or how it was made, don’t give in to pressure or force yourself to eat just for the sake of getting to know the culture. Even if it’s something so popular like Balut!

Photo courtesy of howstuffworks

We know you can’t wait to travel again here in the Philippines and taste the local street foods. It has been a while, but the time we all can travel again is coming very soon, and we’re very much looking forward to having you again here at RedDoorz!




 

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