Hi! My name is Maria Vanessa, and this is not your regular Filipino Food blog.
About my name. I have two first names and so do a lot of Filipino women. My much beloved and devout Catholic mother could not choose between naming me after Mother Mary or the actress Vanessa Redgrave, so I go through life with two first names that confuse a lot of people, including me.
I am from the Philippines, but I’ve been living in the USA since 2003. I like it here and have assimilated to the culture well. The older I get however, the more nostalgic I am for familiar things from home.
I grew up in a big, loving family and like many cultures, around the world; our parties are centered on a dining table piled high with food. The dishes are a jumble of cuisines rooted to countries that have had an influence in Philippine history, such as Pancit and Lumpia (stir fried noodles and egg rolls) dating back to Chinese settlers, to Callos and Fabada (beef tripe and chorizo stew and white bean and chorizo stew) during Spanish colonial rule.
What does “Life in Filipino Food“ mean?
I’ve always loved to cook but was never taught traditional Filipino dishes with the exception of my mom’s Kare-Kare. A peanut based meat stew requested by relatives during lunch or dinner parties in our home. I first created AmusingMaria to feature easy recipe ideas and occasional stories about my life, see here and here. One would call my cooking “Asian-inspired” but I realized that it’s “Filipino Food-inspired”. Yup. You can take the girl out of the Philippines, but you can’t take the Philippines out of the girl! Filipino Fusion? Why not? Hey, we can be traditionalists or visionaries, or both. Food is universal and constantly evolving through generations. The culture and experience is different for anyone who has grown up Filipino. We are as diverse as our islands are many. However, our traditions all have the quality of being the same.