When planning for your trip to the Philippines, you probably have visions of yourself dining on chicken adobo with piping-hot rice. There’s nothing wrong with this but, if you want to know what everyday Filipinos eat, you have to go beyond the restaurants and start poking through the street stalls. Here, you’ll find strange yet delicious street foods that will make you squirm while sending your taste buds to heaven. These include:
This always comes first in any “Strangest Food in the Philippines” list, so why not tackle it first? Balut is a fertilized duck embryo that’s three weeks old, and you’ll definitely be crunching on some soft bones when you bite through it. Just close your eyes and concentrate on the delicious taste or, if you really can’t do it, grab a penoy instead. It’s a younger duck egg that doesn’t have any discernible chick parts.
Kwek-kwek is hard to ignore because of its bright orange color. It’s essentially a boiled quail’s egg that’s wrapped in batter (which is colored orange due to annatto powder or food coloring) then deep fried. The end product is a snack that’s light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
This is one of the most popular snack in the Philippines and appeals both to kids and adults alike. Banana-cue is ripe saba (a type of banana) that’s deep-fried in caramelized sugar, which forms a thick coating around it. A stick is then poked through the banana, which makes the snack highly portable and lets you eat it wherever you want to go.
Adidas is chicken feet that’s marinated in delicious sauce then barbecued over a grill. It’s best eaten when you’re not too hungry, since you’ll have to take some time to gnaw and chew on the tendons. Give these street foods a try and make the most of your Philippine vacation!
Photos by: shankar s., Josh Aggars, Raelene Gutierrez, and Mae Catherine Melchor