After an unprecedented year that saw travelers cooped up at home, there were also things to celebrate — after all, if there’s anything we Filipinos know how to do, it’s how to always see the bright side. So we’re counting some of the best things that Make Us Smile. Here’s reason #5:
Asked to stay indoors for months on end, naturally our thoughts turned to food. As millions of people honed their kitchen skills, talented home cooks started experimenting with new recipes.
Nobody knows where it began, but these days a search for “ube pandesal” on social media will yield posts in the tens of thousands, all within the past few months — some from house-proud amateurs, some from professional chefs, and many from the new entrepreneurial class that has arisen from quarantine. In many ways, it’s a recipe made for social media: not only does distinctively colored purple yam lend a sweet, earthy flavor to the common pandesal, it also imparts that eye-catching color that makes desserts look extra yummy.
There were other trendy recipes that gained popularity: a close second to the ube pandesal were sushi bakes —trays of sushi rice layered with seafood, fish roe, vegetables, mayonnaise, and spices, to be eaten with seaweed sheets. Then there was dalgona coffee, a whipped concoction made from sugar and instant coffee powder.
The food trends weren’t constrained within local borders. The recipes spread over social media to Filipino communities abroad, as Pinoys everywhere in the world longed for a literal taste of home.