Discovering Philippine culture and food in the UK

Original post date: February 27, 2023

by Rachelle @thevillagepinay

Growing up in Toronto, Canada, I took my Filipino culture and heritage for granted. I wasn't interested in learning about our history and our culture, I can understand Tagalog but I never really learned how to speak it, and since Filipino food was always readily available either at home or as a takeaway, I never bothered to learn how to cook it.

It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I put in the effort to learn about our history, culture, and most importantly, our cuisine. Food is a huge part of our culture. We eat as a family. Our family gatherings involve lots of food and a buffet-style way of eating. It brings us together. That, and karaoke.

Although some ingredients in our cuisine are accessible, there are some that need researching and ordering outside of typical supermarkets like Tesco or Waitrose. I take comfort in knowing that I can source products through Roni, who my husband came across when looking for a birthday present for me.

I love the work that Roni does to share our cuisine with the UK community. I was lucky enough to grow up in such a diverse community, and with that, I had the privilege of trying different cuisines. With the lack of diversity outside of Central London, it’s so important that we diversify people’s knowledge of the world, and a great way to do that is through food. And Roni is brilliant with this. Her creation of the Kalamansi Marmalade is so clever! With marmalade being a household staple in English culture, creating the Kalamasi Marmalade is a great way to introduce a different flavour with a familiar medium like marmalade.

For my birthday, my husband bought me Roni’s Kalamansi Marmalade. I was surprised by it. I associate Kalamansi with pancit or drinking its juice on a hot summer’s day. I never thought of having it on toast, let alone as a marmalade! It is sweet with a nice tangy punch at the end. It’s a refreshing way to have toast and a great wake-me-up breakfast! I also found it paired well as a dip for poppadums! FUSION! Next, I am going to try it on some banana pancakes, and am looking forward to trying Roni’s kalamansi chicken recipe!


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