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Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness


by Doreen G. Fernandez and Edilberto N. Alegre

Rooted in the particular ecology of each region, kinilaw speaks of the passion for definite flavors, elaborated in the distinct differences of each area. It is both food and cultural indicator. The kinilaw national map is the geography of the Filipino’s various loves, the graph of our preferences, the picture book of our common desiring.

Kinilaw is a dish that precedes history, being at least a thousand years old, and probably even older. It has the stark simplicity of the forever ancient and the quiet surprise of the always new: the past now and for always. As long as the sea is blue and the land is green.

It expresses the morality of balance, of satisfaction with enough, of distaste for satiation. It speaks of the Filipinos’ respect for a thing as it is, of their love for the unadorned, and of their surrender to the forever passing.

Kinilaw, finally, is always a moment, repeatable but unrenewable, the foreer transient caught in that one instant of luminous sweetness, now.

Copyright © 1991.

Reprinted 2016 in Sephia Brown

ISBNL 971-569-014-9

Softcover | Size: 7 x 9 inches | 133 pages | Sepia Text & Full color divider images

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