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Some interesting facts on Pampanga
Pampanga is about 850 square miles in area and is presently inhabited by more than 1.5 million people. During the Spanish times, Pampanga was one of the richest Philippine provinces. It is believed that early Pampangans were descendants of Malayan pioneers from the Malay Peninsula and Singarak Lake in West Sumatra. They settled along the river banks of the Rio Grande de la Pampanga in the Island of Luzon covering a large territory which extended to the Gulf of Lingayen in the North, to the Zambales mountains in the West, to the Sierra Madre range in the East and to Manila Bay in the South.
Filipino cuisine as we know it today is a multi-layered expression of culture and history. It has a very Malay matrix in the "native" or indigenous foods like sinigang, pinangat and pinais. It has very strong Chinese influences, as we see from everyday food like lumpia, pancit and mami. The very visible Spanish layer one sees in fiesta food like lechon, relleņo and morcon; Arab and Indian traces are seen especially in the south; and the American layer is manifested in the pies, fried chicken, and sandwiches of today. Is there a French connection? a bridge to French culture, consisting perhaps of gateau le sans rival, petits choux, meringue and filet mignon?

Budster's variation of Chicken and Pork Adobo  (my favorite Filipino food)
This recipe can be made with either all chicken or pork or combination as described.

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
4 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces, Chinese style
2 pounds pork butt, cut into bite size cubes

Add vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt, bay leaves and pepper into a large casserole. Bring to a boil. Add the meat, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook slowly for an hour. Remove meat and reduce sauce. Remove sauce to a bowl, strain whole peppercorns and bay leaves. Put oil into the casserole and brown cooked meat. Drain oil from the casserole, and return the reduced sauce back with the meat. Or serve dry with the Adobo dip and use remaining sauce over the rice.
Serve with rice.

Adobo Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup adobo sauce
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
Combine ingredients and serve with the adobo.

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updated 04/08/06