Spaghetti in the Philippines

Spaghetti: A Filipino Tradition

Spaghetti means one thing in the Philippines: Birthday! If you make spaghetti, someone will probably ask whose birthday it is because that’s the customary thing to serve when someone has a birthday (although they sometimes serve pansit instead).

How Filipino Spaghetti is Different from American Spaghetti

Spaghetti in the Philippines is different than the spaghetti in America, but it is very good. I acquired a taste for it. It is sweeter than American spaghetti. In the stores, they sell “Italian style” spaghetti sauce (for those who like the American taste) and “Pinoy style.” (Pinoy is a nickname for ‘Filipino’). Most Filipinos prefer the sweeter Pinoy sauce. Once I made “Italian style” spaghetti for my sweet Filipina companion, who thought it tasted too sour and remarked how I had forgotten to add sugar.

When making a batch of Pinoy style spaghetti, they often add sauteed onions, corned beef, and hot dogs to the mix and grated cheese (not like the cheese in America – it is sold on the shelf in stores and a tastes a little different). I think they also sometimes add a little milk to the sauce to make it a little bit creamy-like. Spaghetti was one of my favorite things to order at Jollibee (a chain restaurant that is sort of the equivalent of McDonald’s in the Philippines). Every now and then I crave that sweet Jollibee spaghetti.

(Contributed by Rebecca, Philippines Baguio Mission, 2009-2011)

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