Unlike in the US where it’s starting to get summery warm, the Philippines is beginning to get gloomy and wet. The Philippine weather bureau recently declared the onset of the rainy season that’ll last until October. This means frequent downpours, flooding streets, typhoons ravaging everything in their paths, and mornings getting quite dreary. But Filipinos don’t mind these disheartening scenarios as long as they have these hot and tasty snacks anytime of the day.
Roughly translated as soup, sopas is a Filipino rainy-day favorite. Sopas is macaroni soup mixed with vegetables, chicken, hotdog, and creamy evaporated milk to give it a rich and distinct flavor.
Champorado is equivalent to Westerners’ chocolate porridge, only that the former is made of glutinous rice and native chocolate powder (cacao or tablea). The pure native choco gives it a bitter taste and condensed milk is poured into a hot bowl of champorado to sweeten it up. It’s traditionally eaten with tuyo (salted dried fish) for breakfast.
Many claim that Filipinos love arroz caldo (rice soup/porridge) just as much as Americans love their chicken noodle soup. Unlike the champorado, arroz caldo is made of ordinary rice (e.g. Jasmine rice). It’s cooked in chicken broth with shredded chicken, garnished with chopped scallions, fried garlic chips, and chicharon (fried pork rinds).
Almost all bakeries sell pandesal (bread roll). The traditional bread roll is sweet enough to be a staple partner of either coffee or hot chocolate. Bakeries sell fresh pandesal the whole day. They begin baking before sunrise as people begin flocking bread stores early in the morning. By around 7 or 8 AM pandesals are sold out, so workers must bake once again to prepare for the 10AM and 3PM snack times.
Filipinos get ready for the typhoon season by stocking up food supplies like rice, canned goods, and instant noodles. That’s why when they don’t feel like cooking or dining out, instant noodles are the usual meal and snack time menu.
Filipinos love to eat. Each region has its own cuisine that showcase their food preferences, but all invoke one thing: home. The rainy season usually makes commute more burdensome. As these snacks warm the stomach, they also warm the body and soul. This makes everything suddenly feel like home.