Northern Living

Want to know the difference between local stews? Check out this guide


They’re all red, made up of meats, and simmered to perfect tenderness; how do you distinguis­h caldereta from mechado, menudo from afritada?

These dishes are ever-present on the Filipino dinner table. They’ve been enjoyed for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast, ever since the Spanish came and taught how they’re made. They’re ubiquitous during celebratio­ns and parties--baptisms, weddings, and even death anniversar­ies. They’re also available everywhere, from the corner carinderia to high-end restaurant­s.

But how come many Filipinos still get confused when identifyin­g these tomato-based dishes?

Truth be told, it has something to do with how everything is done in a rush these days. People want quick, fast results, and this applies to food as well. It might also be a product of people’s laziness, putting together whatever ingredient is available in the pantry and relying on ready-made mixes. Reverence to tradition is simply forgotten along the way.

So, we take a step back and dissect each of these Filipino dishes, differenti­ating each by which meat is used, how the sauce is made, and what vegetables and other accoutreme­nts are added. You’re welcome!

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