The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is developing national standards for Filipino dishes, to start with adobo, to establish what it termed as a “common ground” as guide for businesses.
A committee under the department has been tasked with developing Philippine National Standards (PNS) for popular dishes such as adobo, sinigang, lechon, and sisig, while considering the variation of cooking techniques across the country, the DTI said in a statement. The project starts with adobo.
DTI Bureau of Philippine Standards Director Neil P. Catajay said that “standardizing the basic cooking technique for Philippine adobo will help ordinary citizens, foodies, and food businesses determine and maintain the authentic Filipino adobo taste.”
The DTI did not say why it is interested in coming up with so-called standards at a time when the country is still reeling from the pandemic that refuses to go away. And when people are still wondering when they will get their jabs with the erratic arrival of vaccines.
Is this a diversionary tactic by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez so people would no longer talk about the plague but of adobo, or how to make the Philippine adobo a universally-accepted cuisine?
The idea may not be asinine in itself and perhaps Lopez and the DTI are imbued with nationalistic fervor in propagating our homegrown adobo recipe but nonetheless it has elicited nasty remarks from netizens.
One netizen said that perhaps the Duterte government should appoint an “adobo czar” and that the DTI could hire czars for each viand. Or maybe the DTI could help in resolving the long-standing confusion among Filipino dishes mechado, afritada and caldereta.
One commented that Filipino dishes should not be the ones held in higher standards but the Philippine government.
Probably the first Filipino dish to enter foreign consciousness, adobo is ingrained in Philippine culture and there are now a number of derivatives or variants, as in Covid-19, that have sprouted such as abobong manok, adobong pusit, adobong tulingan, etc.
The word “adobo” is derived from the Spanish word “adobar” which refers to a marinade or picking sauce. In his writings, Pedro de San Buenaventura labeled the Filipino version as “adobos de los naturales” or adobo of the natives.
Since the DTI has already decided on this project, we will just have to wait for its outcome. Meanwhile, adobo, anyone?