Riza is from Meycauayan, a city near Manila, the capital of the Philippines. After seeing the whole world for her work on the Holland-America Line, she came to the Netherlands 25 years ago for love. However, she has not left Filipino cuisine behind.
Riza says that Filipino cuisine has many influences from all kinds of nationalities. Due to the rich history that the country has, the food in the Philippines is a true mixture with influences from many countries. “For example, the Chinese brought noodles, spring rolls and rice with them and taught the Philippines to grow rice. We know the curries and spices from India and because the Philippines has long been a colony of Spain, there is also a lot of Spanish food, such as Paella. ”
Unlike in other Asian countries, spicy food is not everywhere in the Philippines. Riza explains: “Herbs are very important. And of course the basics; onions and garlic!” Riza never measures her ingredients precisely. She does everything by intuition. She got this sense of taste from her mother. Being the eldest in the family, she felt responsible for being able to cook. She didn't really get cooking lessons, but by watching her mother's cooking skills she learned the ins and outs.
“Herbs are very important. And of course the basics; onions and garlic! ”
For the Philippines, food mainly means "fun and hospitality," Riza explains. “When people come to visit, we immediately go to the kitchen instead of the living room, as in the Netherlands. In addition, it is very normal to come by spontaneously, without an appointment, during a meal. Everyone is always welcome to join us for dinner.” Incidentally, in the Philippines it is not difficult to visit people during dinner, because instead of the Dutch three-times-a-day food, food is served there at least eight times a day.
"Everyone is always welcome to join us for dinner."
Riza thinks the Dutch food is boring. Her first Dutch meal was the well-known potato-meat-vegetable, which was eaten at 5 o'clock sharp. “The assortment in the supermarket has improved in recent years, but 25 years ago when I moved to the Netherlands I couldn't even buy an avocado. Fortunately, there are now many more toko's and all imported ingredients are no longer so expensive. ”
According to Riza, a good meal is that she is satisfied herself, but above all her guests are satisfied. “It must be well flavored and a good dessert should certainly not be missing, although, as you get older, you better avoid the dessert”, Riza ends the conversation with a smile.