5 Pampanga Delicacies to Try

Try these exotic dishes the next time you visit the culinary capital of the Philippines.

By Mathew S. Chan
August 20, 2014

Craving for some delicious food? Go on a road trip to Pampanga and find out why the province is called the culinary capital of the Philippines. You’ll be able to dine on both familiar and unique dishes that will have you coming back for more.  It is often said that Kapampangans prepare at least five dishes of food for any meal or occasion. Check out this list for some of their best food.

Pampanga is known sisig central, thanks to Aling Lucing. Her sisig is what started it all when she decided to mix the different left over cuts of the pig (including the face) and combined them with either chicken or pork liver. Aling Lucing’s is definitely a must-try, especially if you only have time to check out one place in Pampanga.

Betute and Camaru

Pampanga has an abundance of rice fields, making frogs and crickets a common sight in the region. This is why it’s not surprising that they cook and eat these critters. The French maybe known for eating frog’s legs, but the Kapampangans don’t waste anything and eat the whole frog, stuffing it with some ground pork then deep frying it (betute). As for the crickets (camaru), they fry these small insects and cook them adobo-style. If you are a fan of exotic food, you should definitely try both.

Buro or Balo-Balo
Pampanga has its own favorite side-dish/condiment called buro or balo-balo, which is fermented rice mixed with either shrimp or fish. The smell is pungent, but the taste is magical, especially if partnered with fried hito (cat fish) or mustasa (mustard greens).

Did you know that we have a local version of meatloaf? That dish is the Kapampangan dish called murcon. Much like embotido or any kind of meatloaf, it is a dish formed from the combination of a number of different kinds of meat, creating a unique flavor. Murcon is typically made of chorizo, hardboiled eggs, carrots, and quezo de bola. All these local and rich flavors are what make murcon such a savory dish.

Tocino is a staple in almost every Filipino home. This dish is normally served at breakfast with sunny side up egg and rice. This processed pork dish is often salty and sweet, but Pampanga has a special sour tocino called pindang damulag, which is made of cured carabao meat. Once you have tried it with a bowl of steaming rice and sliced tomatoes, you’ll ask yourself why you haven’t been having it for breakfast sooner.

Plan to stay overnight after your food trip? Browse hotels in Pampanga here.

  • Go to list of Pampanga resorts and hotels