Cavite Cuisine: History on a plate
Cavite is often overlooked as a food destination, with its city of Tagaytay snagging the spotlight from the rest of its neighbors. What many might not know, is that Cavite is a hub for culinary history.
Many areas in this province have best kept the country’s history alive, and you can discover it all on a plate. We went beyond the confines of Tagaytay to discover more dishes in this province.
We had food writer Ige Ramos as our guide, he’s one of the best resources for our Cavite food tour. He led us through the history and culture of Cavite, one dish at a time.
Here are the dishes to look out for on your next Cavite food tour!
Tamales is a popular choice as pasalubong from Cavite, but recently has become a rarity because it is tedious to make. It is Cavite’s staple for noche buena, much like Manila’s leche flan. It’s made with ground peanuts, rice flour, thin slices of liempo, and chicken breast. The dish is then packaged in banana leaves for the quintessential Filipino treatment.
Pancit Pusit (Pancit de Choca)
Pancit pusit is a standout dish, evidently because of its rich black color. This is made with a squid ink sauce, similar to paella negra. The kinchay, siling labuyo, kamias, and chicharon create a stunning contrast between the dark noodles.
Where to try: Asiong’s of Cavite, Buenavista Street, Bucal, Bayan ng Silang, 4118 Cavite
This dish is traditionally served only once every year— on Good Friday. Bacalao is Portuguese for dried codfish but in Caviteño cuisine, daing na labahita or daing na lapu-lapu is used. This is usually served with steamed rice and green mango in salted brine. The dish has evolved from its Portuguese influence into Cavite’s very own heritage recipe.
Where to try: Cantina de Tita A P. Burgos Avenue, Cavite City, Philippines 4100
Pancit Puso / Pancit de carajay
Pancit Puso is a proudly Caviteno dish. Its distinct sour flavor comes from the puso ng saging (heart of banana). It uses a combination of bihon (thin clear rice noodles) and miki bihon (thick egg noodles). It is often mixed generously with pork liempo, shrimp, kinchay, green beans, chicharon, tokwa, and egg. The shrimp stock gives the dish its rich flavor as well.
Bibingkoy is a type of kakanin that is one of Cavite’s specialties. It’s like a combination of buchi, tikoy, and ginataan— but only the best parts! The sticky rice patty is filled with green monggo and served with a creamy coconut milk sauce. It’s a typical breakfast dish in Cavite.
Where to try: Aling Ika’s Carinderia, Mercado del Ciudad de Cavite
Ensaimada is a swirl-shaped bread that is topped with grated cheddar cheese and a light dusting of sugar. It melts in your mouth instantly with its buttery soft consistency. Baloy’s Bakery in Cavite hands-down makes some of the best ensaimadas in the city.
Where to try: Baloy’s Bakeshop, 1056 Manila-Cavite Rd, Santa Cruz, Cavite City, Cavite
Best Eats in Cavite: PHILIPPINES NEXT FOOD DESTINATION?
Cavite is one of the most underrated food destinations in the Philippines. Get to know the province’s heritage cuisine with the best eats in Cavite!