They come in transparent-covered packs and tantalizingly arranged to attract the attention of hungry customers. Available in almost all grocery stores in the island, these are the instant meals or snacks enterprising businessmen came up with to meet the daily demand for food.
Whether you are too busy to cook your own food or you were out when the culinary skills were distributed, you need to eat whether it’s a full scale meal or just snacks.
These instant meals vary from the local products like taro, tapioca, tama (a solid ball of deep fried flour which is very filling), fried or broiled fish and other local foods to a taste of an international mix of instant meals. There’s the sushi roll and the egg roll, each a complete meal, sandwiches and burgers. Then there are Filipino delicacies like steamed puto (rice cake), fresh or fried lumpia,
When hunger pangs start to send signals and you didn’t bring food with you, these instant meals are the answer.
In addition, there is the ever present bento or lunch boxes which comes in different sizes and menus. Bentos usually come complete with rice, salad, three or more kinds of viand, dessert and fruit. Packing a bento is the most convenient way of serving food for large gatherings.
Tour operators serve bento to their customers on their dive trips of land tours. Bentos are commonly served in conferences and other large gatherings, custom parties like first bath, house parties, funeral and other events. Serving bento saves the food servers time, effort and energy required when they serve buffet meals, and spare the guests the agony of falling in line to get to the buffet table.
Wherever they are served or sold, these packs of instant meals have become a convenient part of the way of life in the island.