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Ilocano cuisine and the memories it brings back

Ilocano cuisine and the memories it brings back

Do you remember when the food critic in Ratatouille, Anton Ego, took his first bite of the food he was about to critique? He went on a trip down memory lane, right? That’s the childhood memory he had with his mom in the movie.

Now, the reason why food brings back so many memories is because of its extraordinarily evocative texture, smell, and taste that triggers our senses to remember the last time we ate that food. Not only that, but the food takes us back to the people we were with, and the place where we ate that food for the first time.

With that in mind, here are some of Ilocano cuisines that will surely melt through the mouth, and, most importantly, bring so many memories.


Going to Ilocos Sur wouldn’t be complete without trying their food. Many meals are already well-known to some visitors. But, what makes Ilocandia’s cuisine so unique is that there’s no foreign influence on them. When you are born in Ilocos Sur and now working overseas, Ilocano food will probably be one of the things that you’ll miss the most. That’s why I consider Ilocano cuisine as the feast for the homesick.


Pinakbet, which means to wilt, is one of the most iconic Ilocano dishes, tossed and never stirred.


Ilocos empanada is simply a rice wrapper filled with various ingredients, then deep-fried in a wok with very hot oil, cooked until crisp, and cooled for a few minutes. The eating commences after chipping off the corner to expose the steaming-hot filling inside.


The Vigan longaganisa is a small and plump native sausage, good for about two or three bites. It is garlicky and has a yellowish color. This food is best served during breakfast.

Note: Longganisa can also be a good part of your pasalubong list.

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Originated in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. Bagnet is one of the Ilocano cuisines that has already become a world-renowned food.

Throughout history, Ilocano bagnet has already become so popular to most people that it is already known even if you were not born and raised in the city.


When it comes to authenticity, nothing really bits the simplicity and uniqueness of Ilocandia’s very own dinengdeng. This dish contains different vegetables stewed together with bagoong.

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