The 7000 islands of the Philippines owe much of their
exciting cuisine to the sea that surrounds them. An abundance of fresh
fish is hauled to shore daily in wooden outriggers and cooked in clay
pots; Chinese merchants arriving by sea brought spring rolls and sticky
noodles; while the Spanish, who colonized and later named the islands
after their king, introduced foods such as spicy chorizo and empanadas.
Filipino cooking often has a tart sharpness, with its meats and fish being
marinated in vinegar or citrus fruit.