Not all adobo are created equal, apparently.
How they worked up the appetite to deem this necessary is beyond us, but the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is nonetheless pushing through with its plans to set a “national standard” when it comes to cooking the classic adobo, as well as other Filipino cuisines such as sinigang, sisig, lechon, and others.
In a press statement dated July 9, the trade ministry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) said that it has created a technical committee (TC 92) that is tasked to develop Philippine National Standards (PNS) on various Filipino dishes.
The committee has already begun its work as early as May, which started with the release of Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, a guidebook written by committee chairpersons, Glenda Rosales Barretto and Myrna Segismundo along with four other Filipino chefs. Barretto is also credited as the founder of Via Mare Corp.
Citing the “various cooking methods published online by food writers, bloggers, and vloggers,” the committee hopes to identify the “common denominator among all the known ways of cooking it,” to “preserve the country’s cultural identity despite the variations made to it.”
“There will be different approaches and opinions. As long as I have, say one to three steps, it’s this recipe. Anything else you add to it is a variation to the cooking technique,” Segismundo said per Rappler.
According to Inquirer, the committee is composed of chef Raoul Roberto Goco as vice-chair and representatives of the University of the Philippines Diliman – College of Home Economics, as well as representatives from the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc., Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc., Department of Science and Technology – Industrial Technology Development Institute, Philippine Association of Food Technologists, Inc., LTB Chefs Association, Asia Society Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc.
However, no more than a couple of days after the announcement was made, a flurry of frustrated comments from social media users prompted DTI to issue a clarification regarding the committee’s goals.
According to the trade ministry’s post on Sunday, the move is only meant to “define what we will promote internationally” and not redefine “what adobo is to different people now.” It also clarified that the standards that the committee will reach through consensus will “not be mandatory.”
This is just among the many groundwork to develop more creative industry exports,” it said. “Obviously, this is NOT A MANDATORY Standard because there are thousands or millions of different ‘lutong adobo’.
“There is a lot of creativity going on and it must be encouraged.”
Once these standards have been set, they “will be circulated nationwide, once available, for review and comments of concerned stakeholders,” DTI said.