Travel and Tourism

Filipino flavors in the sky: Emirates offers Filipino favorites Bulalo, Pancit Canton onboard

Dolly Dy-Zulueta - Philstar.com
Filipino flavors in the sky: Emirates offers Filipino favorites Bulalo, Pancit Canton onboard
Emirates also serves regional dishes, including a number of popular Filipino-inspired dishes onboard.

MANILA, Philippines — Gone are the days when Filipino food was seen as brown, bland and uninteresting. It now merits a place in the sky, up where fine dining is an exquisite privilege enjoyed by more than 77 million customers a year on board Emirates flights.

The international airline caters for 490 flights daily, with 149 meals served every minute, totaling an enormous 215,000 meals every day, served across the globe. It takes 1,400 dedicated chefs to make these meals at the vast Emirates Flight Catering Facility in Dubai and across partner caterers around the world.

To cater to the Filipino palate, Emirates serves a number of Filipino-inspired dishes onboard, including Bulalo, Beef Tapa, Chicken Tocino, Bangus Sisig, Pancit Canton and Sticky Rice Cake with Coconut Caramel Sauce. This gives Filipinos traveling onboard a taste of home while away from home, while allowing non-Filipinos to experience what Filipino cuisine is all about and what it can offer.

This is important, given the fact that Emirates operates 25 weekly flights from Manila, Cebu and Clark to Dubai, connecting Filipino travelers to over 140 destinations in 76 countries and territories across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific from its global hub in Dubai. Thus, the airline has made Filipino cuisine a prominent part of its regular menu.

Wide variety of meals

Over the course of one-year onboard Emirates, customers consumed a wide variety of nutritious and delicious meals from a library of 2,200 varied recipes each month. Balancing essential carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables, the airline served 6 million kilograms of fresh chicken, 350,000 kilograms of beef, 266,000 kilograms of Atlantic salmon fillets, 2.2 million kilograms of whole potatoes, 1.7 million kilograms of pasteurized eggs and 3.1 million kilograms of freshly baked breads and pastries, as well as thousands of vegan and vegetarian meals.

Chefs use a vast array of ingredients to create delectable dishes across all classes. In one year, Emirates’ chefs use more than 938,000 kilograms of fresh cream, 32,000 kilograms of Masala cashew nuts, 98,000 kilograms of fresh strawberries and 42,000 kilograms of salads from Emirates-owned Bustanica – the world’s largest vertical farm.

First and Business Class customers appreciating the fine quality of products onboard, consumed 3.5 million single-serve bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar from acclaimed Italian artisan Monte Vibiano, 14,000 kilograms of Australian Yarra Valley feta cheese and dined on 1.2 million beef tenderloin steaks in one year. Meanwhile in First Class, customers enjoying unlimited caviar last year consumed an impressive 10,350 kilograms of the delicacy.

To create dishes rivalling those served at top restaurants, Emirates incorporates world-renowned premium ingredients and regional specialties such as truffle, foie gras, black cod, Canadian lobster, corn-fed chicken breast, Japanese nori seaweed, Emirates handmade pasta, sushi and glacier 51 fish.

Dishes are further enhanced with gourmet garnishes like Bzar spices from the Gulf, Beurre D’Isigny butter, gold and silver leaf served on more than 300 Emirates desserts, Himalayan pink salt, saffron and edible flowers for delicate and fragrant presentation.

On many European routes, Emirates is now treating Economy Class customers to individual pots of Marshfield’s ice-cream, creamy organic ice cream with 60% dairy content from a family farm in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom. On routes from Ireland, Emirates serves rich yogurt from Killowen Farm, a single origin dairy yogurt producer.

Even its snacks onboard are elevated and thoughtfully selected. Last year, customers consumed 2 million packages of mixed nuts in various sizes: 250,000 dates, 22,000 kilograms of Kalamata olives and more than 40 million pieces of gourmet chocolate. In addition to a world-class wine selection and exclusive champagne, passengers also drank 1.2 million liters of orange juice, used 2.3 million teabags and 70,300 kilograms of ground coffee.

To complete the fine dining experience and ensure all customers "fly better," its cabin crew undergo extensive training on service best practices, plating of food, wine pairing recommendations, tea and coffee service, including Arabic coffee service, and much more.

RELATED: 'PAL now has gourmet food!': Philippine Airlines unveils new menu ahead of 82nd anniversary

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