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A Brief History of Kare Kare

From Philippines to Fila Manila

Kare Kare is a peanuty stew that has been served in the homes of Filipino families for centuries! It’s a dish that becomes instantly beloved by all who taste its tantalizing array of savory ingredients that include: peanuts, garlic, date, onion and an essential mix of Filipino spices. Commonly paired with blanched vegetables, a protein and served over rice, it's hearty reputation has made it a Filipino essential for potlucks, family dinners, and comfort meals.

Let’s delve into the fascinating history of this delicious Filipino classic!

A Classic with a Confused History

Kare Kare is undoubtedly a Filipino innovation, but the region of the dish's origin is hotly debated. With a history dating back several centuries, there are two stories which hold the origin of Kare Kare. One account claims the dish originated with the Kapampangans in the Pampanga region of Central Luzon, nestled next to the Manila Bay. Alternatively, other credit the dish with originating from the Tagalog people who lived nearby in the Davao region. 

According to the Kapampangans, Kare-Kare originated from a dish called Kari which was developed by the Moro people of southern Philippines and resembles dishes such as Thai fish curry. Through development, The Kapampangans removed the fish and added local flavors to evolve the dish into the Kare Kare we know today. 

Above: The beautiful region of Pampanga

On the other hand, the Tagalog believe they were the ones who developed Kari into the modern interpretation of the dish known as Kare Kare. The Tagalog claim that the Moro people, who would sell the Kari dish on the side of the road, were the ones who first told them about it. Because of its complexity, no one could prepare kari at the time, therefore the Tagalog would try to produce their own versions of the meal which developed into our modern Kare Kare.

From Our Kitchen to Yours.

The beauty of Filipino food and heritage is the rich tapestry of interpretation, debate, and most importantly, flavor! Whether you think the iconic Filipino dish originated from the Tagalog or the Kapampangans, everyone agrees that Kare Kare is a delicious staple of Filipino cuisine and should be enjoyed by all! 

At Fila Manila, Kare-Kare isn't just a dish, it's a cherished tradition deeply rooted in Fila Manila’s founder, Jake Deleon’s, family heritage. We provide a delicious interpretation of Kare-Kare that pays homage to generations of culinary expertise and heartfelt family gatherings.

 Click HERE to see authentic Filipino recipes that include Kare Kare

Featured Product:

Fila Manila's Kare Kare Peanut Sauce and Marinade