Sour Manila

Sour tends to be an underrated flavor—except in the Philippines.

At this very moment, a good number of the 12 million people in Metro Manila are craving sour. Manileños bite into a tart, crisp slice of green mango dabbed with fermented shrimp paste for an afternoon snack. They slurp a hearty bowl of tamarind soup at a Sunday after-church lunch. They crunch fried fish dipped in chili-spiked palm vinegar at a cafeteria-style turo-turo, where customers simply point at their dish of choice.

Sour appears on menus everywhere in the Philippines. Each dish has a distinct taste and degree of tanginess based on the region and the season. In Manila, sour can be found both at a design-centric restaurant in the financial district of Makati and at a Baclaran carinderia, a food stall where jeepney and pedicab drivers sit on benches for a meal and a break from the city’s paralyzing traffic.

Sour tends to be an underrated flavor—except in the Philippines.

At this very moment, a good number of the 12 million people in Metro Manila are craving sour. Manileños bite into a tart, crisp slice of green mango dabbed with fermented shrimp paste for an afternoon snack. They slurp a hearty bowl of tamarind soup at a Sunday after-church lunch. They crunch fried fish dipped in chili-spiked palm vinegar at a cafeteria-style turo-turo, where customers simply point at their dish of choice.

Sour appears on menus everywhere in the Philippines. Each dish has a distinct taste and degree of tanginess based on the region and the season. In Manila, sour can be found both at a design-centric restaurant in the financial district of Makati and at a Baclaran carinderia, a food stall where jeepney and pedicab drivers sit on benches for a meal and a break from the city’s paralyzing traffic.