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What is in Cafeteria Menu today?

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

News spread like wildfire about what is in the menu today. For your Filipino friends, it is special! Honored and thankful for the Pancit Bihon and Lumpia

This is a big deal for us. We felt recognized and appreciated. Surprisingly, everybody has their own story on when, where, and who cooked their initial encounter with Pancit and lumpia. Their love for this staple food is paired with their love for their Filipino friend who cooked it for them.

St. Elizabeth Hospital is a home to many Filipinos here in South East Texas. About one-third of all foreign-born nurses in United States are Filipino. Since the 1960s, there have been over 150,000 Filipino nurses who have migrated here in the United States. Long years of hospital experience can sometimes be synonymous with "have you worked with any Filipino nurse?"

There were at least four million Filipinos in United States according to 2017 census and there were at least 100,000 Americans enjoying in the Philippines. The Philippines and the United States have an extremely strong relationship with each other due to their long standing alliance. The Philippines was a U.S. colony from 1898-1946. The U.S. and the Philippines have fought side by side in many conflicts such as WW I, WW II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and more. Many Filipinos were granted citizenship and migration in United States for serving the US Armed Forces. With these facts, It is safe to say that Pancit and other Filipino foods are warmly welcomed on American dining.

It is known that Filipinos are hospitable, caring and friendly. We show it through our service at work and our generosity on cooking foods for our friends.

Filipino Pancit is distinguished differently to Chinese Lo Mein with the type of noodle being used. Ours is made with Rice stick noodles. Locally, we call it PANCIT BIHON GUISADO. It is fried with soy sauce, some citrus, possibly with fish sauce, and some variation of shrimp, sliced meat and chopped vegetables. The exact bihon composition depends on someone's personal recipe but usually, Chinese sausage and cabbage are the basic relish.

In Filipino Cuisine, pancit are noodles. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines early on by Chinese settlers in the archipelago, and over the centuries have been fully adopted into local cuisine, of which there are now numerous variants and types. The term pancit is derived from the Hokkien "pian i sit" which literally means "convenient food". Food establishments specializing in noodles are often referred to as panciterias or pancitan.

Nancy Reyes Lumen of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism writes that according to food lore handed down from the Chinese, noodles should be eaten on one's birthday. They are therefore commonly served at birthday celebrations and Chinese restaurants in the Philippines often have "birthday noodles" listed on their menus. However, she warns that since "noodles represent long life and good health", they must not be cut, as that would "corrupt the symbolism. That is why we hear it a lot on our birthdays, "Pa-pancit ka naman!" (treat us with pancit!)

Share this article for your Filipino friends and remind them it's due for another pancit!

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