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Other People's Pantries #180

From Yolanda, in Manila, The Philippines:

Like many typical urban Filipino homes, my house is actually made up of two kitchens. The so-called "dirty" kitchen outside the main house, between the garage and the laundry area, is where I do most of my cooking. It is also where the house helpers do the basic -- messy and stinky -- food preparation: cleaning the seafood, pounding the shrimp heads, dressing the chicken, chopping the vegetables, or barbecuing the meat. It is a holdover from the outdoor prep-area of the provincial fiesta, where cooking and food preparation are done in the yard, camp-style.

The "clean" kitchen, on the other hand, is where I cook using modern appliances -- blender, mixer, oven, toaster, microwave, rice cooker, and coffee maker; the fridge is also in the clean kitchen.  In other words, the "dirty" kitchen is low-tech; the "clean" kitchen, high-tech.

My regular pantry in the "clean" kitchen has three floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboards with 10-inch deep shelves. 





Two cupboards hold breakfast/snack/baking staples and buffer supplies; the third (not shown) holds small appliances/gadgets, lunch bags, and kitchen linen. My baking flours, yeast, and more herbs and spices are stored in the freezer.

Recently I had another cupboard built in my "dirty" kitchen -- an early Christmas present from me to me -- to hold my spice rack and everyday cooking staples. 


It is also in the "dirty" kitchen where I keep my bulk supply of rice (25 kilos for a month's supply) and palm vinegar (6 gallons for a year's supply). We eat rice 2 to 3 times a day and use a lot of vinegar in our cooking -- food tends to spoil easily in our very humid weather and a little vinegar in the marinade, saute, or braise helps prevent this.

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Especially love the new cupboard in the "dirty kitchen"! And very interesting on the two kitchens, and the use of vinegar. Thanks so much for sharing this pantry with us!


Thanks for sharing your pantry. The whole pantry/kitchen story is fascinating to me but what i find most interesting is that even in the Philippines, spam and starbucks rule the shelves!

I loved reading how cooking is so different in your area from mine. Your pantry is beautifully done and stocked. I can imagine that I would love cooking in either of your kitchens. :)

Really interesting. Now on top of Other People's Pantry envy I have to add Clean and Dirty Kitchen envy!

I love the spice cupboard, especially, and the whole "gift to me from me" concept: that's one I employ quite often.

Thanks for sharing!

Very interesting and such a well stocked organized pantry!

I like how everything is so well organized! The spice cabinet is awesome...wish I had one like that! Nice to know that Nutella is available in the Philippines!

Fun seeing a pantry from the Phillipines, and how incredibly well-organized it is!

Kamusta ka from Mountain Home, Arkansas. We have very , very dear friends in the Philippines, in Imus, Cavite. Do they have all of the food availble that you have? Your pantry is the envy in my home. So nicely done for convenience and sooooo easy to see everything. Thank you for posting your space. (Some recipes from the Philippines would be nice):)

That is one awesome spice pantry! Thanks for sharing your pantry and your interesting cultural differences. I love traveling around the world from my chair!

A lot of people think to have an organised pantry like yours is difficult. On the contrary as in my personal experience and I am sure in yours too, it is easier to maintain once it has been organised. Your pantry is splendid, it is almost an invitation to come and eat at your place!

Wow! I love your pantry, especially the shelf with the bottles of Coke. :D

Yolanda asked me to post this message for her:

Thanks everyone for your comments and to Lydia for indulging our pantry peek-ins.
@Pam Krohn: Kamusta ka, as well. Cavite and my province share the same regional cuisine but while mine is landlocked, Cavite is situated on the southern shores of Manila Bay and thus enjoys abundant fresh seafood.
@Wilton: Spam, corned beef, & Vienna sausage are pantry staples introduced by the Americans during their occupation of the Philippines in 1898-1946.
@Peggy Hughs: Thanks to market globalization, we get goodies from all over the world; Nutella, for one, comes from Australia.

What a well stocked pantry. I've never heard of a dirty or a clean kitchen. Very interesting. I must say I am intrigued at all the different flavors of SPAM.

Hi Yolanda,
Great to see your pantry, gives me ideas for ours. Especially the tall spice cupboard. We just built a new house in Angeles, Pampanga, but I'm not a Filipino myself and forgot all about the dirty kitchen... now I'm in trouble with my wife.
Regard, Paul

I'm in awe once again of the clean/dirty kitchen brilliance in the Philippines. That is such a fantastic idea!

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