Mayor Sara Z. Duterte has called on Filipinos to appreciate Filipino culinary traditions, believing that “lutong pinoy” is equally superior in taste and nutritional value that people around the world should try.

In a speech read by Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag during the culmination of the Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino or “Filipino Food Month” on Tuesday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here, Mayor Sara lauded the Department of Tourism (DOT), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for promoting traditional Filipino food.

“The Filipino chefs are gaining popularity among foreign countries today and how renowned international chefs are likewise indulging in Filipino gustatory delights from the savory adobo and crispy lechon, to sisig and sinigang, from halo-halo to decadent chocolates,” Sara said.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who was the guest during the culmination night, assured the DA will further promote Filipino dishes all over the world.

Piñol said Philippine cuisine can compete with the rest in the world and is comparable to Thailand’s and China’s because of its distinct characteristics.

He said that in the Philippines, “we don’t advertise our products like the Guimaras mango considered as the sweetest all over the world so with our pineapple where the expats would say the Philippine pineapple is the sweetest in the world”.

Pinol said that starting the first week of June, DA will launch an aggressive marketing campaign for local agricultural products, targeting Eastern Europe.

On June 4 – 9, DA will also be participating in one of the biggest expos for agriculture in Europe at Minsk, Belarus, he said.

“At the expo, we will bring products that are distinctly Filipino such as buko (coconut), mango, pineapple, bananas,” the DA chief said.

He said DA will also promote the Philippine mango in Berlin, bringing the mango festival to the Moscow Food Expo in September and Singapore in July. (PNA)