The Story of the Carinderia

Before 1764 there was no Filipino word to infer a commercial establishment selling cooked food. But by the early 1800s, the carinderia was recognized as the native food shop, a respite for travelers and a direct ancestor of the turo-turo.  


According to Felice Prudente-Sta. Maria, Karinderia and karihans are products of the British Empire. Sepoys were Indian natives who deserted British General William Draper’s fleet around 1764. They quickly assimilated into the community by marrying Filipina wives and settling at the lakeside end of the Pasig River about 18 kilometers east of Manila in Taytay and Cainta. These towns are conveniently located along the Maytime Pilgrimage route to Antipolo Church. 



Carinderias were affected by tourist transportation. The first Philippine railway was inaugurated in 1892 and ran 105 kilomenters from Manila to Dagupan. In the 1900s it was extended south to Bicol.


Before train travel, Cainta was where Marian devotees disembarked from bancas and switched to hammocks or horses with which to make the mountainous ascent to the Antipolo town shrine. But once the train service became regular, Taytay became the town where the trekking began. There would have surely been a ready market for a food service wherever the myriad of devotees stopped.


Like all busy crossroads, Taytay and Cainta reaped revenues from tourist facilities, in this case eateries. Many tourists noted that the areas from Taytay and Cainta through the capitol were punctuated by bamboo stalls offering a mixed menu that included curry. 



The Spaniard Wenceslao E. Retana, an authority in Philippine studies, traced the etymology of carinderia in the 1920s to curry that is kari in Tagalog –the root word of the native dish called Kare-kare.


Information source: Felice Prudente-Sta. Maria, Governor-General’s Kitchen


Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] A Carinderia is a local eatery in the Philippines. They serve different viands or ulam. These dishes are paired with a cup of rice on a plate. […]

  2. […] I was looking for rooms for P4,000 ($100) month. After two days of asking carinderia and sari-sari store owners, as well as calling numbers posted on signs looking for rooms to fill, I […]

  3. A lovely watercolor of a Carinderia, 1847 from the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana Flckr page:

  4. I understand where you’re coming from Akilez. Most of the Filipinos I know who have been overseas for years crave for authentic Filipino food.

    I’ve learned from them that although there are Filipino restaurants available in their area, nothing compares to the comfort and experience of dining in an authentic turo-turo.

    Glad to hear from a Filipino located half way around the world.

  5. MY GOD!!! You make me so hungry.
    There is One Filipino turo-turo restaurant in Boston and they’re not open all the time and the food is regular not really awesome not like these food.

    I miss Filipino food so much!

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