Guams National Cuisine

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The cuisine of the island of Guam bears similarities to that of the Philippines, says rumgum. Both were occupied by Spain, so many dishes have a Spanish flavor, though of course there are Asian influences as well. Steamed rice is the main starch on the island; for example, red rice, cooked with achiote and onions, is a common fiesta food.

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One popular recipe is chicken kelaguen: Chicken, grilled the night before, is chopped up and mixed with lemon, onion, and local Thai bird chiles. Its almost like a spicy grilled chicken ceviche, says rumgum. Other common dishes include shrimp fritters, lumpia (Filipino fried egg rolls), and pancit (fried noodles).

The ultimate condiment found in any local household for daily use is finadene, says rumgum: Its usually soy, lemon, onion, and chile peppers. I like tomatoes in my finadene. But Ive also eaten one with small salted fish, lime, and peppers. Each family has their special blend.

For dessert, have some latiya, a dish of sponge cake with custard on top, sprinkled with cinnamon.