Foods of Guam, Philippines fill Family table Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 September 2017
By Valerie Collins
GUIDON volunteer

In a military community people have the ability to experience cultures from around the world. That is no different here, at Fort Leonard Wood.

Food is one way to learn about different cultures and teach others about your own. This month’s “Foodie of the Fort” is Calantha Pajela, spouse of Maj. Clint Pajela, battalion executive officer, 58th Transportation Battalion. The Pajela Family is from Guam, a United States island territory in the Western Pacific.
“Not a lot of people know where Guam is,” Pajela said. In order to share a little piece of her home, Pajela is sharing her recipe for banana lumpia.

The following is a Q and A with Pajela.

Question: Since you are sharing a dish that is unique to your culture, can you tell me who was the biggest influence on the way you cook for your family?

Answer: My biggest influence on the way I cook is probably my mother. My mother worked full time, yet we always had a home-cooked meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My brother and I always packed lunch for school.

Q: What is your specialty dish?  A: I don’t think I have a “specialty dish.” I more or less cook foods from my culture, my husband’s culture, and any type of food that my Family and I like.

Q: What is your “go-to” dish or is there a dish everyone asks you to bring?
Calantha Pajela, a military spouse living on Fort Leonard Wood, prepares one of her favorite dishes, banana lumpia. Pajela likes to cook dishes from her native home, Guam, and also dishes from the Philippines.

 A: My go-to dish for a potluck would probably be red rice (a Chamorro dish), or pancit (a Filipino dish)

Q: How did you acquire your love of cooking?

A: I acquired a love of cooking because I like to eat and in order to eat the foods from my home (Guam), I would need to learn how to do it. It is also a way to teach my children about my culture because they have only visited Guam and do not know it like my husband and I do.

Q: Describe what it means to be able to share a piece of your culture with others.

A: I believe that food brings people together. It becomes a way to meet people and share a little of where we come from. Many people do not know of Guam or where Guam is and this is a way to share the food and a little of my culture.

Q: What are you sharing with us?

A: The specialty dish I am making is called banana lumpia/ banana spring rolls (turon). It is a Filipino dish that is mostly eaten as a dessert.
Banana Lumpia
Ripe bananas (apple bananas, sweet plantains, or a sweet cooking banana) cut lengthwise
12 spring roll wrappers (preferably the thin ones)
1 cup sugar or brown sugar
jackfruit strips (optional)
The finished dish is displayed prior to meal time.

cooking oil  Directions: 1. Pull apart spring roll wrappers and lay them on a plate. 2. Roll the banana pieces in sugar; place an inch from the bottom edge of the wrapper. 3. Fold the two sides towards the center, then rollout up to the end. To seal it, dab a little water at the end. 4. Heat the oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan (to avoid the sugar from sticking to the pan) 5. Fry the bananas until it has reached a golden brown and flip over. 6. Sprinkle some sugar onto the cooked side so that the oil caramelizes and creates a glaze. 7. Remove from the pan when it has turned golden brown. Lay them on a plate with some paper towels or wax paper to remove the excess oil. Serve them while they are still warm.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2017 )