The Origin of the Boodle Fight
by Marinel Perez
How did the Boodle Fight Begin —
A Boodle Fight is a bear hand eating (Kamayan) culinary style experience that originated from the Philippine military where a huge pile of food is served in the middle of a really long table in a mess hall where every hungry soldier eats with their hands. The “fight” in the name refers to the act of grabbing and eating as much as the soldier can before others grab them, otherwise, you won’t have any.
What can you expect from a Boodle Fight —
Boodle Fights are usually served on top of a table lined with banana leaves. Rice is placed in the middle and viands are either served on top or the sides of the rice. Water jugs are also placed on the side used for washing your hands just before the “fight” happens. During a Boodle Fight, there are no utensils to use, it is expected you eat with your bare hands called the Kamayan.
Yummy Boodle Fight Dishes —
Dishes at a Boodle Fight are unlimited where you can add any Filipino dish you desire for. Dry dishes are the most popular ones to add. Dishes like fried dried fish like tuyo, danggit, and pusit are quite common. Breakfast meats are also popular like tocino, longaniza, and tapa but the favorite ones are charcoal-grilled meats like fish, chicken, and pork. Fruits are also served as a balancer to the salty and oily viands. Fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, and papaya are very common. Some also add deep-fried items like lumpia, fried fish, fried chicken then to top it all up, rice and noodles are also served as a carbohydrate source.
My favorite things about Boodle Fights are that you can really bond and spend time with family while having a line of food right in front of your eyes. There are many opinions of food you can choose from while you eat with your own bare hands, my personal favorites are the Fried Chicken and Lumpia. I’m a sucker for Lumpia and it’s my all-time favorite Filipino dish. I’ve only participated once in a Boodle Fight with my own family and it really is a great experience that I hope many others can try this Filipino experience.