Chilled Taho

I first heard of packaged taho from UP Los Banos. It was not known for its packaging, rather, for its different flavors. I got to try one for myself. It was a sealed cup nearly filled with… There was a small spacer near the top which contain the syrup. It was self service. I had to popped the plastic myself and added the syrup. I cannot recall what the flavor was. What I was sure of… the curd was strong enough to hold the plastic of syrup. The one I am seeing from taho vendor have very fragile surface. The man has to scoop it carefully to prevent breaking apart. The customer must do it instead. Firm taho might have gelatine or other ingredients with the same purpose.

Meeting it again. Chilled Taho. I cannot expect to get it hot because it is packaged to last for several days. It has to be chilled right after production inside the production plant. Requires chilled storage during transport and store displays. For sure you know what gonna happen if not. Taho vendors have to make tofu out of their leftovers. The same can be done to chilled taho but it will incur great cost.

kyla's chilled taho

I ate it several times already, but this is the only time I am jotting dow nmy observations.

We brought home several times already. Our kids love it. There was one time that it almost gone to waste. The MRT inspector stopped us. She said it was not permitted inside the train. What was wrong with her? We were carrying sealed and safe products. Not explosive and non flammable.

It is packed in a cup and induction sealed, Zagu style. There is a small space on top to accomodate the syrup which comes ins a separate PE bag. For health conscious. It is made from non-GMO soya beans. You don’t have to worry about the speculated consequences. The included syrup is light. It barely has effect on blood sugar levels. Enjoy it guilt free.

We brought home several packs during our last trip. We had no special case to hold it. Like the carton fast food chains are giving to hold the softdrinks. We placed them in our backpacks and hand carry bags. As you expected, they tumbled around during the trip. And experience pressures of sorts. It was good the cup and seal were strong. The taho was disrupted. The curds and clear liquid became evident. It was not pleasant. However, the good thing is… it has no firming agent added.

The product was still good despite of disturbed appearance. They were all gone before I knew it.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

To Extract or To Blend

Perhaps the next juice on your hand is like a carefully processed sapphire. A clear see through liquid with a light tint. Maybe red, blue, orange, brown or yellow. There are two reasons for this. The fruit of concern was extracted down to clarity. Second, the juice is water tinted with laboratory prepared coloring and flavorings.  Our favorite low cost juice that is later taxed higher ( due to sugar tax under TRAIN Law) and banned in  public schools.

This appearance is natural for wine, bandy, whisky and other spirits. Wine is either forced clarified or thru natural process by aging. For other alcohols, distillation process is a sure way to get rid of impurities, unless it is added back after. However, pulp is a necessary component of fermentation. Grapes, the primary wine ingredient, is crushed, not extracted.

We are accustomed to this that we want to extract juice from our favorite fruit. Even if we know that it is better to blend it with the pulp, perhaps additional water and sugar if we want to. Better yet, eat it unaltered. It is boring though and not always possible. Like if we want to transfer it to distant location or eat later. Refrigeration and freezing are expensive solutions. Processing techniques are often cheaper and effective alternative. Reducing the juice into instant powder is one of the best way. Customers can later reconstitute it to fiberless and sapphire like juice.

When buying a juicer, there are two choices. First is a device that separate juice from pulp. It could either be a screw press type ( the one use for pressing oil ). Or, the centrifugal. Spinning at high speed to throw away the juice first then pulp into separate bin. One container for juice and one for pulp. The second are blenders. A cylindrical container with spinning blade in bottom. High speed that some brands can go up to 20,000 plus rpm. It never separates juice from pulp. It mixes it to homogeneity. Some manufacturers are using it as marketing tool. Emphasizing fibers are essential part. It shouldn’t be thrown away. Other high speed blenders claim that their brands can release nutrients. Making them readily available for absorption.

On my point of view, getting the juice and throwing away the pulp is kind of waste. Like what we did in project study the last time. We made dragon fruit jelly. Guess what we did with the pulp? We threw it away. Now I am thinking, it shouldn’t be the case. We should have made dragon fruit jam instead. Or, developed other useful products with the remaining pulp, like fruit leather, pastillas, candy and polvoron. For home preparation, go for blends (puree) instead of clear juice. You and I might not be a nutritionist but we both know that fibers are good for us.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Soapy Margarine

This margarine taste a bit soapy. Well. I am not surprised.

opened margarine

Margarine. Base on wikipedia and youtube, it is emulsion of water in oil. Eighty percent of which is fat, 16 % water and the rest are others that perhaps added to prolong shelf life and make it taste better. Basic formula as it suggest, taste bland. The tasty and popular brand you know might be less or healthier than your favorite cooking oil. Maybe more dangerous.

Margarine and soap share the same key ingredient. It is not surprising for an oil refinery to produce margarine and soap. In other cases, a margarine manufacturer making soap as alternative income source and vice versa. The two products, clearly, need separate processing plants. However, they may choose do it with minimal walling. Separate buildings but in proximity. Then same truck for logistics. Strict protocols are needed to prevent margarine getting soapy taste and odor. Soap on the other hand, getting some margarine attributes may not be a big deal.

I actually saw a company making both at the same time. So the scenario above is not based on science and speculations.

Even if that is not the case, a not well protected and handled product may get undesirable flavor whenever given opportunity. Speaking of margarine, they are usually plain wrapped with wax paper and seen in chilled section of groceries. In any case the logistic, grocery owner or the consumer do the forbidden thing, it gonna have the unpleasant soap taste.

From the website canitgobad.net, one of margarine signs of spoilage is the soapy taste.  Soap is made from oil through saponification process. Random presence of alkali and heat  is likely to trigger this process.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Bit Sizes Sapin-Sapin

The first time we bought sapin-sapin, while we were on trip, it was in a big wooden tray, bilao. It was lined and covered with banana leaves / or plastic.  I could clearly remember which. The traditional and more attractive for me is the banana leaves of course. It is suggestive of its traditional preparation, home made.

The vendor gave us several cellophane. It served as gloves for ripping the kakanin apart. We enjoyed it boodle fight style. We stored our leftover in extra sando bag. Kinda convenient for cowboys like us. Not for others of course. Now that sando bags are banned in most areas. Where are they gonna put in all the unconsumed part? Brown paper bag is a bad choice.

Here is the sample solution. The sapin-sapin is pre-cut to bite sizes. Almost bite sizes. It took me two before finishing one small block. Real bite sizes would be better. Wrapped individually and the latik ( coconut milk curds) was in a separate package. All were together neatly in a clear lunch box style packaging. Anyone can get one, unwrapped, sprinkle some latik and enjoy in style. Anything left can be kept safely for later, until its expected edibility.

bite size sapin sapin

I think, more can be added to it. Like adding a wooden toothpick. Trying not to get the hands messy. Then a few napkins in case things goes out of control. Not everyone has napkin in their bag, especially the men. And, changing the clear box to paper. Caring for environment should also be taken into consideration.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Insulin Plant

Insulin, hormone naturally produce by our body to regulate blood sugar level. Not too low and not too high either. It is released by specific organ whenever sugar or carbohydrate of any sort is taken in. Due to genetic reason and or unhealthy lifestyle, sometimes old age. The specific organ may fail to do its essential job. That is when the diabetic condition comes into play. I am not a medical practitioner so I know very little of this thing. However, I am pretty sure a lot of diabetic people need to take regular insulin maintenance and at the same time monitor their blood sugar level.

Popular natural maintenance is bitter gourd, the ampalaya. Some have learnt to eat it raw. I learnt it also after marriage. Cooked, not raw. It is simply too bitter for my taste buds. According to some testimonials, regular ampalaya intake combined with proper diet and regular exercise can keep blood sugar in check.

Insulin plant. I knew it immediately after hearing the words. It is something that can be taken as replacement to the original thing. Perhaps not the original name. People may have named if after finding out its desirable effects. If I say “insulin plant”, it is self explanatory. No need for lengthy explanations. Insisting it is effective usually suffice.

insulin plant

For the time being, the plant can be bought for 100 pesos a pot. Sure it will go lower as the number of cultivators rise. Only one pot is needed in most cases. It grows easily with minimal supervision. Let us say anyone can build his own insulin plant empire provided he has enough land area.

They say, not what I say. It is a good diabetic maintenance . Medical practitioners will surely argue with this. Any evidence that is not part of official clinical trials or surveys are purely hearsay. Alright! If they say so, then so be it!

There is no harm in trying this plant for a day or two. Chew two leaves leaves in the morning and two in the afternoon. Monitor your blood sugar level. You may continue or not depending on the result. You may still stop even if the result is promising. The choice is all in your hands.

I tried chewing a leaf. It was not bad. A sharp spicy and sweet taste that quickly dissipates. Then a lot of fibers with a faint grassy flavor.

Getting it in processed form is a good thing. Great way to introduce it to your friend, kids and relatives. There are rejections, usually, when unknown plant is presented to someone. It might be poisonous. Never taste good. It often goes away when it is processed and nicely packed.

insulin puree

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.