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.

Buko Pie – Sample Now, Buy Later

I encountered this before, at the very same place. Not sure though. Someone giving sample of local delicacy and offering for sale later. Before it was buko candy. Now it is buko pie.

slice of buko pie

I am skeptical for two reasons. First is hygiene. He is giving out thin buko pie slices partially lined with cellophane. The pie was prepared by him or by someone but he is sure slicing and wrapping it in public place. It might catch all sort of dirt and microbes present in that area. I am currently in air-conditioned bus. Someone here might have a severe cold and cough.

The buko candy from before was well wrapped. Worthier of trust than this.

I once suffered diarrhea after drinking buko juice while on travel. Thankfully, I arrived home before the symptoms manifested. I treat every buko and products with precautions when I am on trip.

The second is appearance and flavour verdict. The vendor clearly said, you may buy later if it passed your judgement. It happens not. So sorry!

It is nowhere near the thickness of best buko pie I have eaten so far. The taste is inferior either. The best was from Laguna, by the way.

The marketing strategy, however, is effective depending on product flavor. If majority of people who ate like it, then more will buy. To taste is to believed. That’s the idea. We have been using it with great success every product exhibits in malls and event areas.

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.

Batutay, Cabanatuan Longganisa

Our overnight stay in Bongabon Nueva Ecija was short but allowed us experienced several things like seeing the view of Siera Madre Mountains and tasting one of its proud delicacies. The garlic infused longganisa.

cabanatuan longganisa

Cabanatuan longganisa, Nueva Ecija longganisa, Batutay or whatever they call it. It is rich in garlic. Speaking of the spice, the popular Ilocos variant has the same. But what separates it from other is the main ingredient. It is made of beef instead of the traditional pork.

Before knowing other details, all I know was, it is longganisa made in the province. It has lots of garlic that force you burp often and make breath smells a little weird. I expected a juicy and fatty feel but I got reverse impression. It was dry, meaty and crunchy. Not a typical longganisa but is very delicious.

This is how they cook it! It is first boiled until water is all dried up. Slice to halves. Then fried until a little crispy.

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.

Sinamak Vinegar and Samak Tree

After the training, we went down the road going back to hotel. I saw a familiar but unknown tree. I asked them what it is called. They quickly replied it is Samak. An ingredient of popularly known sinamak vinegar. Fruits, bark and leaves are used in the process.

samak tree

Knowing its local name allowed me to search more information on net.

According to pinoytrees. Samak or Macaranga grandifolia is a small tree reaching a height of 7 meters. It is an endemic species according to Uly, only seen in Luzon and Mindoro. Yet Sir George mentioned that this plant has long been cultivated in places like Hawaii. In the Philippines only few know the aesthetic value of this unique arborescent species.

Yeah. I had no idea this tree is of other use beside serving as land cover.

I looked around the net and read sinamak vinegar information. However, the term sinamak literally means spiced vinegar. It is a collection of spices soaked in vinegar of any kind. The samak is not mentioned in any of recipes.

Thanks to mmsu.edu.ph, who posted something about vinegar and samak tree.

Pamulinawen Ilocos Organic Vinegar is a product of successive microbial process, an alcoholic fermentation of sugarcane juice effected by a mixture of dried leaves, fruit and bark of samak tree.

So it is indeed a material for vinegar making but not necessarily sinamak.

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.

Pancit Cabagan and Batil Patong

Bount to Conner, Apayao. After waiting hours in NAIA Airport Terminal 3, boarding the plane for about 40 minutes, we arrived in Tuguegarao Airport. Set for lunch before continuing journey.

Our lunch. Pansit Cabagan. Our friend (acting as tour guide) first suggest we go to KFC or the likes but I and my partner insisted on eating local delicacy. I felt so tired of fast food chain menus.

pancit cabagan

Cabagan sounds like “kabag” at first. As in hyperacidity. I forgot to ask what the term really means.

Notable characteristics. This pancit is like the popular canton noodles but had sleeker strands. I think it was half-cooked. I noticed it grew bigger as I eat.

The toppings are: Onion shoots and grated onions. The onions was on separate saucer. It depend on customer how much he want to take. Toasted bread. I think it was a garlic bread. I was not sure though. My taste buds were filled with onion flavor. Pork and chicken meat. They said, it should be carabao meat instead. Few slices of carrot. Ahh! I almost forgot. It was partnered with quail egg soup.

They said, pancit cabagan is native to Isabela.

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Before going home, we experienced the Tuguegarao’s very own. The Pansit Batil Patong. The last word “patong” means the arrangement of ingredients. The layering style. However it seemed not layered to me.

pancit batil patong

The noticeable similarity to kabagan was the noodles. It had more plumb strands though. The ground meat and liver slices tasted like pork and beef respectively. Again, they said, the original is carabao meat. Calamansi adds a bit of sourness. Beneath the ground meat was a piece of sunny side up egg.

It should also partnered with soup. I guess the canteen crew were lazy.

Both dishes are good and I want to cook the same at home.

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.