It was a weekend of food events and after our cook-off, it was time to taste the specialties of Manila’s best bakers and cooks. Am glad to have been invited to Our Awesome Planet‘s Ultimate Taste Test 3.0, although kinda sad that I missed the first two. The event was simply teeming with culinary discoveries and food finds! Kudos to our blogger-friend Anton Diaz and his wife Rache for organizing the successful taste test which gathers together Manila’s best and upcoming food suppliers, to be rated by a bunch of discriminating foodies. The proceeds of the event will go to the completion of the St. Michael’s Church in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Tickets were sold for only P150 but we easily had our fill from the food samples of about 30 exhibitors. Am afraid I had to beg off from tasting a few, especially the desserts. Either I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth that day, or it was all simply overwhelming.
This was me holding my stack of paper plates while I was trying to take a picture. One lesson I learned here: never underestimate the bite sizes, for they can add up! 😀
It didn’t help any that the first booth I saw was my favorite Sabroso Lechon. Their lechon sampler was the first one I tasted. There were three lechon booths, but the one from Ulcing’s (Original Lechon Cebu) was the first one to run out. Hmm, I want to try Ulcing’s next time!
Magazine editor Erica Paredes (the daughter of Jim) offered the most innovative dessert: bacon chocolate! I did like it:) You can choose from two varieties: chocolate-covered bacon-bites, or the Piggy Stardust and chocolate lollipops with bacon bits (called Pig Pops). Some people might find a mixture of bacon and chocolates weird, but Erica apparently discovered the treat in New York and now seeks to replicate it here. Happy Bacon (as the brand is called) is a must try and surely will become the most talked-about dessert in town in due time.
Here are some of my other favorites from the Ultimate Taste Test:
The wagyu beef strips, canneloni, ganache cake and other treats from Dulcelin Gourmet Specialties was really good. In fact, they were a favorite of the blogger-attendees.
The fresh corned beef from Latizze, a restaurant in Mandaluyong I’ve heard little of, was remarkable. I wonder if they also make a mean Reuben sandwich. Call 727 7239 for reservations.
The caramel crunch cake from Divine Desserts (tel. no. 9139875) was enticing. There is something about caramel which never fails to make us say “yum….”
The savory meat pies from Tina Raines had different flavors: callos (!), beef and salmon , to name just a few. The fillings were very generous and authentic. I made sure to take home one for the hubby. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tina at 0917-8310925.
The sweetish chicken ham from Cramly Cravings was quite good. If you want an alternative to the usual Christmas ham this year, make it chicken.
The jelly drinks were a bestseller. Some liked the lychee juice, I was more for the blackcurrant. It helped that they cost only P6 each!
The stuffed roast turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce from Bravissimo was yummy too. And to think I don’t like turkey that much. Whoa, advanced Happy Thanksgiving!
Gourmet jams from The Fruit Garden should make an excellent gift this Christmas. They are beautifully packaged and have the most interesting flavors. Behind the brand is a Filipina and her French husband who pick local fruits while applying French techniques in jam-making. The result is superb.
The cookie monster cheesecake from Symphony of Flavors also looked interesting but I passed up on this one as I was already full.
Stay tuned to Our Awesome Planet for announcements of future taste tests. This latest edition was limited to only 300 attendees. It was simply brilliant how they avoided gatecrashers by announcing the hush-hush venue only the day before. The crowd was also very controlled. I certainly didn’t see a rowdy bunch who piled up 2 kilos of roast beef on their plate in a single seating. LOL.
For the next taste test, I propose that a directory of food suppliers be made for easy referencing. Right, Spanky? “Live an awesome life!” 😀