Aside from the good-tasting California milk, wine, raisins and cheeses that Filipinos have grown to love and buy in supermarkets, there is now a bigger variety of products available from the Golden State that we all can enjoy in the Philippines.
Examples of these are healthy and delicious peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, olives and Medjool dates.
No less than Ms. Christine Birdsong, Undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture flew into town to present the proudly grown in CA product line-up in a “Taste of California” event held last July 19 at the Grand Hyatt Manila.
“Filipinos are known to be innovative and adventurous when it comes to all things food, which creates great demand for top-notch ingredients such as those from the Golden State. California is home to a remarkable range of fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and wines, and more and we want to support this growing demand by providing Filipino businesses and consumers access to top-notch California produce that would further elevate their dining experience,” she noted.
Executive Chef Mark Hagan and his team at Grand Hyatt Manila prepared well-curated meals for a group of importers, distributors and media in the degustation lunch.
The dishes featured California food products that paired perfectly with a select assortment of California wines.
First course was a Grilled California Stone Fruit Salad paired with Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fume Blanc 2018.
Then came Pan-Seared Sea Bass with California Black Olive Tapenade and a cauliflower puree. The accompanying wine was Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2019.
The meat entree was Stuffed Roasted Pork with California raisins, fondant potato and asparagus paired with La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019.
Fourth course was Seascape Cheese served with a delicious Stone Fruit chutney and lavash crackers. A couple of sips of The Prisoner Wine Napa Valley Red Blend 2019 sealed in the flavor of this dish.
Finally for dessert. Sticky Toffee California Medjool Date pudding with toffee sauce and whipped cream, paired with Barefoot Pink Moscato Non-Vintage. We were blown away!
The event was spearheaded by the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) and the Buy California Marketing Agreement (CAGROWN), with the support of the USDA Agribusiness Trade Mission to the Philippines (USDA ATM).
U.S. Trade cooperative representatives, which leads the importation of goods to the Philippines, were also in attendance such as Caroline Stringer from California Fresh Fruit Association, Elizabeth Carranza from California Blueberry Commission and California Olive Committee, Thomas Wee from California Agricultural Export Council and Raisin Administrative Committee, and Reji Retugal-Onal from California Milk Advisory Board-Philippines.