03 Mar2007


Eating is obviously the main event at a gathering of ladies from the International Wine and food Society…so it is no surprise that the hybrid tea/merienda last weekend was some major eating extravaganza. On arrival at the Legarda home, we were greeted with a bar a3filled with three choices of cold drinks: Iced Lemon Grass, Iced Basil Tea and Iced Gumamela Tea. Hmmm, interesting, but not my cup of tea, as I like tea that comes from tea leaves. But kudos for the choices and I am sure with some time I would get to like most of the choices on offer. Continuing on the beverage selection, along with the merienda proper, they served Hot Tarragon Tea, Hot Mint Tea, and thank goodness for me, some nice Hot Chocolate. While walking around the home on a brief tour, waiters followed us around with platters of Tita Moning’s Warm Queso de Bola Toasts that are really quite good. I think Mrs. MM ate half a plate, frankly, while I remained steadfast in my goal to eat at least one of every food item presented that afternoon…so I had just one QdeB toast…ah, such self control I gloated…

Next up, the merienda proper and I decided to the start with the savory buffet which included a SUPERB pancit guisado that was light, clean on the palate, delicious a7with kalamansi and clearly a well-honed/perfected recipe that they should be proud of. The pancit was delicious; and I like pancit so I am curious how they managed to get this just “so” right. I passed on the homemade Dinuguan with Puto Manapla (still have those dinuguan fears), but Mrs. MM reports the dinuguan was also very good. Finally, the savory buffet had small Lumpia Ubod that were good, albeit a tad on the sweetish side and with the easier to make egg based wrapper rather than the elusive drier wrapper I have given up on learning how to make for myself. I only managed to get a photograph of the buffet with the dishes still covered so I apologize that you have to imagine the three dishes I write about above…

Kakanins were a major group of offerings on the afternoon’s menu and besides the budbud kabog that I brought along (in two versions, using white and muscovado brown sugar), there a5was an utterly superb Sapin Sapin by Jessie Sicongco which was unusually white through and through and not the colorful version I grew up with. It was light, flavorful, layered and delightful. Yum. We also had kutchinta from Antipolo, White puto Kalasiao and Bibingka Pinipig (the first time I had ever tried this delicacy). Needless to say, I skipped the budbud and had a serving of everything else, not to mention taking home some of the extra Sapin Sapin for The Kid.


As if that wasn’t enough caloric intake for an afternoon, there was still one more buffet to “tackle.” The “Dessert” sideboard or buffet included a selection of Spanish inspired desserts from a bakery in Quezon City (I will add the name when i remember it, MILA HELP!?) that included Tarta de Madrid, a6Assorted Madrilenos, St Jorge, Canarios, Moritos and Naranja. Hot Ensaimada from Chef Gene Gonzalez’s mother was also served off of silver trays and La Cocina de Tita Moning’s famous Bread Pudding and some Masa Podrida were also on offer. Egads! Yes, I did actually try every single one of theose desserts! The ensaimada was very good, though again on the fluffier, more cake-y side than bready, and the masa podrida brought bake childhood memories for Mrs. MM whose major doma/cook used to make as well but with brilliant homemade mango jam sandwiched in-between. The Spanish desserts were good and reminiscent of several decades ago sweets but they all started tasting like one another…I think the sponge cake base was the same for several of the treats. Never mind, they were good as well and would satisfy anyone with a serious sweet tooth! Wow! Now that’s what you call a serious merienda/tea!!! Thank you so much to the IWFS Ladies Chapter for inviting me and Mrs. MM and to La Cocina de Tita Moning for such a wonderful afternoon with excellent food/sweets!



  1. greengrapecake says:

    I also love tita moning, it’s a bit far form Makati though. But the travel is worth it every single time.

    Mar 3, 2007 | 6:26 pm


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  3. linda says:

    What a treat! I surely miss home just looking at the pics.Never mind,I’ll make up for it when I get there next month. Thanks for sharing,MM!

    Mar 3, 2007 | 9:06 pm

  4. Maria Clara says:

    Everything looks divinely delicious! I bet you the ensaimada are to die for. The second picture on top the greenish one with brown topping kakanin which one is that – what is the name of this kakanin? My guess is bibingka pinipig?

    Mar 4, 2007 | 3:40 am

  5. wil-b cariaga says:

    “merienda” i think is one of the filipino food traditions that leaves a lot of memories, you know, even just sitting in the porch with your grandparents eating bibingka or even pandesal with different “palaman”, or serving merienda to visiting friends. . . just a small and simple gathering but really filling. . .satisfying. . . sometimes after eating merienda you couldn’t even have dinner. . . merienda for me is so different from tea or snack time, I don’t know but it has a different feel. . .

    Mar 4, 2007 | 5:56 am

  6. millet says:

    “the greenish one with brown topping kakanin”, i would guess, is bibingkang pinipg made with fresh (as opposed to dry) pinipig. in its raw state, fresh pinipig is chewy and smells of pandan. love it!

    Mar 4, 2007 | 7:10 am

  7. DivineG. says:

    I love green pinipig, I remember our househelp used to buy this when she goes to the market. I think you can get this esp. when they just harvested the rice, that is when it is really fresh and I can remember how it smells, very refreshing. Can you please describe what a queso de bola toast is?

    Mar 4, 2007 | 1:13 pm

  8. Katrina says:

    MM, as a dessert addict I am SO JEALOUS of you! What a glorious spread! I do love Spanish pastries, probably because I grew up going to Dulcinea practically every week. (My dad’s a creature of habit.) I’ve never had — or even heard of — bibingkang pinipig either. I do like pinipig, though. Would you know where this can be bought, MM?

    I’ve tried Tita Moning’s QdB spread, which is what they put on the toast. They sell that in bazaars and in the Salcedo market. My lola always used to make this. I grew up with her serving it (whether on toast or just with crackers) every Sunday. It’s basically just grated QdB mixed with butter. It may just be nostalgia on my and my family’s part, but so far neither Tita Moning’s or Joyce Aragon’s (she of the best dulong in olive oil) versions are as good as my lola’s. I think they don’t put enough QdB in the mix.

    Mar 4, 2007 | 3:41 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Yup, the green dessert is the bibingkang pinipig…it was good…a bit chewy but nice…and unfortunately, I don’t know where to buy it…unless one of the organizers leaves a comment and lets us know the secret…heehee.

    Mar 5, 2007 | 7:36 am

  10. mila says:

    Hi MM, the spanish desserts came from Pastelleria Mallorca, which supposedly inherited the recipes of the spanish desserts (postres) from La Cibeles (although when I tried their lengua de gato, I was not transported back to my childhood when La Cibeles had the thinnest and butteriest biscuits, but I digress). If anyone wishes to get their next assortment of tasty sweets from them, they’re located at 18 Scout Fuentebella QC. I think I might have their phone number somewhere. Will post when I find it. I think the naranjas go well with a good cup of the hot chocolate and the ensymada. The others were ok, but, I agree, it got way too similar in taste after awhile.

    The bibingkang pinipig came from Farmer’s Market in Cubao. We went at 7 am to the market one Saturday morning and tried several of the kakanins for the tea, and that bibingka got our attention. The row of kakanin sellers are behind all the vegetable/fruit stands, so just ask around and you’ll find them. They all sell the same things, mostly Luzon-based kakanins from Pangasinan to Quezon. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place where you could get all the interesting kakanins from Luzon to Mindanao?

    Mar 5, 2007 | 9:01 am

  11. CecileJ says:

    Try the ensaimada of Pastelleria Mallorca. The best I’ve tasted so far!

    Mar 5, 2007 | 2:14 pm

  12. mila says:

    The ensaimada was also from Pastelleria Mallorca.

    Mar 5, 2007 | 4:01 pm

  13. Daisy says:

    For those interested in fresh pinipig, there is a regular lady vendor in the aile with a bilao at University of the Philippines shopping center that sells fresh pinipig and I believe the pinipig bibingka. I might try to visit her soon at UP. Thanks MM .

    Mar 5, 2007 | 4:02 pm

  14. julie ching says:

    I really want to learn how to make Biko’s topping. Dark, malatik but creamy and sticky. makunat. I hope that you can send me the instruction on how to make them.
    Puto and Kutchinta as well. the pictures that I saw are all fantastic.

    Sep 25, 2007 | 8:54 pm

  15. Ramon M. Ong says:

    When you go on your food-tasting adventures, you should bring a notepad and pen. Then you can jot down the names of the dishes that you like (which your readers will want to taste for themselves). And then you can write down the name of the eatery, the address (and website, if possible) and the telephone number. In this way, the readers will know where to go and make reservations if necessary. It is frustrating to read your report on what you found delicious — and be left in the dark on how we can go to the same places, simply because you cannot recall that info.

    Nov 1, 2008 | 12:40 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Ramon, many places I go, I do take notes, but not everywhere. First and foremost, I go to enjoy an experience, and in some cases write about it later if I think it might be worth doing a post about. I do not go to every meal and every restaurant or market with the intent of writing a post. This is a blog, not a newspaper. Besides, in this case, it was a group of folks sitting down to a formal merienda, and as an invited guest, I definitely would NOT sit around jotting notes in the midst of such a setting, in the same manner that I do not tend to take photographs in nice restaurants at evening meals and where it may cause a disturbance to nearby diners. These are my choices, and as nice as it would be to remember every critical detail, I don’t. Besides, before you chose to write your comment, if you had bothered to read a bit further down the comments, you would see that Mila (my host) did in fact answer my earlier plea in the post for the name of the ensaimada supplier, and it was Pastelleria Mallorca, and she provides their address in Quezon City. So perhaps before you are quick to the draw to criticize, it would serve you well to read first and see if your questions weren’t already answered in the comments section, as they often are on this blog… So while I can commiserate with your “frustration”, you will understand mine when i have to answer now seemingly foolish questions (at least with respect to this specific post) such as yours…

    Nov 1, 2008 | 4:13 pm

  17. mabuhay says:

    hahaha sinisi pa si marketman. ibang klase. makisuyo na lang kasi

    Nov 5, 2008 | 3:13 am

  18. Jason says:

    Hi tanong ko lang po

    Di ba yung bibingka pinipig meron sa farmers. Yung gumamela tea meron din po doon? Gusto ko kasi maka try ng gumamela tea..


    Jun 10, 2009 | 12:07 am


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