A visit to Binondo (Manila’s Chinatown) isn’t complete unless we drop by the charming tablea shop “La Resureccion” on Ongpin Street. And now that the weather seems headed towards the cooler Christmas season, it’s always good to have the makings of tsokolate (hot chocolate) in the pantry. I first “re-discovered” this tablea shop during a Binondo walking tour with Ivan Man Dy several years ago, here, and have gone back to this shop several times since for some nice pure tablea. But on this most recent visit, I turned the corner to where La Resurrecion used to be, and IT WAS GONE, the buidling nowhere to be found, and a highrise construction project in progress. But a few steps further down Ongpin street, I found the La Resureccion tablea for sale on the stairwell of a neighboring building, with the saleslady sitting out on the sidewalk!
I bought a box containing 10 rolls (with ten tableas each) for just over PHP500. The packaging alone is worth mentioning… The box is incredibly colorful, the rolls all hand wrapped, with an absorbent bluish manila paper and a hand pasted label. They would make excellent presents for the holidays, but these ones were for the Marketman household… :)
The company has been making 100% cacao tablets since the 1930’s and until recently, they were manufactured right in back of the retail store front!
Back at home, I took out this white ceramic chocolate pot I purchased at the Legaspi market several months ago, that the vendor had assured me was usable over a low open flame, and proceeded to make several cups of tsokolate or hot chocolate with a medium thickness using lots of milk instead of mostly water. With a very low flame under the ceramic pot, it CRACKED just as I was finishing the first and only pot of hot chocolate I will be making in it. I can’t stand it when people sell things and warrant that it is heat capable when it isn’t. I should have just gone with my gut feel and not purchased the pot in the first place, but live and learn… At any rate, be wary of this nice looking pot that is for sale in bazaars and weekend markets…
The cup of hot chocolate turned out fine nonetheless, and the taste and aroma are the first signal of cooler temperatures ahead (haha, for non-locals, that means it will drop from 90F to 79F)! :)