09 Aug2007


I was at the OTOP (One Town, Own Product) Luzon Fair yesterday, minutes after it opened and scoured the aisles for interesting food items. It is on-going until August 12, 2007. I love these types of fairs and I always try to get there before they run out of goodies. I am so bummed that I missed the huge food trade fair last week at the World Trade Center, I was still in Cebu… but this one at Megamall had some interesting finds… I was most excited about two dried fruit finds… first up top, Candied tomatoes from Nueva Ecija and Kasoy (Cashew) Fruit Prunes from Palawan. The Candied tomatoes were at the stall of Kababaihan Masigla ng Nueva Ecija, a cooperative of farmers’ wives who wanted to make use of abundant produce at their peak. I also bought a very interesting tomato jelly from this booth. The candied tomatoes were PHP80 for a small plastic container and the bottled tomato jelly was PHP45.


I was thrilled to come across the kasoy or cashew fruit prunes at the Turubudan stall. I have always wondered what could be done with the beautiful and abundant kasoy apple or fruit and other than feeding it to the pigs when it is abundant, this prune version is utterly brilliant, in my opinion. They do have a taste reminiscent of prunes (dried plums), but can also approximate dikiam or preserved chinese plums. I bought two plastic containers for PHP35 each, not really knowing what to do with them but determined to find them a purpose for being. I asked the vendor if they had ever baked with them and they had not… Also at this stall, was Kasoy or Cashew Butter. I have come across this abroad so I was thrilled we had a locally made, and wonderful tasting, version. I bought a couple of bottles of this for PHP100 per bottle. The flavor of cashew is very apparent and the resulting butter is more “elegant” than say a peanut butter…


Next, how could I resist moist and incredibly appetizing looking puto at Bella’s Puto Rice Cake Stall. Just brought in from Calasiao, Pangasinan, these puto were flying out of the trade hall like hotcakes, so to speak. Gosh, it didn’t help that I was food shopping at 11:45 a.m., without having eaten lunch… But I purchased containers of plain, pandan and ube puto with cheese. The prices differed by flavor but the three containers cost a total of PHP100 or so. The puto were sublime! So much fresher, moister and flavorful than some of the ones you find in the city…


I also came across some incredibly neat sounding vegetable flavored kropek, made without MSG and tinted in shades of squash, carrot and malunggay! From HealthyRich in Nueva Vizcaya, these vegetarian kropek were interesting. Crispy, attractive and without artificial color, preservative or MSG, I presume healthier for you. But they were a bit bland, lacking salt, and I suppose one could always add more salt, together with some vinegar, to taste. Also, one has to eat the contents of the little plastic packages all in one go because as soon as it is opened, it has a tendency to get makunat or softer if left out to the elements. At PHP15 for a small bag of kropek, this was well priced.


Also from Nueva Vizcaya were gorgeous satsuma oranges, I bought 3 kilos at PHP60 a kilo. These were the largest ones they had and back home, I peeled one and ate it with a touch of sea salt. They would also make a nice juice with a bit of added sugar. The oranges came from the Malabing Valley Multi-Pupose Cooperative.


Finally, I got some all cotton kitchen dish towels from Beth’s Loomweaving, from Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. At PHP45 for 3 generous sized towels, these were very well priced. Locally made by hand, all-cotton, nice non-jarring colors… I bought several.


Obviously, I had a fruitful visit to the Luzon Trade Fair. And no, I do not know any of these manufacturers, I did not receive anything from them, I paid for everything I purchased and featured here, and they have no clue who Marketman is… :) I wish them all the best, as always, I root for the smaller artisanal producers of all good things locally made…

(Candied Tomatoes and Tomato Jelly)
Kababaihan Masigla ng Nueva Ecija
Ilog Baliwag, Quezon, Nueva Ecija

(Cashew Fruit Prunes and Cashew Butter)
Turubudan Food Processor
Food Processing Center
Western Philippines University
Aborlan, Palawan

(Plain, Pandan and Ube with Cheese Puto)
Bella’s Puto Rice Cake
91 Dinalaoan Riverside
Calasiao, Pangasinan
075-517-3136 or 517-3241

(Carrot, Squash & Malunggay Kropek)
Mr. Ricardo B. Navis, Jr, Owner
MGSK Health Food Products
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya

(Satsuma Oranges)
Malabing Valley Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Fernando D. Sison, General Manager
Brgy Quezon, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
Email: malabingcoop@yahoo.com

(Kitchen Towels & Placemats)
Beth’s Loomweaving
Beatriz Querubin
Naguilian, Caoayan
Ilocos Sur
#3785-A Mascardo St.
Bgy. Sta. Cruz, Makati City



  1. Mila says:

    I’ve been looking for good cotton kitchen towels, might just swing by Megamall today for a look-see. Thanks MM

    Aug 9, 2007 | 11:45 am


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. Dee Bee says:

    hi marketman, do you have a puto recipe that you wouldn’t mind sharing? i’ve been trying to make puto with varying degrees of success, but, can’t seem to get the texture right. best puto i’ve ever had was from malolos, bulacan, and the puto in your pic looks very similar to those. btw… the pic looks really good, lovely colour.
    Mila, I wish I can ‘just swing by Megamall’, too :)) and get some of those puto.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:07 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    Dee Bee, I have struggled with puto many times with lousy results…I still have to keep at it and will post if I figure one out…

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:08 pm

  5. flip4ever says:

    I wish all these artisanal producers well, especially the kropek and cashew butter producers…if they’re successful locally, maybe after some time we can even see these products in california.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:17 pm

  6. Swimgreen says:

    this is great, will be contacting them asap :)

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:31 pm

  7. Maria Clara says:

    The puto in both flavors and kitchen towels stole my heart!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:47 pm

  8. MrsKookie says:

    Why is there a Food Fair at Megamall when I’m on maternity leave? I just work a few steps away :( bummer… and we need kitchen towels… The puto looks great Marketman!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:49 pm

  9. tings says:

    My Gosh, I just live right across Megmall and I didn’t even know that they have a food fair!! But then I can’t go out much anymore because my tummy’s getting so big, it’s hard for me to walk across to Megmall without painting like a dog.

    Anyway, I’ll drop by whenever I have the time or energy. Thanks for this, MM!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 12:55 pm

  10. Cumin says:

    I didn’t know there’s an OTOP Fair going on! Thanks for letting us know, MM, will go over tomorrow. And it’s a grand gesture to share these manufacturers’ contact details. You’ve got a very big heart. (minus the cholesterol, I hope!)

    Aug 9, 2007 | 1:58 pm

  11. tulip says:

    What a coincidence, I just received some bottles of that Cashew Butter & Prunes thru a co-worker who went there few hours ago. Im snacking some of the fruit prune as I type.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 2:27 pm

  12. belle says:

    Hi MM, thanks for giving me a good reason to go out of the house today, masarap matulog ngayon kasi chilly, pero looks like the puto is worth the trip. Megamall is a stone’s throw away.. and guess I have one thing in common with Tings and MrsKookie… maternity leave! Haha. Now I really want those putos. Guys, buy Ilocos towels because they’re good, got several here at home and 2 years they still look new.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 3:01 pm

  13. Jade186 says:

    Such interesting finds, MM! The puto looks great, I bet the Kid like them too. Thank you for being a genuine patron of Filipino products – not many kababayans are like you.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 5:17 pm

  14. allen says:

    I agree with Jade. These products are from small players (housewives, small coops, student entrepreneurs), usually just starting out, trying to make something out of what’s in their environment, so that they don’t have to go abroad and leave their families. They don’t have funds for marketing or advertising, not even their own website. You’re featuring them is a big help, and you thoughtfully added their contact numbers… Many good returns to you!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 6:00 pm

  15. Jane says:

    Pangasinan puto are the best. Even the ones you find in the palengke are really of good!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 7:40 pm

  16. charmaine says:

    hello marketman. love the colorful puto.

    Aug 9, 2007 | 7:48 pm

  17. marghi says:

    Wow, MM!!!!LOve the candied tomatoes and tomato jelly…all the cashew stuff as well…I’ve been “candy-ing” tomatoes for some three years now and have been serving it with the mascarpone foam or a simple fior di latte gelato…Its so great though, that they are doing it now so I can just buy instead for times when time is tight. These are the kind of products that make our work more interesting. All these wonderful artisan produced things are so awesome….we should really celebrate all these genious producers who help us discover more of our roots and show us how rich our food culture truly is… Funny Nueva Ecija is also the place where the carabao mozzarella production started at the Carabao center!!!! They must have some affinity with things Italian…Thanks for the tip and am happy I still have a few days to catch it….you are right about us not having enough time to catch all these super food fairs…missed Wofex too…what a sin!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 8:06 pm

  18. kitkathie says:

    Thank you very much for the info. Will be going there tom. Thanks for the tip!

    Aug 9, 2007 | 8:10 pm

  19. Avic says:

    Hi MM, thanks for telling us about the food fair. This is actually one of the activities that I look forward to at the Megatrade Hall. hehe :)

    Aug 9, 2007 | 9:42 pm

  20. rina says:

    I think I saw you yesterday at the ground floor of Megamall Building A. I also went to the OTOP Trade Fair, and got great stuff as well!

    Aug 10, 2007 | 12:07 am

  21. brenda says:

    i love to get those towels! MM, do you have an idea where I could check for Food Fair skeds here in Cebu? Sorry, but you know I’m not really from here but it seems like you knew a lot about food fairs. Just in case you have an idea. Thanks a lot.

    BTW, i’ve visited their website (Kababaihan Masigla ng NV)and they have other products for sale and quite reasonably priced.

    Aug 10, 2007 | 5:41 am

  22. Marketman says:

    brenda, I actually am not aware of the food fair schedules in Cebu, if any… rina, I was there around 1130am-1230pm… :) I encourage all of you to try and to patronize interesting products that are locally made… Mind you, I buy a lot of imported food items, but I do try to get a lot of local ones as well!

    Aug 10, 2007 | 7:53 am

  23. ging says:

    how i wish i could try those cashew butters and prunes…
    i guess they were available here in Cebu during last June’s food fair at Waterfront Hotel. But most people missed it. was so poorly advertised!

    Aug 10, 2007 | 9:31 am

  24. annette says:

    Ah ha! Im gonna go to Mega Mall and gonna buy that puto cos tomorrow Im gonna make dinuguan.

    Aug 10, 2007 | 9:50 am

  25. choy says:

    MM, your influence is getting a little scary. the wife and i found ourselves at the trade fair last night, just hours after reading this post.

    but truthfully, it was good. out of budget, but good.


    Aug 10, 2007 | 10:56 am

  26. chrissy says:

    I love the OTOP and regional trade fairs in megamall! Time to buy food stuff! Thanks for the cashew nut butter tip, MM. I’m a peanut butter freak haha

    Aug 10, 2007 | 4:51 pm

  27. belle says:

    hi marketman, have you tried michelle’s putong ube, pandan and keso they make here along libertad st, mandaluyong? they’re really good but a bit pricey because they’re just about the size of pingpong balls and 25 pieces cost 120 php. but considering the taste and creaminess it’s worth it. i love it. they have some at MOA, Tiendesitas, The Block in SM North, Greenhills etc. :) have a good day MM

    Aug 10, 2007 | 10:57 pm

  28. Marghi says:

    You should all try the cashew butter that Tobee’s Apiary sells too…these are the guys that make all that lovely mango honey, acacia honey…..some bottled honeys even with honeycomb!!!! I found them at the dti sponsored food fair 2 years ago and was so thrilled with all their honeys from local trees…aparently their bee farm imported Italian queen bees that are a bit easier to manage than the local queen bees…interesting stuff….their cashew butter comes in a plastic tub and MM is right cashew butter is indeed more elegant and subtle….”raffinato”, the Italians might say….

    Aug 10, 2007 | 10:58 pm

  29. Katrina says:

    I went with my mom and sister to the Luzon fair today and bought lots of stuff! Sorry to say, but we didn’t like the puto (Putong Ube and its other flavors are much better), but we LOVED the cashew nut butter and candied tomatoes. (Any ideas how to use the latter?) I also bought kitchen towels (what a steal!), a mango conserve with cashew and raisins, cute flip-flops, and lots of pili products. Thanks for the heads-up, MM!

    Aug 11, 2007 | 2:46 am

  30. solraya says:

    I was at the OTOP yesterday and overheard the lady manning the Nueva Ecija booth that she ran out of the dried tomatoes.

    I smiled to myself and thought someone from the blog must have bought them :)

    Aug 11, 2007 | 8:25 pm

  31. Thea Equina says:

    Dear Mr. Marketman,
    Thank you for the great favor of featuring our cashew prunes and cashew nut butter in your website.

    I am also thankful for cashew prunes muffin you’ve baked and shared with us for free! The taste is great infairness! How about adding cashew wine on it?

    Mr. Marketman,please help us look possible for institutional market for our cashew prunes. Dont you know that millions of ton of cashew “apple” (the fruit) are wasted yearly in Palawan?

    If only all those “apples” will be processed into prunes, the income of farmers cashew prunes will be maximized.
    Hence, their social status will be allecarated.
    Let us help them generate more “cash” on “cash….ew”

    Thank you and more power to you!

    Thea Equina
    Turubudun Food Processor
    Western Phil. Universuty
    Aborlan, Palawan

    Aug 11, 2007 | 10:07 pm

  32. Lou says:

    Has anyone tasted/tried the juice made from the kasoy fruit? Please let me know. One of my friends said that in Ghana ex-(English colony and a big producer of cashews) people make juice out of these kasoy fruits aside from jams.

    Aug 11, 2007 | 11:18 pm

  33. edel says:

    its a family affair for us at the Luzon fair today. my daughter enjoyed the yema that was sold in almost all the stalls (P5 each). hubby liked the maja blanca from Betty’s (tarlac city). i hoarded the quesong puti and parmesan from c&c foods (talavera nueva ecija), vigan and lucban longganisa, pancit habhab.. was a bit disappointed with the puto binan (forgot the stall’s name).. didn’t get to see the candied tomatoes and the tomato jelly though. as for the dish towels, boughts tons of it also.. got it for P10/pc and a nice indigo woven messenger bag for P85!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 7:57 pm

  34. beth says:

    mr. MM, thanks for buying “pinoy” products. God bless you!

    Sep 1, 2007 | 10:42 pm


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021