I was in Cebu for the last few days, extremely busy at work and just a bit crazed. Thankfully, the trip was extremely successful and highly productive. While I didnâ€™t get to check my site that often, I did get to squeeze in periods of food exploration/accumulation, which shall result in several related posts in the days ahead. Before I got married, I rarely checked in any baggage whenever flying. I have perhaps thousands of kilos of baggage allowance that was â€œwastedâ€ over a decade of zipping here and there. Too bad I couldn’t accumulate it, since recently I have been travelling weighed down like a burro, schlepping sacks and baskets and boxes of stuff from one city to another. With Cebu markets bursting with fruit and other produce, this trip was a good example of Marketman with checked in baggage… First order of business upon arriving in Cebu was to send someone to the Carbon market in search of kabog or wild millet. After several hours he found some and bought everything they had (3 kilos) for me to take home to Manila.
Next up, I decided to bring home a large basket stuffed with 10+ kilos of Cebu mangoes, which at PHP65 a kilo werenâ€™t cheaper than mangoes in Manila, but they looked terrific and tasted even better. With mangosteen in abundance at the markets and at a more reasonable PHP190 a kilo (PHP250-300+ in Manila), I decided to bring home 6 kilos so that I could possibly attempt my first homemade mangosteen jam. With several baskets showing up desk side at the office, I asked the crew if the breadfruit or kulo behind the office had finally ripened and they checked the humongous ancient tree out back and sure enough, after 3 months of waiting, the breadfruit was just right for the picking, so they promptly picked a couple of dozen and dropped them from the large tree. I only managed to bring 4 home.
A pleasant surprise from a friend in the form of four specially ordered Boholano tortas from Dauis, on the island of Panglao arrived just minutes before I rushed off to the Cebu airport. The tortas were supposed to be picked up at dawn and hand carried by ferry to Cebu but a glitch in the order meant they had to be baked, packed, picked up, transported and delivered to me by 3 pm instead, with the messenger running the last few hundred meters to make sure they got in with seconds to spare. They looked terrific and tasted great. They appear to have less egg yolks than the torta recipe I made several weeks ago but I can definitely see why folks who visit Bohol and get to taste a good torta wax poetic about it for many months afterwardsâ€¦ I handcarried the four tortas back to Manila last night.