01 Nov2009


With superb sourdough and cheeses (as well as salamis) as Part I of the food pasalubongs, how could there not be a Part II with fruit and chocolate. Mrs. MM’s luggage included several containers of black mission figs and other larger green/purple figs, all perfectly ripe by the time they arrived in Manila. Also in the maletas were several utterly stunning pomegranates. The figs and pomegranates made a fantastic still life, and now I ompletely understand why artists always seemed to use still life arrangements of fruit and flowers as the basis for paintings…


I love fresh pomegranates, and particularly deep red, juicy, sweet and succulent pomegranates which are great in desserts, salads or simply to munch on as is…


And from the chocolate section at Whole Foods, three bars of different types of chocolates that we have never tried before. Cheese, cold cuts, bread, figs, pomegranates and chocolate. Yum.

San Francisco Treats (Part I), here.



  1. Candygirl says:

    MM, have you tried Guittard Chocolates? I love to use them for baking.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 3:35 pm


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  3. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Hopefully, Mrs. MM made it across the bay (to Emeryville) and visited Charles Chocolates. This is where I honed my skills in chocolate and candymaking. They use chocolates from Guittard and Callabaut to make their creations.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 3:46 pm

  4. Cecilia says:

    Beautiful still life indeed! … Trivia: Read quite recently in Four Seasons’ magazine that major chocolatiers, such as Scharffen Berger, Dagoba and Cadbury to name a few, now import their cocoa beans from the Philippines … Meant to mention this on your tablea post.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 6:49 pm

  5. el_jefe says:

    Gorgeous fruits!!! MM is feeling lucky again…hehe! Ive seen figs growing here in the Philippines how ever the tree looks stunted…and bears tiny fruits…Oh Pomegranate!!! Fav of greek Gods hehe! Granada!!! When I was a kid I got obsessed to granada! I remember robbing my aunts garden with its bright orange granadas!yum!!!

    Nov 1, 2009 | 8:14 pm

  6. Jaili says:

    Have you ever tried Vosges brand of chocolates? They offer a wide variety of exotic chocolate candy bar combinations that at first may seem odd but once you try, they work perfectly well!

    They have Applewood bacon + alderwood salt + deep milk chocolate , Hickory smoked almonds + Fleur de Sel sea salt + deep milk chocolate, Mexican ancho & chipotle chillies + Ceylon cinnamon dark chocolate, Sweet Indian curry + coconut + 45% deep milk chocolate, Tibetan goji berries + pink Himalayan salt + 45% deep milk chocolate, Almonds + caramelized hazelnut paste + 45% deep milk chocolate, Japanese matcha green tea and 45% deep milk chocolate and Oaxacan guajillo + pasilla chillies + 75% Tanzanian chocolate. link here http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/category/exotic_candy_bars.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 8:16 pm

  7. Susie says:

    I’ll have to dig up an old recipe for a Mango-Pomegranate salsa that was the perfect accompaniment to grilled pork chops to send to you. Delish. Love all your pasalubongs…just the figs alone would be enough excitement for me. What a wonderful gastronomic treat!

    Nov 1, 2009 | 8:18 pm

  8. Susie says:

    I believe I found this Bobby Flay recipe in the Houston Chronicle 6 years ago when my husband was having treatment in MD Anderson in Houston. I remember finding beautiful pomegranates in the grocery and thought that seeding them was wonderful stress relief!


    For the chutney:
    2 tbsp. canola oil
    2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
    1 tbsp. grated ginger
    1/4 habanero chili, finely minced
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored, half diced, half sliced
    1 ripe mango, peeled and pitted, half diced and half sliced
    1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp. apple e cider
    1/4 Cup light brown sugar
    1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (I actually doubled this recipe and used a whole bunch of cilantro)
    1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (I used an entire pomegranate)

    For the spice rub:
    1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika (hot)
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves
    2 bone-in pork chops 8 oz each, 1 inch thick
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp. canola oil

    1. Make chutney: Heat oil in a medium pan over high heat. Saute onion, ginger and chili until softened, 2-3 minutes.
    2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients for the chutney (except the sliced apple, sliced mango, cilantro and pomegranate seeds) and bring to a boil. Boil until pretty much evaporated. Stir in the sliced fruit and saute around 3 minutes. Transfer to a boil off the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the cilantro and the pomegranate seeds.
    3. Prepare pork. Heat oven to 400. In a small bowl, combine the spices. Rub the chops with the spice mixture and salt and pepper them.
    4. Place a medium oven-proof skillet over high heat and add oil. Heat until smoking and place chops in pan and sear. Turn chops over and place pan in the oven 8-10 minutes (meat should be at least 155 degrees internal temp). Transfer to a heater platter and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve with chutney.


    2 tbsp. canola oil
    2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
    1 tbsp. grated ginger
    1/4 habanero chili, finely minced
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored, half diced, half sliced
    1 ripe mango, peeled and pitted, half diced and half sliced
    1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp. apple e cider
    1/4 Cup light brown sugar
    1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (I actually doubled this recipe and used a whole bunch of cilantro)
    1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (I used an entire pomegranate)

    1. Make chutney: Heat oil in a medium pan over high heat. Saute onion, ginger and chili until softened, 2-3 minutes.
    2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients for the chutney (except the sliced apple, sliced mango, cilantro and pomegranate seeds) and bring to a boil. Boil until pretty much evaporated. Stir in the sliced fruit and saute around 3 minutes. Transfer to a boil off the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the cilantro and the pomegranate seeds.

    NOTE: When Pomegranates are out of season, substitute cherry or something sweet and red.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 8:28 pm

  9. Gener says:

    I love FIG when its dried and sometimes used as food recipes. My wife used to mix it with boush-bousha (mixture of steamed lamb and oiled basmati rice) it is really delicious that way,,Anyway FIG can be found in the Philippine too! I usually encountered it in the jungle with hundred of fruits. i taste it and its quite thesame as those foreign figs. the only difference is its size, they are smaller and actually they are wild…They called it “TEBBEG” in ilocano…

    Nov 1, 2009 | 9:57 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Gener, that is fascinating. I knew ficus trees were related to fig trees and we have lots of the former, but I didn’t realize we had wild figs, that is TOO COOL. Now I have to see if anyone harvests and sells them. Susie, thanks, I was just wondering what to do with the pomegranate bounty! Jaili, yes I have tried Vosges, possibly did a post on their shop even… el jefe, are you originally from the Ilocos or Northern regions as well, like Gener, since you seem to also remember the figs? Cecilia, that is so cool, I wish we made a brilliant baking or eating chocolate locally as well… Candygirl, I don’t think I have tried Guittard yet…

    Nov 1, 2009 | 10:06 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Cool, this is a Philippine fig I found on the net, but this particular one raised in Hawaii. A ficus pseudopalma, it is also called a “lubi-lubi” in tagalog… Hmmm… And it looks mysteriously close to this lubi-lubi plant from Bicol, and the fruit similar too, but the scientific names differ. ARRRGHH. Does anyone know if these are the same thing? Are the fruits sold and edible like the figs in this post?

    Nov 1, 2009 | 10:12 pm

  12. el_jefe says:

    no market man em from laguna though i have roots in batngas and pampanga…i saw figs growing in the yard of one of arambulo mansions in Calamba…across Rizal’s ancestral house…the tree looks like branched and stunted papaya…uhmmm MM there are ficus species that resembles figs…i aint sure but i think gener is talking about a certain tree which bears hundreds or thousand of fruits….i suspect it is the ”usiw” tree a cauliflorous tree which bears hundres of fig like fruits which appears like grapes…we dont munch on it here …..”pagkain yan ng ibon” hehe….ok wait ill check it out on my lexicon of Philippine trees… MM are you familiar with niyog-niyogan? o lubi-lubi as they call it in bikolano? It belongs to ficus family too the fruit is soft like figs and bland when ripe . however it oozes a milky white sap or dagta….we dont eat niyogniyoagan eaither..only birds do…only the tender shoots are stewed in coconut milk flavored with tinapa flakes…it is so yummy. the shoots are a bit sweet and blends well with gata and tinapa ..sometimes prawns and crablets are added too…It is very popular in bikol but in laguna it is regarded as famine food hehhe..but it tastes so good!yumyum!

    Nov 1, 2009 | 10:30 pm

  13. Nina says:

    Pomegranate is now in season, in the East Coast, a huge one sells for $.99 each. Love the juicy, tarty, sweet flavor of it. Every time I eat it, it reminds me of Pamukkale (Turkey), where streets are literally filled with the pomegranate trees, including the B&B that we stayed in where I consumed tons of them……..free, as in eat-all-you-can, hahaha.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 10:34 pm

  14. el_jefe says:

    very much the same MM! we cook the shoots with ginataan style…some varieties have broad leaves and some have narrow leaves ….but the figs that ive mentioned a while ago growing at arambulo garden is real fig tree… lubilubi shoots are ever present among markets in quezon province….there are lots of these trees inside the UPLB campus and it grows wild there…probably emerged from bird droppings ….birds consume the fibrous..bland fruits…. it grows wild under coconut groves…

    Nov 1, 2009 | 10:37 pm

  15. Johnny says:

    Nakakain ba yong Tebbeg? pagkain lang ata ng alimango pag nahulog sa gilid ng sapa.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 11:03 pm

  16. el_jefe says:

    johnny i dont think kinakain…dahil sa dami nya mamunga sanay ipinabili na ang mga iyon sa fruit stands ….libo libo ang bunga…milyones pa nga ata…2 klase ang tibig…me pula at green…mas malalaki ang bunga nung pula… Ficus nota ang sci. name… tibbeg sa ilocano at tibig sa tagalog…or usew in tanauan batangas…yes johnny it prefers growing near water ways and jungles…kinakain ito ng ibon at dinidisperse ang seeds….pero alam ko me masarap na species ng ficus na kamuka ng tibig at medyo mas malalaki ang bunga teka nga…macheck …

    Nov 1, 2009 | 11:46 pm

  17. sister says:

    Are they non-edible figs like those huge trees in the Botanical garden by Sydney Harbor?

    Nov 2, 2009 | 12:02 am

  18. cherryo, yvr says:

    Hey MM,

    These links may help you regarding your present and future plant identification:

    http://genebank.rda.go.kr/asiamediplants/home/doc3_1.asp?strText=F (see different ficus varieties)

    http://genebank.rda.go.kr/asiamediplants/home/doc3_1_view.asp?seqno=1543 (solanum nigrum linn.)

    although this databank does not list Ficus Pseudopalma at all (but many other Philippine varieties including their local names). In some of my readings, it seems that there are a couple of Philippine figs that are endangered/vulnerable – Ficus pseudopalma and Ficus ulmifolia. One of the googled reports (year 2000) indicate both are found in Samar.

    I’m an avid plant lover – your present and previous posts regarding native species are quite interesting. If you have photos and descriptions of your plants, I can forward it to a local expert and see what he says.

    Your previous posts on plants indicate that you may be a plant lover at heart, too. Don’t ever believe what they say about cooks cannot grow plants kasi mainit ang kamay – not true.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 2:15 am

  19. Vicky Go says:

    @Nina: I don’t think pomegranates grow in the East Coast USA; it’s just that Nov > Feb is their season & they become most readily available then. Last week at ShopRite they were indeed 99 cents each – beautiful huge ones! when I went grocery shopping today, they were $2 a piece & not nearly as big! I didn’t buy any. I’ll wait or look around for 99 cents ones! I take all the “arils” from 2 or 3 at a time; so I can just spoon them into a bowl, sprinkle with sea salt & chomp away!

    Nov 2, 2009 | 4:40 am

  20. Nina says:

    Vicky, I don’t believe I said they’re grown in the East Coast, I said it’s in season that’s why they sell only for $.99 each and they’re huge. When you bite on it, the flavor and juice explode in your mouth……love, love, it!

    Nov 2, 2009 | 5:56 am

  21. millet says:

    the so-called pinoy diaspora may have not-too-obvious implications on our flora, since i have seen on two occasions a few live fig trees and arabian date palms in south cotabato planted by ex-migrant workers. i do not know about inigenous species, though.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 7:20 am

  22. Christine says:

    hey MM. have you ever tried cooking with quinoa? it’s another food trend us san franciscans are seeing a lot of. i’m hoping that there’s a san francisco part III entry. no californian wines? ;)

    Nov 2, 2009 | 8:56 am

  23. Marilyn says:

    MM, I do not susually recommend any product or establishment to anyone. But since you like sweets, maybe you could check out Fog City News when you visit SF. It’s a chocolate shop that carries all sorts of chocolates from different places and each have a certain rating. I think you will like the place.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 9:31 am

  24. fried-neurons says:

    The SF Bay Area really is foodie paradise, even more so now that it was 9 years ago when you last visited. You’ll have a blast here, for sure! In addition to the food shops at the Ferry Building, there is a very nice farmer’s market there twice a week. Of course, nearly every city in the Bay Area has farmer’s markets, especially during the spring and summer months. In the South Bay and lower Peninsula, the markets in Los Gatos, Campbell, Mountain View, and Palo Alto are tops.

    There’s a very interesting chocolate shop in SF called Tcho. You should check that out, too.

    When it comes to restaurants, well, take your pick. French Laundry, Chez Panisse, Michael Mina, Manresa, Bouchon, Bottega, Plumed Horse, the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Viognier on the high end, plus the hundreds of other good restaurants that are gentler on the budget.

    Eat, drink, and be merry!

    Nov 2, 2009 | 11:17 am

  25. corrine says:

    You’ll really leave your heart in SF! I wonder if Mrs. MM was able to try the porchetta that is sold by a guy every Saturday. Unfortunately, last year when i went in Ferry Bldg., his porchetta was sold out by noon. Really sad. My friend in SF didn’t know about it until I told him and he said it was really good! I found out about it through Robin’s blog…Eating Asia. Interestingly, I also saw Rufina Patis in the Ferry Bldg!

    Anyway, does Mrs. MM have tips on how to bring home those lovely fruits? I did… a pack of beautiful strawberries…hand carried them but somehow they got bruised and ended up as Strawberry preserve. But, it was good.

    El jefe, I grew up in Calamba so I will surely check out that tree you mentioned when I visit. I remember a huge tree in front of their house. I am trying to locate nutmeg trees in Bae…read about it in a magazine long time ago.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 2:19 pm

  26. Gener says:

    The ficus deusopalma & lubi-lubi are not the “TEBBEG” im reffering. Tebbeg fruit is the same as the FIG we buy from shopping malls. Tree characteristics are also the same in leaves and tree bark, the difference is only that philippine fig is shiny and the tree is actually very tall and can reach more than 7 meters, fruits are hanging in more than hundreds. some people says here that only birds are eating it and its true since it is not introduced as food in the philippines! But i tasted it and there is actually NO DIFFERENCE with those from the market we buys…They are everywhere in the wild in the philippines i guess as they are abundant in sierra madre and caraballo mountains….

    Nov 2, 2009 | 5:55 pm

  27. Gener says:

    If you stay in the jungle for weeks( i mean real jungle) You will found a lot of fruit trees very similar as those we considered edible(hunting is my pastime whenever im in the country) like Strawberries-many can be seen on the cliffy mountains, Wild Lemon-can be seen under big trees, Wild banana & Wild papaya, Wild balimbing and Wild pears, Wild pineapples and Wild guavas and even wild grapes ( grape looking but actually too sour if not ripe and brownish in color)…and many more i cannot remember….and the truth that they are all edible too…

    Nov 2, 2009 | 6:15 pm

  28. joey says:

    Fresh figs! Oh lucky you! What an awesome bounty…and the salad you made with them sounds divine!

    Nov 2, 2009 | 6:43 pm

  29. Nina says:

    Corrine, see my post way above yours where I talked about the porchetta sandwich. It was really amazing! I am not surprised that you were not able to get one as when we went there about 11:30 the line was toooo long. I got nervous (hahaha) that I won’t be able to get one also so what I did was I approached one of the chef’s assistants and asked whether they have enough, begging (hahaha) that I have to taste the sandwich and cannot go back to the East Coast without tasting it. She approached the chef and confirmed that they should have enough and if they don’t he’ll make sure that he’ll reserve some for us. The serving was huge that I was able to bring it back (5 1/2-hour flight) and the skin was still crisp (I asked the chef to load on the skin)……it’s really one of those to-die for food!

    Nov 2, 2009 | 11:07 pm

  30. Nina says:

    Corrine, I packed my goodies (like the Miette macaron, fresh baby corn on a cob, small strawberries, etc. ) inside a tupperware or an empty biscuit can.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 11:11 pm

  31. Vicky Go says:

    Nov 3, 2009 | 12:19 am

  32. ted says:

    I do have a big fig tree in my backyard, yielding light green to yellowish skin when ripe. It’s taste to me is like “caymito” and this time of the year the tree has so much fruit I see different color birds visit my backyard for it’s fruit.

    Bouchon, Bottega, and French Laundry are just stones throw away from each other in Yountville, except that you may not have a chance to get a reservation at the French Laundry for over a year, but I would suggest trying Cindy’s BackStreet Kitchen at St. Helena if you visit. Bouchon Bakery, just next door to Bouchon the Restaurant always have fresh batches of macaron’s and it’s specialty is TKO (Thomas Keller oreo) cookies, you should try it.

    Let us know when you visit SFO, maybe most if not all of your bay-area readers would show up for an eye-ball, how’s that?

    Nov 3, 2009 | 3:32 am

  33. fried-neurons says:

    An SF meetup would be great! As long as I’m not traveling for work whenever it may be, count me in!

    Nov 3, 2009 | 6:46 am

  34. corrine says:

    Nina, that was really smart. Lucky you! Well, at least you’re only in the East Coast and I have to go empty handed back to Manila! I made my own porchetta in Manila but I won’t be able to compare the one in Ferry Bldg. I was great though in Bologna. I will take note of your packing practice next time. Thanks!

    Nov 3, 2009 | 2:23 pm

  35. Nina says:

    Corrine, just to give you an idea and just in case to decide to make one,the pork was made of roasted tenderloin stuffed with herbs and a good kind of salt (the one that they used is a med. grey sea salt). Wrapping the tenderloin was a boneless pork butt (with skin of course). It was served in ciabatta (I saw the chef rubbing the juice into the bread), peppercress, caramelized onion + the grey med. sea salt. We also ordered a side dish of baby potatoes roasted under the rotisserie chicken. I want to go back to SF!

    Nov 3, 2009 | 10:21 pm

  36. Lava Bien says:

    Fresh or dried Figs, I love ’em both, although I only like dried Dates not the fresh ones. Mediterranean people really know how to prepare their promegranate with other fruits, my homies from India/Pakistan can make ’em spicier….hmmm hella good!.

    Nov 4, 2009 | 4:16 pm

  37. corrine says:

    Thanks, Nina. The caramelized onion is a very good tip. I used only pork belly. Will try your suggestion.

    Nov 5, 2009 | 12:22 pm

  38. Bea says:

    Haha… I am right now eating that same ginger chocolate, my stash is in from SF! Just devoured some chocolate with chipotle in it as well. Mmmm

    Nov 10, 2009 | 6:55 pm

  39. mammu says:

    hi. where can i buy pomegranates and cashew apples in manila? i saw some posts for cashew apple but source is usually in palawan or somewhere far. would you know if I can find cashew apples in Antipolo? thanks

    Jun 22, 2010 | 11:11 pm

  40. Marketman says:

    mammu, pomegranates are sometimes for sale in good manila groceries, when in season elsewhere on the planet. cashew apples are rarely in manila groceries or markets. Last time I saw them they were for sale at a few fruit stands just after Tagaytay. Antipolo has some cashew trees, so it isn’t impossible to find cashew fruit there I suppose…

    Jun 23, 2010 | 12:44 am


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