If I visit the Salcedo market on a Saturday, I almost always check in at the stand of Gil Carandangâ€¦ I am always intrigued at what he has on offer and even if there isnâ€™t anything â€œnew,â€ he has some of the most â€œhonestâ€ offerings in the market, grown on his farm or nearby locations, typically organically raised and the stuff is just earnest and good. Last Saturday, I brought Gil a potted kaffir lime that I had carefully marcotted from our tree at home and had promised him months ago. He took one look and asked me to pick a few items as a barter for the tree. I ended up with four itemsâ€¦ first, up top, a small package of edible flowers that are great for a garnish or to incorporate in a salad. Frankly, I find them a bit bizarre tasting but they are great for making a plate look terrific, whether you eat them or not! Next, I picked some gotu kola, which I have eyed before and have no idea what it is used for. I think this is the plant/herb that I saw on Santosâ€™ website Scent of Green Bananas many moons ago, and I was determined to name it for her but didnâ€™t get a chance until just recently. Now that I have purchased some, I spent over half an hour trying to search her archives but canâ€™t find the right postâ€¦at any rate, it is an herb used in Ayurvedic treatments and is supposed to be rejuvenating and revitalizing. Great for waking up the brainâ€™s nerve cellsâ€¦can always use some of that, canâ€™s we?
The third item I picked out was some edible weeds called â€œisang dakot na bigasâ€ â€“ they looked interesting and are supposed to be added to salads but after I washed a stem and popped it into my mouth letâ€™s just say it goes on my list of garnishes instead of salad greens.
Finally, I got a packet of â€œpansit-pansitanâ€ which is supposed to be good for oneâ€™s gall stones and it can be put in salads as wellâ€¦ Some of this stuff might be a bit esoteric for most of Marketmanilaâ€™s readers but isnâ€™t it nice to know that someone sells it???