I was still a bit annoyed from my Cebu Pacific rant on Thursday night, not to mention other irritants last week, so I decided to do some hunting and gathering yesterday morning. Caveman’s (aka irritated Marketman’s) idea of “therapy” is to go out and whack a few carabaos on the head and drag them back to the two bedroom cave duplex for a carabao carpaccio drizzled with extra-virgin coconut oil… But since I now live in 21st century Manila, gosh doesn’t that sound almost like an oxymoron, the experience is a bit â€œmodified.” Food choices and sources in Manila have really dramatically improved in the past ten years. Read this post and know exactly where Marketman went â€œforagingâ€ on Saturday morningâ€¦ First up, the produce markets, up by 5 am and raring to go a half hour later, I was at the FTI Taguig AANI Market by 6 a.m. I did my regular vegetable and fruit purchases for the week ahead and filled three different market baskets. I also got a 50 kg sack of Sinandomeng rice, a 25 kg sack of Thai Jasmine rice and some Palawan brown rice. There were spectacular mushrooms on offer as well. From there I headed straight to the Salcedo Market in Makati to get some fruit from the outrageously overpriced fruit stall but at least they had good variety on offer. I got some plums, some mangosteens (PHP300 a kilo!) and peaches. I also got a butter cake and 2 cassava cakes at Vargas Kitchen (excellent but at PHP30 for a small serving, pricey), ate a chicken empanada, had a diet coke (morning caffeine) and purchased fresh herbs from Gil Carandang for Vietnamese rice paper rolls that we made for lunch yesterday.
Once I unloaded all that stuff at home, I decided to do a Mandaluyong “tour,” and visit two baking supply stores I have been meaning to check out for months. A recent post by Lori of DessertComesFirst on Chefâ€™s Nook really did the final push to visit that part of town. First I went to Chefâ€™s Nook, which was a little harder to find since they just changed the traffic flows in the Addition Hills Area. We entered the store which is perhaps just 12 square meters large and I was in baking nirvana by Manila standards. I was in search of peeled plain (not salted) pistachios and they had some for PHP1,000 per kilo; I happily purchased the 250 grams I needed. I also bought some hazelnuts (filberts) and some ripe tamarind paste/pulp out of their refrigerators. A few minutes looking through their eclectic mix of baking ingredients and Thai(?) stuff and I picked up some rose water, rice paper, coriander seeds, more highland vanilla beans (PHP140 here vs. PHP160+ at Cookâ€™s Exchange) and gazed in awe at a pretty good selection of chocolate for baking et al. A very nice store to run to before the mad baking frenzy during the Christmas holidaysâ€¦ Chefâ€™s Nook at 220 Pilar Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong, phone 724-5812.
From there I headed to the Deli at Galileo Enoteca on Calbayog Street, hoping they would have some fresh mozzarella. They didnâ€™t, so I decided to get 100 grams of nice anchovies (freshly packaged rather than canned) which my wife likes and some slices of provolone cheese instead. I was amazed to find some faro at a pricey PHP380 which I had just seen used in a great looking salad on the Food Network a few days ago. I was disappointed to find out they had run out of Tipo â€œ00â€ Italian flour which is what I like to use for making pizza dough and replenishment stocks arenâ€™t expected for several weeks. Bogchief, a long-time reader, recently asked how to make a good pizza dough and I was going to attempt it but not without the right flour…
I got back into the car, then jumped out again to walk 20 meters down the road to get some puto at Michelleâ€™s Homemade Putong Ube and Putong Queso. At PHP120 a small box here, they are cheaper than an the markets, I think. The aroma in the store was a real pick-me-up. The massive and inverted conical puto pans/contraptions back in the kitchen were giving off a heavenly ube fragrance and instead of buying one box I ended up buying several boxes of ube and queso putoâ€¦like I really need all those calories right now! There is something about popping these wonderful, colorful, tasty ube putos into your mouth…I can easily eat a dozen at a time!
Next stop was Sweetcraft, another baking supplies store located at 373 Boni avenue near EDSA. I was also thrilled to find lots of stuff that bakers yearn for, including almonds, walnuts, etc. and their nuts were 10-15% cheaper than Chefâ€™s Nook though not refrigerated. They also had baking cups, packaging materials, pans, flours, etc. I ended up getting two small tart pans that I want to use for an experimental macapuno tart, some cake bases in cardboard, slivered almonds, sticky rice flour, etc. I also got some pre-made sugar decorations for my daughterâ€™s cupcake experiments. Nice store, some cheesy things though, including some of the staff, but I will definitely go back there as well. Phone 532-1595.
And it wasnâ€™t even 12 noon yet!!! See how much foraging I do when I get annoyed? Heehee. I feel like Marketman’s equilibrium has returned…