13 Aug2006


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 “modified.” Food choices and sources in Manila have really dramatically improved in the past ten years. Read this post and know exactly where Marketman went “foraging” on Saturday morning… 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 ax2post by Lori of DessertComesFirst on Chef’s Nook really did the final push to visit that part of town. First I went to Chef’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 Cook’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 holidays… Chef’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 didn’t, so I decided to ax3get 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 “00” Italian flour which is what I like to use for making pizza dough and replenishment stocks aren’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 Michelle’s Homemade Putong Ube and Putong Queso. At PHP120 a small box here, they ax5are 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 puto…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, ax6walnuts, etc. and their nuts were 10-15% cheaper than Chef’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 daughter’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 wasn’t even 12 noon yet!!! See how much foraging I do when I get annoyed? Heehee. I feel like Marketman’s equilibrium has returned…



  1. fabian says:

    yeah, amazing how much foraging you did. Where do you keep it all? What does your pantry look like? ha ha :)

    Aug 13, 2006 | 8:24 am


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  3. fried-neurons says:

    Nothing like a little retail therapy to lift one’s mood, eh? ;)

    Aug 13, 2006 | 8:32 am

  4. kulasa says:

    Ahhh, shopping… it does make moods change. Never underestimate the power of an irate cook.

    Aug 13, 2006 | 8:46 am

  5. Apicio says:

    But what is in the topmost picture? It can sure sedate me anytime whatever it may be.

    Aug 13, 2006 | 9:02 am

  6. Marketman says:

    Apicio, the top picture is one of the cassava cakes, made as though a cupcake and nestled in its own banana wrapper. It was exquisite, but at PHP30, I found it pricey. Never mind the USD60 cent price tag if you have a hankering for that flavorful sweetish taste and unique texture of cassava, topped with cheese that buubles, caramelizes and bursts in your mouth with a salty hit then the sweetness of the cassava…yum. I just had the second cake for breakfast along with four ube putos and a boiled saba banana! Kulasa, et al, just to ensure permanent equilibrium, I not only foraged yesterday, but right now I am in the middle of baking 4 pans of brownies, a recipe of chocolate chip cookies and hopefully some macapuno tarts if I manage to get that right! I hope everyone is having a great Sunday! Fabian, we have 3 refrigerators in the house, but only one fits in the kitchen!

    Aug 13, 2006 | 9:44 am

  7. linda says:

    Oh,MM! I wish I could be there and give you a big hug and tell you that everything will be alright:)

    What’s a conical puto pan?

    Aug 13, 2006 | 9:56 am

  8. Jean says:

    MM, cassava cake, bibinka (with sticky rice), SAPIN-SAPIN (esp. that!!). PLS! I’m not much of a dessert person but hubby is. Once in a blue moon he enjoys filipino desserts and I’d rather make it at home than buying it from some second rate bakery here. So if you can, pls. satisfy this lurker that simple request.

    When I first met my husband he was sporting a two pack…. Now he dawns a huge keg. LOL.

    Fyi, figured out how to make Goto. :)

    Aug 13, 2006 | 10:36 am

  9. Candygirlmd says:

    Rosewater! I’ve been looking for rosewater. What about orangeflower water? Did they have them too?

    Aug 13, 2006 | 11:53 am

  10. Sylvia says:

    It’s a wonderful life, Marketman!

    Aug 13, 2006 | 3:35 pm

  11. Lovely says:

    Better than going to the spa to relax. Hahahahah! Love that therapy. :)

    Aug 13, 2006 | 6:05 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Jean, glad you were able to find a goto recipe that works for you! Candygirl, I saw rosewater but didn’t see orangleflower water. Sylvia, you gotta get through the thorns to get to the roses… Lovely, actually, that’s about dead even…a trip to the spa or some food foraging…

    Aug 13, 2006 | 7:25 pm

  13. RoseLyn says:

    Ei MM, can we have a look in your pantry? *grin*

    Aug 13, 2006 | 7:58 pm

  14. connie says:

    That is one interesting presentation for the cassava cake! I usually make mine in a baking pan and cut them in squares later on. It almost look like a bibingka with the banana leaves but is an excellent idea when having guests for dinner. Thanks, MM.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 1:16 am

  15. peanutbeanma says:

    i envy my aunt since she lives on top of galileo enoteca AND michelle’s puto ube!!!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 5:44 am

  16. MasPinaSarap says:

    MM, I bought that exact brand of rose water about 4 years ago in a Pakistani Halal store, it took a lot-LOT of running around to find it too. Then I opened it, used about a teaspoon for my Turkish Delight and haven’t used it since. :P

    Aug 14, 2006 | 10:53 am

  17. Ria says:

    MM! I was just at Sweetcraft last Saturday before 12. Could I have seen you? The store was deserted! Did you look or buy anything? I cannot get over it that you were there too, I was too busy looking at their stuff.

    Their walnuts are repacked Diamond brand, and 20 pesos cheaper than a more popular baking supplier. I got cherries, walnuts, 5 kilos of chips and 10 kilos of flour. I salivated over a silicon muffin pan, a Silpat and the valrhona chocolates (although I did get a 1/4 pack of the Valrhona cocoa). They also had Anchor cream cheese in 1kilo blocks (first time I saw that brand).

    That is some MAJOR foraging!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 12:49 pm

  18. Risa says:

    Yep! Was at that Sweetcraft too last Saturday but ’twas a lil’ bit late around 5:00. Should have met u Marketman, Ria. Well, when I arrived, the place was full of customers.It really has a complete line of baking supplies.
    Definitely worth your trip. Bought flour, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts. They ran out of pistachios though.But they sell it for P820/kg. Will definitely come back next saturday!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 5:22 pm

  19. Gigi says:

    Wow, MM. Next time you do this, offer naman a shuttle service to your choice blogreaders/fans — count me in, ahem ….

    Love the cassava cake of Vargas and true — pahirapan ang apat na kagat sa liit at sarap.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 6:52 pm

  20. corrine says:

    Me too! I like to learn how to make good pizza dough like they do in Italy….thin!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 8:46 pm

  21. Marketman says:

    Roselyn, our pantry is one messy walk-in closet! Connie, I like the single serving sizes as well… Ria, I was at Sweetcraft at about 1130-1145…could you have been at the counter just ahead of me…heehee, now you wonder… Risa, amazing coincidences, no? Gigi, I remember you mentioning the Vargas cassava cake, that’s one of the reasons I got some to try…they are good. Corrine, we have to wait for the right flour…

    Aug 14, 2006 | 9:48 pm

  22. lori says:

    Now that’s what I call some SERIOUS retail therapy.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 10:47 pm

  23. chrissy says:

    For girls, it’s shoes and clothes, for Marketman, it’s food ingredients and equipment. I can’t decide which one I’d enjoy more! hehehe Love to putong ube! It’s hard to keep myself from finishing the whole box in a sitting…

    Aug 15, 2006 | 5:02 pm

  24. Rowena says:

    Hi Mr Marketman!Can you recommend a baking stores that offer much cheaper baking ingredients, I intend to go Quiapo to buy those baking ingredients but I been hearing a lot about those stores you mentioned in your post. thanks

    Aug 16, 2006 | 7:41 am

  25. Marketman says:

    Rowena, frankly, I have been pretty bad about finding the cheapest retailer, I am just so happy when I find the items I am looking for. However, I understand there are parts of quiapo that have incredible equipment for baking but I have not been there myself. For ingredients, I sometimes buy primera flour at wholesale baker suppliers like in Nasugbu town proper and the prices a re cheap, the flour is better than supermarket flour and I buy by the sack!

    Aug 16, 2006 | 9:58 am

  26. Ria says:

    Those Quiapo stores would be Killion and Nuts something in Orozco St. New Sin Kian Heng has KitchenAid mixers cheaper than mall prices definitely, but I wonder about after sales service. Local KitchenAid distributor refuses to touch 110 machines, I dont know about 220 v mixers.

    But you swap the prices with the difficulty of parking, the hassle of going there, lugging your stuff from the shop to where you park etc.

    MM, my grocery Pioneer Centre carries the rice paper for Viet rolls, I think its P57 per pack. Mahusay din.

    Aug 16, 2006 | 1:23 pm

  27. peanut says:

    Hi MM.Tried your recipe for ensaymada yesteray.Goodness,even my daughter was impressed which is saying a lot ’cause she doesn’t get impressed easily.And it’s true,yeast did grow even if refrigerated!Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.Also we originally come from Ormoc City so Cebu is our shopping destination when we go home.Once again thanks for sharing.
    Did a few modifications too.I made some with ube halaya filling,some with cheese filling and some with ham and some with macapuno.Proud to say it turned out well.

    Aug 17, 2006 | 1:01 pm


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