21 Oct2012

It’s always invigorating to hit the markets early on a Saturday morning, and for me, the thrill of discovering something new or unusual has never waned. The weather has been less “monsoonal rain” over the past few weeks, particularly up north in the Mt. Province, I gather, and ‘its really quite obvious from the produce in the markets…it’s improved significantly compared with a month or two ago. Prices are coming down as well. Think PHP80 a kilo for romaine at my suki, Mary, at FTI (less if wholesale), while the same type of lettuce was asking PHP230-PHP250+ at the Salcedo market (some of it organic and some of it probably not). At any rate, here are some of the things that made it into my market basket(s). Up top, stunning edible blue pea flowers (clitoria ternatea). It’s not often your find plants/blooms in such a deep blue/purple color… and these would make a stunning addition to a salad or as a garnish for just about any dish.

Next up, some coriander sprouts or microgreens. I tasted one and was an INSTANT FAN. You don’t always want to be hit head on with the aggressive flavor of cilantro, so these small sprouts struck me as just something good cooks must have been hoping for all this time. This is the first time I have seen them, and even though I had no idea what to do with them, I bought a small container full, for PHP75. Back at home, we just carefully removed some of the seed skins or casings, rinsed the sprouts and stored them in the fridge.

Right next to the coriander sprouts were some green onion sprouts as well, seeds still attached to some of the fine greens. Again, the flavor of green onions, but in very small bursts on your palate. Took a pack of those as well. The top three items were from DowntoEarth at the center of the Salcedo market. And I got there at nearly 8am, when much of the good stuff was already gone…

You know Christmas is coming soon when dayap starts to appear in the markets. Joey Malana of DGM Organics (which aren’t all organic vegetables, I think) also at Salcedo Market had a whole sack, and as soon as he spotted me he said “Sir, may dayap!” — I must be his biggest customer for dayap, and I took 5 kilos of the fragrant citrus, even if I had no real plans for how to use all that bounty. They were large, juicy and FABULOUS. I really wish folks would DEMAND more dayap and that farmers would sit up and take note — there is money in dayap. Seriously. One of my all-time favorite pinoy ingredients, period.

Before getting to the Salcedo market, I hit the FTI AANI Taguig market (I fear for its future, now that Ayala has purchased the FTI compound) at 6am, and my fruit suki had a shipment of pomegranates in stock. These are the pale pink Chinese pomegranates, I think, not the deep red ones I once featured in this older post. She also had rock hard plums which were not appealing, some hard persimmons, and some fabulous lansones. If you have had your head in the sand for the last few weeks, take it out and buy some lansones! It’s days away from the Camiguin lansones festival and I wanted to hit the island this month, but there are no more flights to Camiguin and the seas are relatively rough these days… The lansones, at PHP100-120 per kilo, were really fantastic. And lansones season does not last that long, so enjoy them while you can!

Picked a couple of weeks too early, these western style eggplants that should grow to say half a kilo in weight each or so, were a gift from my suki at FTI… I had purchased several baskets full of veggies and I found these tucked into the basket. I have been waiting for the large eggplants to make a re-appearance, as some foreign friends have been hoping to score some for the eggplant parmigiano dish… Perhaps another few weeks…

Finally, this slightly unusual looking gourd or marrow, which I thought was just a fat upo or relative of it… The vendor said it was a winter melon or kundol, so I took one to try. We haven’t opened it yet, so I can’t confirm that it is a winter melon, but whatever it is, I hope it tastes good! :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Kelly says:

    Those blue pea flowers are so stunning!

    Oct 21, 2012 | 9:20 pm

     
  2. millet says:

    MM, split the dayap in half and candy the rind halves (same way you do the lemon peel) until they become shells; dry them then fill them up with sweetened macapuno and/or pastillas de leche, the one that’s spooned from the jar. in a pinch, even haleyang ube will do. some leche flan topped with sharp cheese would be good too, i imagine.

    Oct 21, 2012 | 9:33 pm

     
  3. jen888rn says:

    beautiful blue pea flowers, and i like the scientific name too Clitoria Ternatea.

    Oct 21, 2012 | 11:52 pm

     
  4. PITS, MANILA says:

    great finds, MM! i can only recognize the dayap, the kundol, the eggplant and the pomegranate …

    Oct 22, 2012 | 6:03 am

     
  5. Betchay says:

    This is really the era of microgreens…I am guessing this is easier and faster to grow as you dont have to wait and care for the plant to mature…we should have more of these different sprouts as they will encourage us to eat more vegetable salads!

    Oct 22, 2012 | 7:55 am

     
  6. Connie C says:

    MM, try steeping the blue pea flowers with lemon balm. It might look like potassium permanganate but tastes nice and is supposed to be rich in antioxidants.

    http://ecofrenfood.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/i-drink-butterfly-pea-flower-tea/

    Oct 22, 2012 | 9:39 am

     
  7. wendy darling says:

    Hi MM,
    In Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, they use blue pea vine flowers as a food colorant, homepathic (or naturopathic) treatments and yes, even as part of a salad.

    Here’s a link (which includes a short explanation on the etymology of the scientific name): http://indonesiaeats.com/blue-vine-butterfy-pea-bunga-telang-teleng-biru/

    @Connie C – really loved your comment about potassium permanganate :D

    Oct 22, 2012 | 9:56 am

     
  8. Mon says:

    Hooowooow! everything looks fabulous!

    So that’s what its called (pea flower)… we have that almost similar plant growing along the rice paddies… although i’m not sure if its edible, the locals call it somewhat bastos name hahahaha (which, by the way explains the scientific name) :)

    We put dayap rind in leche flan, macapuno, and pastillas de leche.
    And for the kundol try turning it into a candy! Or you can put in into nilagang baka if you’re feeling lazy. hehehe…

    Oct 22, 2012 | 10:22 am

     
  9. Khew says:

    Those blue pea flowers are the double/frilly type as opposed to the single petal ones. They tend to be a much deeper blue and in their youth, makes for a stunning display of velvety violet on green. The problem with the frilly types, based on my experience, is that their leaves tend to be lightly speckled instead of a clean green and the plant eventually dries from bottom up despite being a supposed perennial. The best, biggest and most vibrant blooms are in the early stages of the vine’s life. Propagation seems like a hit and miss too compared to it’s more prolific single petaled cousin.

    Oct 22, 2012 | 10:25 am

     
  10. Susie says:

    Dayap!!!! MM, do you have his contact details to hand? Just back from Indonesia with a few kilos of dayap in my maleta but it woud be great to have a local source. I actually bought a dayap tree in FTI to bring back to Cebu but airport quarrantine wouldn’t let it on the plane :-(

    Oct 22, 2012 | 1:41 pm

     
  11. Monty says:

    For all that dayap, you should check out a product called the Zip Zester. A bit pricey but should make zesting less of a chore.

    Oct 22, 2012 | 2:58 pm

     
  12. Marketman says:

    Susie, Joey has the largest veggie stall in the Salcedo market. He tends to bring dayap in when it is in season. But I have never tried ordering from him in advance. If you want some dayap, let me know and I can try and bring you some…

    Oct 22, 2012 | 4:02 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Monty, I have used microplane zesters for many years, they work quiet nicely…

    Oct 22, 2012 | 4:03 pm

     
  14. Susie says:

    MM, I would love some! I got the name of a nursery near Antipolo( Terersa Orchard) that sells dayap trees aside from other intriguing plants (indian pomegranate, for example) but they cannot ship to Cebu.Citrus ban… Boo!

    Oct 22, 2012 | 4:37 pm

     
  15. Ging says:

    Susie, citrus ban in Cebu? Would you know the reason?

    Oct 22, 2012 | 7:35 pm

     
  16. Marketman says:

    Susie, grow them from seed, but if like the limes I brought back from Vietnam, they might get raped by local lemons or kalamansi and the result is rock hard large limes with no juice but incredible fragrance — like irish spring soap. :)

    Oct 22, 2012 | 9:00 pm

     
  17. lee says:

    the pea flower has an interesting scientific name, and i will try my very best to stop at that. We have sauteed marrow, the gourd, in our dining facilities even though i wish for the more unctuous shank-sourced marrow from cansi.

    Oct 23, 2012 | 2:15 pm

     
  18. Susie says:

    Ging, according to Teresa Orchard, citrus from Luzon cannot be shipped to Visayas and Mindanao because of some sort of pest issue. Boo. MM, will attempt to grow from seed..have instructed the troops to keep the dayap away from the ravaging tendencies of our calamansi plants :-) Thanks for the tip!

    Oct 23, 2012 | 4:15 pm

     
  19. Dulce says:

    Hey Su. I’m always on the look out for dayap and normally buy 5 kilos or even buy the entire stock when I see it. I normally freeze the juice when I have loads and I use the zest separately. Let me know in advance if you or your sisters will be heading to Cebu and I can always share my stash with you or buy for you. I just asked Caring to dry the seeds for planting and can always send some your way or smuggle in a small plant for you when I ever get to you or send it through your sisters. It needs to be a small plant though to go inside the luggage.
    MM, I think I bought all the rest that you had from Joey last Sunday at Sidcor. He only sold it to me at 80/kilo instead of the 100/kilo you got it for.

    Oct 23, 2012 | 5:46 pm

     
  20. Marketman says:

    Dulce, yes, he gave it for PHP80 a kilo as well, I think anyone who bought a couple of kilos or more got the better price. I hear it is just PHP30 a kilo up North in Isabela or Cagayan valley… :)

    Oct 23, 2012 | 7:22 pm

     
  21. Dulce says:

    Wow! How I wish I can get that for 30/kilo. I would buy loads more. Hoping my tree would start flowering soon (didn’t get so much harvest last time but my kaffir & calamansi are loaded with flowers). We use it so much for Asian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and of course dessert and need it as a staple ingredient at home. My daughter is already asking for lime curd. A tip that we do at home since we try to go natural as much as possible is use vodka (cheaper kind) and steep it in loads of the lime (lemon or calamansi) zest for a few weeks. We use it for cleaning at home, instead of alcogel, etc. Scents can differ for what we need it for or as with my daughter who loves vanilla scent, we use with vanilla pods. Some zest we also put in the freezer for use with steaming or roasting fish, etc., in oils or if grated to flavor desserts.

    Oct 23, 2012 | 8:21 pm

     
  22. cj says:

    hi MM,

    Can you recommend a place where i can find the best mandarin oranges here in manila?

    thank you!

    Oct 24, 2012 | 10:33 am

     
  23. miles says:

    we have the ternitea here at home and have been experimenting with it. it makes a good colorant for juices and rice. only it turns violet when added to acidic ingredients. added to salad and crystallized it is a nice addition or garnish to prepared food. :)

    Oct 24, 2012 | 12:04 pm

     
 

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