A previous post written in 2007 asking readers to write in asking where to find particular ingredients, and where all readers/commenters pitched in to answer the queries, is now officially the most visited post on this blog. Over the last four years, it has received in excess of 70,000 page views, and has spawned hundreds if not thousands of emails sent directly to marketmanila about where folks can buy this or that. Two years after I posted that topic, the comments section automatically closed (it’s a feature the tech guy incorporated into the site to manage the size and volume of files), so many readers have taken it upon themselves to email me directly, often 3, 4 or even 6 times a day on average. I feel like the resident “help desk” for where to find food items or equipment. So I thought it would be a good idea to do a fresher post, so folks can ask their questions here, and hopefully, someone out there can help answer these inquiries… But please, let’s try to keep the questions reasonable, shall we? I have, over the years, received some of the most unrelated, stupid, absurd, patently low-IQ-without-wishing-to-improve-it requests and questions that I simply dump in the trash. Others are interesting, but often repetitive, hence this post. So let me start off with a few questions and answers of my own…
Where can I find a can of Marca El Rey chorizos bilbao?? They often have them at Cash & Carry and Unimart, at the most reasonably comparative prices. Rustan’s also carries them on occasion, expensive.
Where can I find fresh vanilla beans?? I sometimes find my whole beans at Cook’s Exchange stores in major malls, or Flavours ‘n Spices at Market!Market! Mall.
Who sells whole wheat flour?? I have seen U.S. packaged whole wheat flour at (Gaisano) Metro groceries in Manila and Cebu.
Where can I buy real Sagada oranges?? Your best bet, Sagada. Some 95+% of all oranges sold as Sagada oranges in Baguio or Manila are FAKE. It annoys me no end that vendors continue to intentionally mislabel this produce. Pisses me off, actually. And folks in Sagada should come to the lowlands with a tazer gun and stun repeat offenders.
Why is there no cilantro in this country for my guacamole?? Duh, it’s simply called another name, wansoy. Lots of it except at the height of the rainy season.
Why can’t I find the cuts of meat I am used to back home (in some foreign land)?? They butcher the same animal (cow, pig, lamb, etc.) here, but don’t have the same standard nomenclature for the parts as they might in North America. You simply have to figure out the equivalent local part. If you go to a large grocery with a butcher, ask to see his “map” or guide to parts that are often displayed on their walls. Better yet, next time you are home, buy a book of butchered meat and bring it to the butcher with you… they will be able to do a tomahawk steak, find the prairie oysters, cut the hanging tender or isolate the first stomach of a cow if you really, really desire it. Tip the butcher generously for his/her efforts, as you always want the one with the cleavers on your side.
Where can I get jalapenos? Wild arugula? Beets? Endive? Saffron? The list goes on and on… So write in your questions, and I hope I can count on readers to help me answer as many of them as possible, thanks!