10 of the Best Tried and Tasted Pasalubong BitBits From Across the Philippines
There are many native delicacies or provincial snacks to try and take home from different regions of the Philippines. Some have multiple suppliers so looking for the best maker or supplier of a certain delicacy can sometimes feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack. By word-of-mouth the taste stories spread and reputable suppliers established over time have people coming back for more. A good number of food sources stand out for those who’ve tasted them amidst discovery in their travels. We wanted to make a hearty attempt to glean from their stored-up knowledge. With the help of some of our best foodie editors and contributors we’ve rounded up this list of take-home treats from across the nation.
1. Bordado of San Miguel
The intricate business of fruit carving is known as Bordado. It’s done on fruits like dayap for example which can be stuffed with pastillas de leche and then syrup is used to preserve the fruit. The designs bring awe when held up to the light. This fading art is now only done by Naty Ocampo Cruz of San Miguel, Bulacan. To order, call (0922) 861-1379?
2. Carreon's Pastillas de Leche, Magalang
These are handmade with the use of fresh carabao milk. Carreon’s pastillas are pure and they aren’t sickly sweet. They also happen to be a childhood favorite of one of Metro Society’s food contributors, Maricris Encarnacion. To order, call (0917) 528-7118, (045) 343-4492, (045) 435-1922 or via Facebook
3. Cauayan longanisa
For more than 30 years, Belen Recometa-Holgado has been making her special longanisa in the town of Cauayan. Over the years, her simple sausage has grown a huge following.
Her longanisa has the perfect balance of meat and fat, and in flavor, the spot-on range between sweet and salty. It’s a favorite among locals. About 60 kilos of her longanisa are bought daily from her modest stall at the local Cauayan market.
4. Pure carabao milk products at the Philippine Carabao Center
PCC dairy products are popular among local residents around Los Baños. Try their soft serve ice cream. You can also sip from chilled bottles of pasteurized and homogenized milk in varying flavors. The popular Milk-O-Jel tastes like leche flan-cum-taho
Other great pasalubong items include plain and ube pastillas (not coarse with sugar), kesong puti and mozzarella.
B.M. Gonzales Animal Science Complex, College, Los Baños, (049) 536-2729, open daily 8AM to 5PM
5. Suman sa palaspas
Marinduque is popular for the Moriones festival held every Holy Week. There is a local delicacy aptly called suman sa palaspas. It is inspired by palm leaves used on Palm Sundays, but this suman is actually wrapped in coconut leaves. It is available at the Santa Cruz Public Market
6. MatMat's Carcar Chicharon
In Manila, Lapid’s chicharon is king, but in Carcar, Cebu, MatMat’s reigns supreme. This brand of chicharon ensures freshly popped rinds cooked over wood fire that are full-on in terms of flavor. Call (032) 487-8148 or (0920) 921-2924
7. Virgie’s Napoleones
Napoleones are flaky layered puff pastries with custard tucked inside and a sweet glaze over the top—light and creamy, and sweet. These are Negrense pastries that you won’t easily find anywhere else.
59 San Sebastian Street, Bacolod, www.virgieshomemade.com
8. Vjandep Pastel
Shaped like a bonete to encase a yema custard, Vjandep Pastel is named after Virgilio Jose (VJ) and Eleanor (EP) Popera, the couple who founded the brand. The flavors include yema pastel to ube yema pastel and squash-malunggay pastel. www.vjandep.com
9. Maestrado Tablea
Way before Malagos and Auro, there was Maestrado. Still small, still family run, this is Tablea that is silky. No sugar added, it still makes the perfect cup of hot chocolate. Their business is open from 7am-8pm and located at J. Artadi Street, Mambajao, Camiguin. Call (0977) 349-7761 or through Facebook
10. Malagos Cheese by Olive Puentespina
Olive puts a lot of love in her cheese and her husband Bo, a veterinarian, makes sure their goats are well taken care of so that the milk they produce is perfect for their cheese. Among the cheeses they produce, Chèvre is a top favorite but all her other cheeses are outstanding as well.