12 Small Bites For A Christmas Bursting With Big And Bold Flavors
Boldness can come in small packages—even when it comes to food! Never underestimate the goodness that can come from a jar of cheese spread, bite-sized sans rival and queso de bola goodies, or even an unassuming lechon sisig wrap. They can all pack a sucker punch, but worry not; it’ll be the kind your gut (and your taste buds) will enjoy! Deliver a blow of tastiness to your Christmas spread with 12 of our choice snacks, spreads, and bites, all of which prove that size can be deceiving.
1. Assorted Empanadas by Mama Empanada
It took the family behind Mama Empanada three generations to perfect their empanada recipe, so consider biting into one of them an experience of culinary history. With a crust that easily gives way to the warm, tasty stuffing that lays waiting inside, these empanadas are one of the best ways to take the flavor of the holidays with you wherever you go as baon, your potluck contribution, or even a midnight snack back in your room! The cherry on the cake? They’ve got awesome flavors to choose from like sriracha chicken, Italian sausage, sirloin beef taco, and even herbed tuna.
P40/piece, (0915) 863-3156, IG: @mamaempanada
2. Fortune Bags by China Mommy
For the dumpling-crazy out there, this is the Christmas treat for you. Stuffed with minced meat, seafood, mushrooms, and vegetables, then wrapped in flavorful tofu skin, its simplicity is what makes it so amazing. (Sometimes, the uncomplicated and classic is exactly what our tummy needs!) Enjoy this dim sum in its original version or veggie alternative, and be happy about the fact that you can purchase a whole tray of these goodies and safely store them in the fridge for re-heating later on.
P800/12 pieces, P1,600/24 pieces, (0917) 514-8540, IG: @chinamommy
3. Mangorama and Bananarama Pudding by Bananarama PH
What’s better than having fresh slices of Philippine mango and freshly picked bananas? Well, not a lot, but we’re certainly big fans of Bananarama’s delightful puddings that pay tribute to these world-class flavors! The taste of the tropics is well-preserved and presented in such a fun way by these dessert experts that it’s practically impossible to make a whole serving of them last a whole week. Guard your jars of pudding very, very closely and keep them away from voracious sweets lovers if you want to keep enjoying them for days on end!
P395/500ml jar, P1,100/1500ml jar, available at Manila Polo Club, Power Plant Mall’s Baker’s Dozen, Urban Pantry Ph, and Edsa Shangri-La, (0929) 585-1051, IG: bananarama.ph
4. Sisig Lechon Wrap by The Party Kitchen
The name says it all; they know how to make a party unforgettable, beginning with serving up edible hits that guests will be talking about for days on end. Considering the food that Filipinos love the most, The Party Kitchen has come up with an ingenious way of combining them in one delicious, meaty opus. Sisig? Check. Lechon? Double check. Both in one dish? Triple check! Enjoy this with a tall, cold glass of beer and you’ll be good to go. (We’re especially grateful for how they serve this in wrap form, too; less mess, more eating!)
P305/small (6 pieces), P400/medium (8 pieces), P795/big (16 pieces), (02) 519-1111, IG: @thepartyktichenph, www.thepartykitchen.ph/menu, delivers to Metro Manila daily from 8 am to 5 pm
5. Rum Cake Biscotti by Joyce’s Homemade Foods
Crunchy and chewy all at once, this special twist on baker Joyce Aragon’s all-time favorite rum cake is a winner. While yummy enough to be enjoyed on its own, feel free to get creative and serve it with ice cream, use it as cake toppings, or as a crust to other baked goods. You’ll love it no matter what, as its sweet and bitter symphony of tastes will never fail to please!
P250/jar, (02) 542-9199, (0917) 523-2913, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, FB: @joyceshomemadefoods
6. Sansrival and Queso de Bola Chips by Homemade Treasures
They’re admittedly indulgent, but that’s not to say we’re going to have just a few of them at a time! These bites are nothing but addicting, but to be perfectly honest, are also best shared. You’ll definitely want a companion to gush over how heavenly they taste after your first bite of them with. Waves of nuttiness and buttery perfection define the sansrival variety, while the push and pull of sweet and salty is at front and center with each queso de bola bite.
P280/Sansrival Chips, P355/Queso de Bola Chips, (0928) 507-0928, IG: @homemadetreasures
7. Buttery Puff by Buttery & Co.
How this special homemade cheese pastry topped with cereals and sprinkled with sugar is a secret, but how good it tastes is not. Take it from us; it’s a real challenge to exercise enough self-control to have just one at a time and even allow others to have a taste of this slice of (pastry) heaven. You’ll wonder how such straightforward ingredients can come together in such sweet perfection, but lest you waste your time wondering how the legendary Buttery Puff was made, simply have another bite of it, and another, and another, and another...
P550/box of 6, P1,080/box of 12, (0915) 333-3990, IG: @butteryandco, pick up at 29 Scout Castor, Quezon City
8. Cheesy-Herb Bread by Make Peace Bakery
Amidst all the Christmas feasts we’re sure to enjoy this season, it’s important to remember those that might not have the same opportunities to dine as they please. Disadvantaged youth are at the heart of this Cheesy-Herb Bread by this bakery that’s more a social enterprise than a business. While delivering freshly baked goods to you and your loved ones, their beneficiaries’ lives are enriched with workshops, livelihood programs, and ultimately the hope for a better future. Isn’t giving joy and blessing the real meaning of Christmas, after all?
P120/loaf, (0956) 378-8109, IG: @themakepeacebakery, www.themakepeacebakery.com
9. Ornament Box by M Bakery
Now here’s something for the serious sweet tooth! New York-based Magnolia Bakery (known as M Bakery here in the Philippine) doesn’t hold back with its sugary goods and makes sure that they’re as cute as they are scrumptious. Often decorated with recognizable holiday symbols like a cheery Santa, shining star, or frosty snowflake, their pastries make a great pop of color and flavor to any Christmas spread. Keep an especially sharp eye on kids who are undoubtedly going to go to nuts over these goodies!
Price upon request, Bonifacio High Street Mall, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, (02) 847-9829, IG: mbakery_ph
10. Cold Cuts and Cheese Graze Box by Aperitif Ph
Grapes, olives, choice cold cuts, pistachios, sweet dried fruit, cheese choices, a roll of bread, and a wine bottle all in one little nifty box: the image is making us imagine a slow, relaxing night to yourself before all the Christmas party invitations come from all directions. We highly suggest to have this ready by your bedside while your favorite movie plays, or even by the tub as you luxuriate in a warm, comforting bath.
P1,950/half size, (0917) 844-8558, IG: @aperitif_ph, www.aperitifph.com
11. Fried Chicken Bao by Loco Manuk
Anyone who frequents Poblacion in Makati will go gaga about learning that they can now enjoy one of this watering hole’s favorite snacks in the comfort of their own homes. This Chinese bun gets a Filipino makeover and highlights a local favorite: fried chicken! The foolproof dish is made better by a dressing of a variety of condiments that, to be frank, will make it feel like there’s a Christmas party in full swing in your mouth. Experience it yourself to believe us.
P200/piece, P. Burgos Street corner B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City, (02) 403-9377, (0977) 795-5661, IG: @loco_manuk
12. Assorted Cheese Spreads by Le Petit Fromagerie
This cheese specialist doesn’t need a lot of marketing in order for new and loyal customers alike to drool over its products. The cheese spread flavors speak for themselves: the popular Truffle Cream Cheese, and new flavors Camem-beer (Camembert + Belgian beer) and TnT (taba ng talangka with cheese). Take a moment and imagine what they might taste like. Yup—they’re exactly what your palate is fantasizing, only better. They also come in a wooden gift box complete with crostinis for an instant feast.
P550/bottle, P650/gift box, IG: @lapetitefromagerie, www.lapetitefromagerie.ph
Cover by Pat Mateo
Produced by Janelle Año
Photos by Pat Buenaobra
Styling by Angelique Castro
Art Direction by Butchie Peña
Shot on location at Discovery Primea
Special thanks to Margaux Hontiveros