food photos: VERY STRAWBERRY

The Strawberry Festival is a week-long event that was celebrated in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines every March. In relation to this, I am about to share on this entry some photos of strawberries in its many forms as our favorite fruit, food ingredient, and flavor.

strawberries

Strawberry Fruit

strawberry sundae

Strawberry Sundae

strawberry ice cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

strawberry-filled wafer

Strawberry Wafers

strawberry taho

Strawberry Taho

strawberry jam

Strawberry Jam

strawberry sticks

Strawberry Sticks

strawberry cinnamon roll

Strawberry Cinnamon Roll

strawberry candies

Strawberry Candies

strawberry-filled biscuits

Strawberry-filled Biscuits

strawberry rolls

Strawberry Rolls

strawberry jelly

Strawberry Jelly

strawberry doughnuts

Strawberry Doughnuts

mediterranean strawberry cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

strawberry cream cheese croughnut

Strawberry Croughnut

strawberry ice cream-filled chocolate bar

Strawberry Ice Cream-filled Chocolate Bar 

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

strawberry farm

Strawberry Farm

Photos Taken By: Sukito San

Strawberry Cake Photo By: Entz Gomez Alcaraz

 

food recipe: MILKY CAIMITO

milky caimito

Caimito or Star Apple is one the summer fruits in the Philippines. Since its plenty during this hot season… the best way to enjoy eating this fruit aside from tasting it from being freshly-picked from the tree, is when you have it chilled.

Here’s how you can simply make your own “Milky Caimito”.

You’ll need:

  • Caimito
  • Condensed Milk

Procedure:

  1. Cut the caimito in halves. Scrape it with spoon and remove the seed.
  2. Place the scraped fruit pieces in a mixing bowl. Add condensed milk according to your desired sweetness. 
  3. Chill inside the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more of your desired coldness.

milky caimito dessert

Now, you have your homemade dessert ready to be served. Enjoy eating 🙂

Photo by: Sukito San

food recipe: BLESSED COCONUT OIL on GOOD FRIDAY

coconut oil

Once a year, whenever “Holy Week” comes… I always see my mother extract oil from coconut on Good Friday and have it blessed on Black Saturday in a mass called “Blessing of the Fire”. It was believed that the blessed oil and water from this mass can heal sickness and can cure “spiritual illnesses”. This tradition were followed by devout Catholics during the Season of Lent and should be cooked with the use of wood through an “ulingan” and be extracted from coconut oil. This custom in cooking became vital not only in Philippine cuisine but also among the conservative Catholics especially those living in rural ares or in the provinces. Anyway, you can also use it as an alternative cooking oil for your specialty dishes or just by simple frying. It’s also healthwise because it’s natural and free from any preservatives. You can also use it by oiling your hair with it… 20 minutes before you take a bath to achieve thicker volume and to avoid a dry crowning glory.

You will need:

gata

coconut milk or gata ng niyog (4 coconuts will do)

pandan

4-5 clean and washed pandan leaves (for aromatic scent)

oregano

4-5 oregano leaves (optional)

calamansi leaves

6-7 calamansi leaves (optional)

ulingan

ulingan or any improvised stove wherein you can use wood or charcoal to fuel fire

Here’s how:

1. Have your coconut milk ready.

2. Fire up your ulingan using scrap wood or charcoal.

3. With the use of a wide mouthed pan or “kawan” heated in your “ulingan”, Pour in your coconut milk.

4. Cook it with cover for around 20 minutes while stirring it once in a while to prevent it from getting burned and to maintain the good consistency of the coconut milk.

5. Add pandan leaves. Stir it a little.

6. After a while, you can add up the oregano and calamansi leaves followed by slight stirring.

langis

7. After an hour or more, keep on stirring it once in a while. As the liquid dries up, you will just see the natural oil from the coconut on the pan with the “latik” or the coconut curds. By the way, the “latik” or coconut curds were commonly used as a main topping or as a garnish on local Filipino desserts like “biko“.

8. Keep on stirring until only the pure coconut oil remains on the pan and the “latik” as well.

latik

9. Cool it down for a while and use a strainer in filtering to separate the “latik” from the oil.

10. Put the oil in a dry, clean and empty bottle or medium-sized container for lasting storage.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1. You must cook it on Good Friday and it should be done before 3:00 pm (which is the time of the death of Christ).

2. If you wanted it blessed. Take it with you and have it blessed on a Black Saturday mass which is the “Blessing of the Fire”. Then, you can place it in your altar at home.

Photos by: Sukito San

food news: BIG BUCKS from BUKO JUICE!

      The Philippine government and other companies in the country are planning to invest in buko juice industry and have it exported in America.    

     The Philippine Coconut Authority have seen the big potential in “coco juice” known to us here in the Philippines as “buko juice” in the line of  business for exports. President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino said that there is a growing demand in the United States of America for the coconut water in their market because of health and wellness awareness in the said country. America have also regarded it as a “natural sports drink”.

     The US Health Magazine named O.N.E. Organic Coconut Water which is manufactured in the Philippines and is sold and being exported in the US market as the “America’s Healthiest Beverage” for giving vital nutrition and for health hydration benefits and which also includes some important electrolytes needed by our body such as sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and calcium.

      Jose Quimson, President of Peter Paul PH Corp. said that there’s a great potential for coconut juice because of the global trend of folks that’s avoiding carbonated drinks and getting health conscious.

     Jun Castillo, a member of the Virgin Coconut Organization in the Philippines said in the news that they are open to the positive result of exporting buko juice and that the ordinary local buko vendors from the Philippines should not be intimidated for the export idea because many buko vendors as they’ve heard about it were scared that there might be a coconut shortage in the future especially for the coconut extract which many of them are using it in their other products just in case this move of the government will pursue. In response to this, it is assured in the news that the Philippines has around 340 million coconut trees planted on 3.4 million hectares of land.

     In relation to this, other petition raised to the government regarding this issue is for them to focus more on the coconut farmers for the growth of the coconut industry in the country. Moreover, aside from coco water… there should also be a government support for other innovation of  buko juice such as the production of “carbonated coconut water” which is naturally good for the health. Buko juice is also known in the Philippines for its beneficial relieving aid for urinary problems because it breaks up kidney stones.

     Just one tip,  a coconut vendor told me when I bought buko juice from him that the more the coconut meat… the lesser its juice. And the less and thinner its meat… the more juice you can get from it. So it’s up to you if which one do you prefer to have. You can ask the vendor’s help in distinguishing which is meatier or juicier… they will know it just by knocking on the tropical fruit.

Photos taken by: Sukito

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