The Breakfast Store is a welcome addition to the list of “hip” concept outlets. One might not even take notice of it, as it subtly blends in among a row of other small food establishments.
But somehow, its sign and logo caught my attention—cute and dainty, in blue and white, bordered with trimmings similar to those that adorn a plate.
I walked in and saw a rectangular blue table with four blue chairs and a place setting for two. Country-style ambiance. But surely, it couldn’t be a restaurant made just for two!
So I headed toward the chillers and looked at its contents. I saw breakfast meats, rice cakes, bangus.
On the shelves were tilanggit (tilapiang-dinanggit) and all sorts of jams, tableas and coffees—all with that home/farm or hacienda-made look and feel. Most of the merchandise, sourced from all over the Philippines, come from Bacolod, Ilocos, Tuguegarao, Cebu.
I bought a couple of the products and had them this morning. They are not the usual breakfast meats we buy. The Breakfast Store’s are akin to those we used to have in our youth. For me, the taste is reminiscent of summers in the province when lola, manang or mom still sun-dried the tapa; flaked meat to make corned beef; and themselves ground, mixed and stuffed their own chorizos and longganisas.
The jams are also interesting, Each one from a specific province and made from homegrown fruit such as santol, tomato, langka and guava.
The coffee selection, some eight local varieties, range from the standard Barako, Benguet, etc. to civet, rice and corn coffees.
There are knickknacks, too! Bayongs in blue and white are the cutest I’ve seen! And the woven Iloco mats and napkins—nice! The place also sells plates, teapots, woven and crocheted items—quite a lineup for a store so new!
I was told by the lady who attended to me that they were expecting more breakfast-related items soon.
But what I found most inspiring was what I read in the flier—that, apart from being staunch advocates of eating “breakfast” (the most important meal of the day) and making the establishment a showcase for homegrown kitchen entrepreneurs, The Breakfast Store’s owners have also partnered with Ateneo’s Blue Plate for Better Learning project—a program that hopes to address the fundamental needs of child nutrition to improve academic performance.
The Breakfast Store will donate one breakfast for every branded product purchased at its store. With an advocacy like this, one can only wish this place the very best!
The Breakfast Store—tel. 0917-8115437. For Ateneo’s Blue Plate for Better Learning Project, Ana Carillo, tel. 8997691 loc. 2123
Summer is perhaps the perfect time to own a dehydrator, when fruits are abundant, ripe, juicy and at their prime.
A dehydrator was always part of my wish list, but somehow I never bought one. I found it to be such a hassle to bring home, and opted to use my balikbayan box space for other more useful gadgets instead.
But since US-made dehydrators are now locally available, it’s a different story. The model I bought has five trays and it is so simple to use.
Simply slice fruits or vegetables and lay them on the dehydrator’s mats. Switch the on button to the proper setting—jerky, jelly, fruit or vegetable. Then wait—the most difficult part of the process!
In a matter of hours, you have a rainbow of dehydrated fruits and vegetables.
Since getting my unit, I have made tomatoes and used them for my pasta. The fruits, particularly the pineapples, mangoes, apples, bananas and langka, turned out excellent in color, taste and aroma.
And since they are “dried,” they’re intensely flavorful. Take the dehydrated langka that I made and opted to use for my ginataan in lieu of the fresh variety. My ginataan turned out fantastic. Of course, part of it is also because I never fail to tell the mangniniyog to only scrape the white portion. Doing so guarantees that the coconut milk stays white and, once cooked, is rich, silky and creamy, not brown and earthy.
The mangoes I made I used to top my salad. Maybe it’s psychological, but somehow, my fruits tasted way better than those I buy off the shelves.
Next experiment—using the fruits for my muesli, making fruit jellies, tapas and jerky. Thank God for this gadget, I can now let the taste of summer last a little longer.
My book “Kitchen Rescue 3, The Directory – My Lifeline to Eating, Cooking and Living” is now available at all leading bookstores, or call 6474744.
E-mail the author at [email protected]