It is an interesting time for food finds. Here is a list of new discoveries that deserve to be enjoyed by more foodies.
Don’t we all love tasty, crunchy chicharon? We can now indulge without the guilt, thanks to Chichashroom.
Chichashroom is the brainchild of partners Kisig Lopez and Angela Castelltort who, four years ago opened Satya Graha Café, a vegetarian eatery.
Asked to join a bazaar, the couple offered their restaurant’s best seller, Vegchon (vegetarian lechon kawali liempo). It was not an easy sell, perhaps because it was being offered as a frozen item, unlike the vendor beside them who sold cassava chips that flew off the shelves.
Midway through the 10-day bazaar, they decided to pack seaweed tempura, an appetizer at their restaurant. It was well accepted. With research and the tweaking of the recipe, Seacharon (crispy seaweed snack) was born.
Chichashroom, made from shiitake mushrooms, came shortly after. Since then, they can hardly meet the demand for the product. It is, after all, crunchy, very tasty and delicious. Snacking on it will not in anyway make you feel deprived. A must-try.
Call 0949 -8891445.
Tilapia Ice Cream
You better believe it, there is such a thing!
It does not taste as you perhaps imagine it, which could be either disappointing or delightful.
The challenge for them, according to professor Dana Vera Cruz—chair of the Department of Hospitality Management of Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Nueva Ecija—was how to keep the tilapia’s nutritional benefits while eliminating its smell and fishy aftertaste.
The school has perfected the process, and the ice cream now contains 40 percent tilapia mixed with carabao’s milk, walnuts and cheese.
Through the Department of Agriculture, the product was showcased at the SIAL Asean Manila (Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire) and won the SIAL Innovation Gold Award 2016.
It all began when Tereso Abella—president of CLSU and former director of Freshwater Aquaculture Center—tasted shrimp ice cream in Taiwan. He challenged Dana’s department to create one flavored with tilapia.
The department not only rose to the challenge, it has created other innovative products as well: tilapia ice cream sandwich, praline crunch bar with toasted tilapia flakes, tilapia ice cream sans rival sold in pints and tilapia cookies.
The ice cream is mild, cheesy and textured with flaked tilapia.
You can have a taste of it at Ka Tunying’s Café, U/GF, CASWYNN Bldg., 134 Timog Ave., Quezon City.
Pastel de Amor
Food and pastries that remind me of my youth hold a very special place in my palate’s memory.
There is something truly special about old favorites, such as Pastel de Amor of chef Pixie Sevilla of Forget Me Not Specialty Cakes.
This is a cake that you keep eating because each taste is familiar: old-fashioned chiffon cake with brazo de remedios filling, beautifully piped with toasted marshmallow icing.
In fact, even visually, it is a blast from the past.
The easy-to-eat Pastel de Amor was made by Pixie for her brother Rosky (Sevilla) and wife Pauline’s 25th wedding anniversary last year. The chef challenged herself to replicate the taste of their wedding cake in 1991, and the result are these delightful pastries.
Xiù’s Longevity Balls or “Chinese donuts” are huge, hollow, puffed glutinous golden brown balls rolled in sesame seeds that deflate upon first bite. They are crisp, chewy and light, though fried.
They are called Longevity Balls, as round objects are believed to represent prosperity and long life.
Enjoy them freshly made, but call to order and reserve in advance.
Xiù is at 115 Connecticut St., Northeast Greenhills, San Juan. Call 6507189, 6508428, 0947-7070228.