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Kitchen Rescue

Emerging food trends—kimchi chips and new Philippine coffee varieties

By: - Columnist
/ 07:00 AM January 24, 2019

Oh So Healthy! Kimchi Crisps

Kimchi Crisp is literally Napa cabbage kimchi turned crunchy. What has me hooked is the complexity, the burst of flavors, and the various textures that play in my mouth.

This is the kind of chip that I eat—tangy, spicy, with a slightly sweet finish.

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Almay Gaw of Oh So Healthy! impressed me with her ingenious line of healthy snacks in crunchy chip form. Her creations are a pleasant blend of fruits and vegetables.

Having manufactured sauces for multinational companies, Gaw and her team decided to venture into unchartered territory three years ago.

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“We had to do something we had not done before, that is, to create a ‘unicorn’ product, something that is completely healthy yet yummy,” she said. “We felt that the usual products offered are either yummy but junk, or healthy but taste like paper. We worked on making the two worlds collide.”

Gaw said the new product was the result of “Innovation Mondays,” regular brainstorming sessions where they tackled everything from packaging ideas to process or product improvements.

Last year, Oh So Healthy! fruit crisps became a hit in Europe and Australia, and Kimchi Crisps caused a stir in San Francisco.

She and her staff get a thrill out of seeing people eating and enjoying their products. “Our vision as a team is to bring pride to the Philippines by showing the world we can come up with products that are competitive enough for the mainstream market,” said Gaw.

“When we penetrate the global scene, we uplift our farmers, we help our workers and we bring health and fun to the snacking population,” she added.

Kimchi Crisps are available at Waltermart, Landers, Metro and Landmark.

Equilibrium’s mobile coffee and tea bar

Specialty coffee bar

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I have called on Equilibrium many times to provide a coffee and tea bar for my functions. And I’ve been more than pleased with its beverages and the skill of its baristas.

Recently, the bar’s setup has become prettier, the coffee and coffee concoctions more aromatic, with depth and character.

Equilibrium now uses beans from Curve Coffee Collaborators, whose farmers have upgraded local coffee “to specialty levels” (coffees that get a score of 80 and above are considered specialty).

The partnership looks for different coffee varieties from unique and unfamiliar local origins. This involves educating farmers, providing them with farm implements, and connecting them to financing.

Coffee hunters certified Q graders by the Coffee Quality Institute of America help in the tasks of discovering, grading, roasting and testing coffees.

According to Equilibrium and Curve Coffee’s Cherry Cruz, “What we do is not an easy task, but we take pride in taking one step forward, one farmer at a time.”

Curve has provided four micro farmers and two cooperatives with the necessary tools and knowledge to improve locally grown coffee.

Curve Coffee offers the following bean variants: Atin Ito (80 percent Benguet arabica, 20 percent Mindanao robusta), Maisog (50 percent arabica, 50 percent premium robusta from Mindanao), Hard Work (100 percent arabica single origin), Atok Benguet, Tuba Benguet, Ampucao Benguet, Bukidnon arabica, and fine robusta from Lake Napalit in Bukidnon.

For coffee and tea bar service and for Curve Coffee, contact Equilibrium (02) 8623041 to 43, or 09228337374.

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