Foreword of “Best Desserts” 5, Inquirer Lifestyle’s best-selling list compiled and written by Vangie Baga-Reyes, to be launched June 3, 4 p.m., at SM Aura’s SMX Convention Center
Five years ago, if someone told us that our “Best Desserts” would run to its fifth year, we would have been incredulous.
“Best Desserts” was just a story/listing we asked Lifestyle Food writer Vangie Baga-Reyes to do to meet the Filipinos’ growing love of homemade desserts, and the Filipino homemaker’s entrepreneurial streak that turned skill and passion into a prosperous enterprise.
That it was popularly collected and used as guide by Inquirer readers emboldened us to turn it into a book, and if I remember right, Inquirer CEO Sandy Romualdez asked, “Why not all the desserts under one roof?”
The logistical demands of such a plan would have discouraged us, had SM vice president Millie Dizon not told us that, yes, they could easily host that in the new SM Aura.
And thus the Lifestyle banner event “Best Desserts” came to be, with about a hundred dessert makers each time filling the SMX Convention Center. And just as impressive was the fact that people would pack the vast hall—their collective profile cutting across demographics. Everyone was out to sample the sweets.
In time, “Best Desserts” also became a barometer of which desserts were getting popular, and the people’s tastes that were evolving.
There was a time when cupcakes ruled, and so did sans rival. They remain popular.
But as this fifth edition of “Best Desserts” shows, this year, the desserts not only taste good, but more than ever, they must look good. As Reyes noted, they must be visually appealing—visual stunners!
We eat with our eyes. So mirror cakes are a dominant trend, as well as cakes with glaze.
Ube remains popular on the list.
Filipino dessert favorites are given a twist. This book has Bibingka Cheesecake, Puto Bumbong Waffle, Sapin-Sapin Cheesecake.
There are so many variants of ensaymada, with or without filling.
There are bigger and better chocolate chip cookies.
There are concessions to the demands of a healthy diet, such as paleo cookies, keto lava cake, Scandinavian ginger cookies.
The fifth edition has 120 desserts by 90 bakers, most of whom are home-based; some have restos and bakeshops, others are hotel chefs.
“Best Desserts” has gone beyond bakers in Metro Manila. There are bakers from Pampanga, Cebu, Bacolod, Zamboanga.
Indeed, “Best Desserts” has become a sweet nationwide success.