As each day inches us closer to the holidays, Lifestyle.INQ and SM Supermalls have partnered up for a series all about gift-giving. Watch out as each week we will have videos and lists all to help you get just what you need to spread Christmas cheer.
The holidays are a time of plenty and merrymaking, fuelled by the season’s rotation of requisite recipes and traditional table-toppers. The holidays also happen to be the much-awaited, guilt-free free pass to savor just some indulgently decadent treats.
Below, we round up some of the best food gifts that anyone would be absolutely thrilled to give and receive, starting with some sweets and snackables.
PLUS! Chef Reggie Aspiras, dubbed Queen of the Kitchen and one of the best baker-artists of Manila, recommends some of her personal picks.
And the good and easy bit? They’re all available at your nearest trusty SM Supermall.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: Auro Chocolates at Kultura
Auro’s award winning chocolates boast a distinct roasted cocoa flavor that is radically different from the off-the-mill chocolate brand. Auro offers a wide variety, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, as well ones flavored with arabica coffee-flavored, and add-ons like cacao nibs, mango pili, and moringa pinipig. Auro chocolates are available at Kultura in select SM Supermalls.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: Epilogue’s Big and Chunky Cookies
One Epilogue cookie is a hefty treat, perhaps enough to feed a small dessert-loving horde. They come in several delectable varieties, including the Valrhona Reese, cranberry oatmeal, Valrhona dulce, chocolate cashew, and chocolate walnut. Epilogue is located at S Maison at the Conrad, SM Mall of Asia Complex. Contact 816-7088 or [email protected]
Orell’s Banana Thins
Proudly Philippine-made Orell’s crispy banana thins are positively addicting. Other varieties include sweet potato and cassava chips, as well as salted and cinnamon-flavored banana thins. Orell’s is available at SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, and SM City Manila. Contact 0917-328-6275 / 0917-328-0526.
Organic Lollipops at Healthy Options
Yes, sometimes a sweet treat can actually be not too guilt-inducing. Koochikoo lollipops are certified organic and sugar-free. These lollipops are available in four super fruit flavor combinations: fuji apple, pineapple orange, pomegranate blueberry, and blueberry lemon. Available at Healthy Options in select SM Supermalls. Visit healthyoptions.com.ph for stores and contact information.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: Le Sucre Lab’s Chocolate Dreamcake
Le Sucre Lab is the creator of the original gooey chocolate cake. The multi-layer confection consists of an ultra-moist chocolate cake, a layer of thick and gooey ganache, topped with a smooth and incredibly light goo and a dusting of dark cocoa powder. Le Sucre Lab is available at SM Megamall and SM City North Edsa. Contact 0995-775-7218 / 0928-739-7946 or [email protected]
Chef Reggie’s Pick: See’s Famous Old Time Candies
Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” In the case of See’s assorted nuts and chews, the surprise is always a delight. Satisfyingly crunchy and chewy, See’s box of chocolates feature walnuts, almonds, rich caramel and more, enrobed in layers of milk and dark chocolate. See’s is available at SM Aura Premier (contact 0917-637-4313) and The Podium.
All Butter Scottish Shortbread Cookies at Marks & Spencer
The bakers at Marks & Spencer might have just invented the single best companion to tea or coffee. Their Scottish shortbread cookies are the perfect combination of rich, buttery, and crumbly. Available at select SM Supermalls.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: Goldilocks’ signature Cathedral Window
The familiar Cathedral Window is a rainbow jelly pudding that will brighten up any holiday tablescape. Available at Goldilocks in select SM Supermalls.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: The Honey Cake at Sugarhouse
Light and sweet, the Honey Cake is made with vanilla chiffon, filled with light butter cream and abundantly sprinkled with honey crunch. Available at SM Megamall.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: The Aristocrat Bakeshop’s Torta de los Reyes
Aristocrat’s signature Torta de los Reyes is a masterly, five-layer crisp wafer cake with chocolate ganache and white chocolate. This unique cake’s checkered interior is a delight to see as it is to eat. Available SM City San Lazaro, SM City Manila, SM Mall of Asia, SM City Dasmariñas, and SM City North Edsa.
And some special mentions…
For the serious food giver who’s inclined to bestow a holiday centerpiece, here are some extra, mouth-watering food gifts.
Chef Reggie’s Pick: Aperitif’s Gourmet Grazing Boxes
Aperitif’s grazing boxes are the perfect hostess gift. The Graze Box comes with five luxe cheeses, four kinds of premium Italian Cold Cuts, truffle honey, chocolates and crostinis, fruits, cornichons, and more. Aperitif is located at SM Aura Premier. Contact 0917-573-7171 or [email protected]
Will the holidays be complete without a helping of decadent lechon? Described by Anthony Bourdain as “the best pig ever”, Zubuchon’s famous Cebu lechon uses no MSG, food coloring, and other chemical preservatives. Zubuchon is available at SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM City Cebu, and SM Seaside City Cebu. Contact 8777-ZUBU (Manila), (032) 345-ZUBU (Cebu), or [email protected]
The Plaza Premium Baked Ham
There is no other holiday centerpiece quite like The Plaza’s premium baked ham. Inspired by Christmastime Swedish ham, The Plaza’s version is designed for the Filipino taste, a blend of sweet and salty. It is cured, lightly wood-smoked with herbs and spices, oven-baked, and covered with a crumbly crust. Available at SM Megamall.