A desk full of treats from North to South

9 09 2009

EDIBLE TREATS sent my way couldn’t help but turn me into somebody loved.  I mean, you can’t help but feel you are worth somebody else’s time and effort.  The human gene doesn’t always come with a polypeptide chain for thoughtfulness.  So something has to be said about people who remember.

And it’s always nice to be remembered by friends who come back from trips.  Lately, at least four goodies found their way to my desk – two from Baguio and two from Iloilo.  Three of these I’ve always loved.  The fourth one was a pleasant discovery.  The best thing about all these treats is that I understand – and have actually encountered in my life – all the ingredients on the label.

Good Shepherd Lengua.  Usually, this is called “Lengua de Gato,” literally translated as cat’s tongue.  The name is descriptive of how the cookies look like.  I’ve had this many times before and I do remember always buying the ones a former office cafeteria concessionaire made and sold.  But this was the first time I got the ones “Good Shepherd” makes.  I’ve always thought they only churn out their legendary ube jam (purple yam jam).  I have to say their lengua is the best I’ve ever had.  It’s really sweet – actually on the fence of being cloying and just right – but is not annoyingly so.  I love how the very porous underside of the cookies slowly turn into mush in my tongue, releasing all that buttery goodness tempered with the fragrance of good vanilla.

Good Shepherd Lengua 01

Good Shepherd Lengua


Good Shepherd Lengua 02
Each Good Shepherd lengua boasts the goodness of fresh butter and the fragrance of really good vanilla.

Good Shepherd Ube Jam.  The first time I went up to Baguio, this was the only thing I was adamant to get.  I fortunately got a couple of bottles.  But being the inexperienced traveler that I was then, I ended up with a duffel bag of clothes stained with the bright shade of purple, with the contents letting off an arresting sweet scent once the zipper parted the two toothed edges of my genuine leather bag.  I felt sorry that some of my tops became adorned with shards of glass.  But I was beyond consolation when I realized that my dreams then of purple bliss went kaput.  But by this time, like most of the country, I’ve loved this ube (purple yam) jam for years.  It has become synonymous with the country’s summer capital and has arguably remained to be the best commercially available version of this Filipino treat.  It’s still the smoothest and it’s not so dense.  And, as claimed by bold uppercase letters on the label, Good Shepherd Ube Jam has remained to be “NO ARTICIAL COLOR ADDED.”

Good Shepherd Ube Jam 01


Good Shepherd Ube Jam 07

Consistently smooth and yummy, a bottle gets wiped out in one sitting.

Mama’s Kitchen Mango Chewies.  Proudly declared to be homemade in Arevalo, Iloilo City, Mama’s Kitchen’s Mango Chewies belong to my short list of the best Filipino cookies.  Though this one has the reputation of being hard-to-find (or should it be “hard-to-come-by”?).  Only one person knew where to get this exactly.  That was, until one of my new friends brought back this box for me.  And where did he find it?!  At the domestic airport of all places!  I’ve been to Iloilo myself a few times and I had never seen this in any of the airport stalls.  What I like about this cookie is that it does taste original, not a dumbed-down version of any western cookie like the chocolate chip or the classic butter.  What I love most is its tender crumb that turns into a really chewy, almost taffy-like consistency, foiled only by the candied mangoes and the cashew nuts.  And it has to be said that its best quality is that it is not sweet at all.  Sinfully delicious but not sweet.

Cookies - Mango Chewies 00

Left at my desk – Mama's Kitchen Mango Chewies. This is arguably one of the Philippines' finest!


Cookies - Mango Chewies 03

Up close... see the candied mangoes and cashew nuts generously embedded in each "mango chewies" cookie!

Guimaras Fruits Fruta_Piaya with Real Guimaras Mango Fruit.  I’ve never appreciated the “piaya,” which is simply an unleavened flattened bread with muscovado sugar filling.  But with this “Fruta_Piaya” from Guimaras, I made an exception.  This is still the usual piaya, but instead of the muscovado, it’s Guimaras mangoes that’s inside.  Why are they so good?  It’s all in the label.

Cookies - Mango Piaya 00

Guimaras Fruits "Fruta_Piaya" filled with delicious Guimaras mangoes.


Cookies - Mango Piaya 01

That's the look of perfectly baked piaya! Definitely loved this!




One response

2 09 2010

i miss ube jam and piaya!! the mango chewies looks so yummy 🙂


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