My sister’s friend has recently been to Baguio, considered the Philippines’ summer capital because the temperature there remains bearable during summer, and has brought home a couple of food pasalubongs for us to enjoy.
My favorite among the bunch happens to be the strawberry jam, well, strawberry preserves. The sugar drowns out whatever strawberry flavor there is in the syrup but the whole pieces of the strawberries make up for that. I’d have it with bread or hotcakes but sometimes I would sneak a spoon to the bottle and savor just the sweet fruit. We don’t get enough strawberries here in Bulacan, not as much as mangoes and other fruits anyway. The few that tend to end up in the market are quite costly, fruit and jam alike. Although during the cold months of January and February, strawberries from Baguio do tend to trickle down where we are.
One could get different kinds of peanut brittle in Baguio. Some with whole nuts, some chopped. Some with butter, others just the brown sugar. They come in discs wrapped in plastic or lodged in plastic containers. I prefer the buttery ones with chopped nuts. Primarily because we can easily get the disc-shaped ones that only have brown sugar and whole peanuts from the market.
Now this is a new one for me: ube flavored lengua de gato. I am an absolute fan of plain lengua de gato (See? my love for cats even extends to food. ) that it’s one of the food items I would purchase when I was in grade/high school even if just a small packet would eat up my allowance for the day. I love how it would melt in my mouth and leave behind sweet buttery goodness. Since Baguio is also known for its ube (purple yam) jams and halaya, it’s not surprising they now have ube flavored lengua de gato. Sadly the one we received was not melt-in-your-mouth nor buttery enough for me. The ube taste is there, if just a smidgen.
If you’re planning to get food pasalubongs from Baguio, make sure to check your purchases carefully. Once, we ourselves, were able to purchase a bottle of strawberry preserves with no pieces of strawberries in them. Just strawberry seeds and syrup. Another time, the container we got only had peanut brittle on the sides and bottom. It was hollow. No peanut brittle in the center. The sad part is that there’s no manufacturer’s name and contact details on the labels. Sometimes there’s no list of ingredients used in the products nor expiration date on the label as well. Attention DTI Baguio!