Monday, May 31, 2010

For the love of food

The 'ultimate' foodie event

MANILA, Philippines - Some 50 suppliers provided bite-size portions of their products -- from pulutan (finger food) to pasta to desserts -- to over a thousand foodies in what is probably Manila's biggest gastronomic event this summer.

The Ultimate Taste Test, held at the NBC Tent early this month, allowed foodies to sample Manila's delights in exchange for an honest assessment of the suppliers' offerings. The fourth since 2009, the event is the brainchild of Anton Diaz, founder of the increasingly popular "Our Awesome Planet" (OAP) blog.

"It's good that we're able to help out a lot of food suppliers who want to be known to the foodie community. And of course, we're able to help out a lot of people, especially foodies, who want to sample the latest food offerings," Diaz said.

I was among the foodies who got to try out local and international treats in the Ultimate Taste Test, which is held 3 times a year. A lot of them were good, while a number of them failed to make a statement.

Here are some of the food items that managed to stand out (in no particular order):

Empanada Avenue's chicken empanada. This stuffed pastry is a cheap yet fulfilling treat that's perfect for people who are on the go. The chicken filling was tasty and unpretentious -- it reminded me a lot of home. Credit: Ian Layno

Boneless lechon from Pepita's Kitchen. Several foodies lined up for this boneless treat, it was gone in a few minutes. Instead of bones, the lechon is stuffed with flavorful rice which tasted a bit like paella. Credit: Ian Layno

Marty's baconette strips by Oishi. One of the simplest items in the bunch, yet the most satisfying -- addictive, even. The strips were crispy and tasted a lot like bacon, although they looked a lot like doggie treats. Credit: Ian Layno

Holly's chocolate milk by Real Fresh Dairy Farms. It has a light, elegant and silky taste, unlike most chocolate milk products that taste like a combination of sugar and melted chocolate. Credit: Ian Layno

Flavored milky ice flakes from Snowflakes Creamery. This cold treat is far from indulgent, and that's what makes it stand out. Its delicate taste is a refreshing take from most overly sweet ice cream variants. Credit: Ian Layno

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