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Monday, October 2, 2017

Bataan: Top 10 Food Pasalubong or Food Products

Bataan is a province very near Metro Manila.  Unlike Metro Manila, it has a coastal area making it rich in Marine Food Products.  It also has a lot of other gourmet food products that's great as food pasalubong. 

bataan food pasalubong
So what are the top food pasalubong to buy when you're in Bataan?

Top 10 Food Pasalubong or Food Products from Bataan
Let us share our top 10 food pasalubong or food products from Bataan.

1. Montey's Buko Pie
monteys buko piemonteys buko pie

From the town of Morong Bataan is Montey's Buko Pie.  A whole pie costs only 150 php.   We found this cheaper than the more commercialize Buko Pie's from the south - Tagaytay and Laguna.

monteys buko pie
What we love about Montey's Buko Pie is that:
  • it is not too sweet therefore, bringing out the natural young coconut flavor
  • the custard has a soft creamy and gelatinous texture 
  • the crisp of the crust is addictive to munch on
  • there is a generous amount of young coconut flesh
2. Busilak's Cashew Prunes
busilaks cashew prunes
Busilak makes use of the all cashew by-products by making the cashew apple into Cashew Prunes.  The Cashew Prunes have a nice chewy texture and not overly sweetened.  This is a great alternative to candies.  If we recall correctly, it is priced at 100 php per pack.

busilak cashew prune bignay wine
They also have wines which we didn't get to try...

3. Dennis Ube De Leche Halaya
dennis ube de leche halaya
What makes Dennis Ube De Leche Halaya different from other Ube Halaya in the market is its silky smooth creaminess.  Because they don't use preservatives, this spoils very quickly.  Each spoonful is a massage to the tongue with an explosion of purple yam flavor making it difficult to stop yourself from consuming this.

dennis bagoong
Dennis sells other gourmet bottle food products.  The Bagoong or shrimp paste is quite good too.

4. Beakris Tamarind Balls
beakris tamarind balls
Not too sweet, not too sour with a mild chewiness that doesn't need extra effort to bite into, Beakris Tamarind Balls is another popular sweet treat in the area.  A box costs around 90 php.  Beakris from Orani Bataan also has other famous products such as their chocolate coated polvoron.

5. Cashew Nuts
cashew nuts
We have tried several brands of Cashew Nuts and all of them have nearly the same quality and pricing.

vangies cashew nuts
Thus, choosing the brand is only based on your own preference.  Good brands we tried are:
 A pack costs around 200 php.
Bagakeño also has Cashew Cookies which we found to be a bit sweet.  And, it has a bit of a spongy texture like that of Batangas' Broas.

 6. Ina Gloria Dayap Cookies
ina gloria dayap cookies
Although Ina Gloria also has Cashew Cookies, it is Ina Gloria's Dayap Cookies with a mellow citrusy flavor that impressed our taste buds.  The texture of the cookies is crunchy with a powdery residue similar to Bataan's Arrow Root Cookies or Araro.  A small pack costs around 35 php.

7. Amanda's Smoked Bangus and Smoked Gigi
amandas smoked bangus
We bought Smoked Bangus and Smoked Gigi or Tinapa from Amanda's as well as two vendors in Balanga's Public Market for comparison.  The price difference is not much but Amanda's of Balanga Bataan is high price point is worth every peso with its superior quality.  Although we want to support the small-scale marine industry, we can't help but be disappointed with the food quality.  The first one we bought from Balanga Public Market was too salty.  And, the other one was already spoilt within 3 days despite being refrigerated like the other two.

8. Balanga Public Market Ube Suman
No need to dip your suman into chocolate or spread it with Ube Jam, as this Ube Suman is already a combination of suman and ube halaya.  For only 10 php, you get two pieces.  Manang makes them fresh daily and boasts that she has send all her kids and grandchildren through her famous suman and other kakanin.

9. Sam Roque's Mussel Chips 
An alternative to the usual chicharon or fried pork rind is Sam's Roque's Mussel Chips. You can taste the rich sea flavors in every crispy bite.

10.  Araro Cookies or Arrow Root Cookies
Bataan's Araro Cookies or Arrow Root Cookies is more on the crunchy and less powdery side as compared to the Uraro of Pampanga.  Each brand has its own distinguishable feature.  We also can't decide which is the best.  It's a tie between:
  • Joyce Araro Cookies
  • Herrera's  Special Araro Cookies with Cashew Nuts
Other Food Products We Tried
We also bought the Tabang Tuyo at 200 php per kilo from the Balanga Market.  But, it turned out to be very salty which was quite contrary to their promise of unsaltiness.

nilupak

An old man in the market also loves and swear by the Nilupak in the Balanga Market.  Somehow this mashed cassava delicacy with margarine on top failed to make a lasting impression upon us.

Did we miss anything good?  Let us know!