…that you must definitely buy and try next time you’re there. Yes, please! My husband and I were recently in Baguio City and it was the first time we went deep into its public market – the Baguio City Market (near Session Road). We have been pretty much accustomed with pasalubong products from Baguio – ube jam, lengua de gato, fresh strawberries, strawberry jam, peanut brittle, chocolate-coated cereals and even walis (broom) but apparently these are just the tip of the Baguio product iceberg. Don’t get me wrong, I am not growing tired of the abovementioned products anytime soon but it is very refreshing, exciting and even enlightening to find out what else is out there. Without further ado, here they are:
1 – Blueberries
OMG!!! That was my initial reaction upon laying eyes on these goodies! Am I really in the Philippines or am I just dreaming? I don’t know about you but my only personal interaction with a blueberry is through its canned and dried self. I was ecstatic to say the least.
2 – Butternut Squash
Here’s another surprise. I have only heard about this particular specie of squash in books and blogs. I never thought I could have access to it in a public market here in the Philippines. Probably in a high-end grocery or weekend market but I bet it will be too expensive for me to buy.
3 – Mulberries
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!! These berries are just too beautiful, right? I can’t believe I’ve finally met it in ‘person’! Not in the Philippines at least. Of course, tasting all the berries in the world is part of My BuckEat List but I didn’t expect to fulfill that (although partly) here in the Philippines. I feel like I met a celebrity with this fruit since I’ve always admired how good it looks in photographs.
4 – Cherry Tomatoes
I’m not a big fan of tomatoes but seeing these cuties made me giddy. I just want to pop one right up to my mouth AND I actually did, hehe. Can you imagine how good these will be for pasta dishes? Yum! Yum! Yum!
5 – Grape Tomatoes
As if I wasn’t excited enough, I saw these clusters of small red balls at the bottom of one stall and found out that they’re also tomatoes – GRAPE TOMATOES!!! WOW!!! How many kinds of tomatoes are there? I would like to meet them all! Too many exclamations ha? =p
6 – Grapefruit
I’ve heard about grapefruit being good for weight loss. Yes, I do my diet research, haha! I of course looked for this fruit to check if it’ll be effective but only found it packaged as a juice in groceries. Now, we can never be sure about the purity of these juices. The fresh fruit is still the best. I can be sure there are no added sugars plus no preservatives. The latter is apparently making our metabolism go crazy in the wrong direction, if you know what I mean.
7 – Passionfruit
Passionfruit has been my go-to flavor for shakes, fruit teas, yogurt and the like since the day I’ve tried it. It has a perfect balance of sweetness, tartness and aroma. If you haven’t tried it, please do! I am just so thankful that I stopped to ask about this unassuming fruit as we were about to leave the public market. I never really knew what a passionfruit looked like. I just recognize it from a syrup bottle =p.
8 – Rhubarb
One of the American food bloggers I follow, LOVES these babies. She makes them into pie, ice cream, cake etc etc. I usually just skip those particular recipes because I am not familiar with this vegetable? or is it a fruit? I’m not sure but it sure looks a lot like celery. Anyways, the vendor told me that they usually make this into jam and gave me a quick recipe, which I unfortunately didn’t catch because of my sheer amazement. The whole world kind of faded, haha! Who would have thought that these are available here in the Philippines??? I certainly didn’t!
9 – Mushrooms (Shiitake, Button, Enoki etc.)
I love mushrooms!!! It could definitely replace meat in my diet if it is just readily available everywhere. This is why I dream of settling in Baguio! Of course, there are canned and dried versions but nothing ever beats fresh. I remember buying canned Shiitake mushroom and being sadly disappointed. It was slimy and oddly textured.
10 – Sweet Melon
Yes, that’s right, that’s a sweet melon although it doesn’t look like the melon (cantaloupe) we knew. According to the very friendly vendor, it is a fusion of melon and cucumber. Can you imagine how it tastes?
11 – Kale
This is another weight loss food which I’ve only read about online. It has become very popular in the recent years for it is indeed one of the healthiest vegetables out there. Looks good!
12 – Basil
I lost my photo of this somewhere in the process of importing from my memory card so I’m just posting here a picture of the Pesto it had become. No words can explain the deliciousness of this herb. I can eat pesto all day. I actually did and did it for three straight days, talk about addiction!
13 – Amkis (Madame Jeanette)
They’re pretty cute right? But looks can be deceiving even in food so you better not mess with these chilis. They’re very potent, nearly as potent as Habaneros, the spiciest chili known to man. Wooooohoooo it’s HOT!
14 – Cinnamon Bark
Look at that! Nice long barks of cinnamon. How alluring it smells. I know not a lot of Filipinos appreciate this particular spice but I do. I love cinnamon buns and the match made in heaven between apple and cinnamon and raisin and cinnamon. I’d say cinnamon is like an underrated supporting actress. It makes the lead star shine but is often disregarded.
15 – Sugar Red Beets
Last but not the least, Sugar Red Beets! I honestly do not have any idea where they use this. All I know is that some very chemical-conscious people use this as natural food coloring. Have you tried these?
Other berries that I’ve heard you can buy fresh in Baguio but I was not able to take a picture of:
- Goose berries
How amazing is the variety and quality of fruits and vegetables in Baguio? Baguio dwellers, how blessed you are! Can I just add that you probably have the cleanest public market in the Philippines? I can just sigh away my desire to go back right now. I definitely will, just to go to the public market again! I may not be from Baguio but I am proud and thankful as a Filipino. This country has been richly blessed with natural resources. May we all cherish and protect it. I can’t help but get sentimental at this point, hehe
Anyways, what do you think? Were you as pleasantly surprised as I am? Let me know in the comment section below ^_^