Filipino food: Mango Bene and Hot Tsokolate

I'm not into sweets so much, but I love love LOVE mangoes, especially the sweet Philippine varieties. Someone made this dessert at a family event and my son didn't finish his so, thanks to my habit of polishing off his leftovers, I discovered this great dessert, Mango Bene. (If you are looking for a recipe try searching for Mango Float). This one below is from Mary Grace, a great cafe chain in Manila. It consists of layers of meringue, homemade cream and sweet mango slices in between, and is served frozen at this cafe. At my family gathering it wasn't served frozen, and I thought it was perfect for the hot summer day in the province. Whenever we had Mango Bene, I had to order a cup of traditional tsokolate too. If at home we drop a … [Read more...]

Tropical Fruits in the Philippines

I ate so many fruits while I was there. If I never eat another mango again, I know I'll have eaten the sweetest, most buttery melt-in-your-mouth mangoes on the planet, in the Philippines. Chesa, the two more orange fruits next to the guyabana (green prickly-skin fruit), is grown from an evergreen tree native to Mexico and South America but now cultivated across Asia. It's in the same genus as Cambodia's Lamut, which is smaller and browner. Sri Lankans call their varieties laulu/lavulu/lawalu. Another variety that may have a more familiar ring to English speakers is Sapodilla. Guyabana is a fruit in the Annona genus in the pawpaw/sugar apple family, which I believe is native to the Andes but now cultivated in many countries that don't … [Read more...]

Then and now – going home is bittersweet

Looking through photos from our trip to the Philippines back in December. It was such a treat to meet the extended families (who I sadly don't recall very well), but who have so many stories of us, and who even dug out some of our old toys or pictures and diplomas and long-forgotten trinkets from our past. Trying to digitize all of it is a project! … [Read more...]

Learning Filipino etiquette

"Mano po" is a gesture showing respect towards the elderly. Growing up in the US, I've slowly lost the old customs.. being back in the Philippines brings it all back. Need to re-adopt some of them! … [Read more...]