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Fresh starts: New Filipino summer flavors to try |

Food and Leisure

Fresh starts: New Filipino summer flavors to try

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Fresh starts: New Filipino summer flavors to try
Clockwise: Conti's new salads, NutriAsia's UFC Spaghetti Sauce, Army Navy hot sauces, Midnight Bakers' freshly cooked Bibingka / Dolly Dy-Zulueta; NutriAsia, Conti's, Army Navy / Released

CAINTA, Philippines — The long Christmas season is over, and now it’s time for another exciting period, one filled with making resolutions and drawing up goals as we look back to help ourselves recalibrate the future.

It’s that special time when we dust off the excesses of the festive holiday season and clean our plates for a fresh new start. And as new starts go, the best ones are those filled with health-giving goodness for better minds and hearts and more positive moods this year. 

Homemade salads

The new salads of Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant perfectly fit the bill. Light but filling, tasty but healthy, they’re sure to help make new beginnings or restarts for this exciting time of the year as delightful as everyone hopes.

The Signature Salad has all the classic goodness everyone loves in one bowl – fresh strawberry slices, candied walnuts, and crispy mixed greens tossed in Conti’s’ signature raspberry vinaigrette. The dish is topped with lacey parmesan crisps for added taste and texture. It’s something special but light and fresh and nothing complicated. And it has something in common with Conti’s’ signature cakes: layers of complementing flavors. It’s tangy, sweet, and salty that gives a singular gastronomic delight.

For a bit more indulgence without the guilt, the new Homemade Caesar Salad serves up fresh greens with Southern-style chicken fillet, croutons, and the brand's zesty homemade Caesar dressing. The bowl is topped with soft-boiled egg and anchovy to taste. 

The new salad bowls further expand the homegrown restaurant chain’s menu, providing more healthy but delectable options alongside classic and popular food dishes and the brand’s well-loved cakes. Designed to put the fresh in fresh starts and the new in new beginnings for 2023, the Signature Salad and Homemade Caesar’s Salad are perfect for those seeking better mental and heart health this year. 

These new salads are available for dine-in in all of the brand's branches throughout the Philippines. Also available via Grab and Foodpanda. 

New artisanal ice cream pint collection

Artisanal ice cream at its best, Sebastian’s has finally released its new limited edition ice cream in pint collection for 2023. Available only at the online store, this pint collection is made up of four of the most popular flavors that emerged from the sales made at Sebastian’s flagship store at The Podium in 2022. 

These four new flavors, available in pints for a limited time, are Ube Champorado, Manggang Mangga, Cookie Dough Explosion, and Leche Flan con Naranja.

Ube Champorado is one of the kakanin ice creams that have become a Sebastian’s signature creation. For this one, Ian Carandang, the ice cream genius behind the brand, simmered malagkit rice in ube milk until tender and then folded it into an ube ice cream base. You can feel the grains of rice in the ice cream as you eat it.

Manggang Mangga is made using fresh mangoes that are at the peak of ripeness. The mango ice cream comes layered with mango sorbet ripple and mango chunks.

Cookie Dough Explosion is three different cookie doughs—chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough, and brownie batter—mixed with Fior di Latte Ice Cream.

Leche Flan con Naranja is leche flan ice cream with candied orange peel. Both are made in-house and, together, they bring a whole new layer of depth and complexity into the smoothest ice cream ever. These four pint flavors are set to tickle every ice cream lover’s fancy.

Freshly cooked Bibingka is just a click away

Who says you can only enjoy freshly made Bibingka during Christmastime? These days, you can have it all year round. Some Filipino restaurants and cafés serve it for merienda or dessert. Some communities are lucky to have neighborhood eateries set up a Bibingka stall in the afternoon to serve residents’ craving for the popular rice cake. The latest development: Now you can also enjoy freshly cooked Bibingka by ordering online.

Midnight Bakers, an online bakeshop and food delivery business, makes freshly cooked Bibingka available with a click of your techie fingers. Same day delivery to the entire National Capital Region (NCR) is possible, with customers booking their own courier. Made from rice flour and coconut milk, topped with cheese and served with freshly grated coconut, these hefty 200-gram rice cakes come in boxes of 6 at P720 per box. To order, call 0917-6267200.

New hot sauce-for-everything

Take your potluck up a notch with the newest hot sauce in town - Army Navy’s ¡Caracoles! , which takes inspiration from Mexican flavors and is a mini (6 ml bottle) yet spicy addition to your favorite condiments. The unique flavor and intense heat is all thanks to the perfect blend of chili peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar. Add some flare to your favorites with every drop of ¡Caracoles! Here are top five picks that make the hottest combo for your gatherings: Fearless Fried Chicken, Steak Burrito, Querida Mia Baja Chicken, Crunchy Tacos and Pasta & Meatballs. 

The new sauces are available at all stores nationwide of Army Navy, a casual service restaurant pioneered in the Philippines which specializes in a unique burger + burrito concept. The brand offers a diversified menu of premium quality burgers and burritos made with 100% high quality ingredients. 

Tribute to OFWs

“A Touch of Christmas” is NutriAsia’s tribute to Overseas Filipino Workers, who cannot wait to reconnect with their families through great meals prepared with top-quality NutriAsia food products. The Philippines’ leading food company, NutriAsia, released their film “A Touch of Christmas” to celebrate the sacrifices of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). 

The film features an OFW and also a mother, coming home in time for the holidays, and her struggle of reconnecting with her estranged young son after a long time of being apart. This scenario is not far from real life as according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), over half of the OFW population or 60.2% are Filipina breadwinners, which inevitably includes mothers. 

Mels Timan, NutriAsia’s Content and Creatives Manager for Corporate Marketing and Communications said, “This film is our homage to the courage and sacrifice of Filipino workers abroad who tirelessly strive to provide a better life for their loved ones.” 

The film also captures how only a lucky few of our OFWs are able to spend time with their families for the holidays and how important that time is. The brand allows families to gather around great meals and share happiness. Timan said, “For over three decades, NutriAsia has been enriching the Filipino Noche Buena experience with its powerhouse of biggest and most iconic brands that turn meal occasions into Masarap, Masaya moments.” 

With distribution channels not just in the Philippines but also in other areas in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and North America, the brand is able to deliver the promise of a Masarap, Masaya way of life, bringing a taste of home and the goodness of life to Filipinos here, and even to those living and working abroad, who, unfortunately, cannot come home just yet.

“As the leading provider of Pinoy sauces... NutriAsia will continue to nourish local and global Pinoys with the deliciousness of the Filipino way of life, today and for all the tomorrows to come,” Timan maintained.

“We chose to adopt a global perspective in producing our well-loved condiments. There are more [than] 10 million Filipinos living abroad and more than 1 million Filipinos leaving the country each year to work overseas. No matter how far their various endeavours bring them away from the comforts of home, there are certain things you can never leave behind. Like our ubiquitous tabo, our Datu Puti, Silver Swan, Mang Tomas, and UFC Banana Catsup go wherever the Filipinos are." 

RELATED: Cook Batangas Lomi at home with this recipe from Nina Daza-Puyat

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