12 June 2007

Jogging in the 'Hood

Do I make my area sound like the ghetto? It's really not. The Tomas Morato/Roces Avenue area is just full of culinary types preparing their restaurants for the evening. Anyway, I haven't been weighing myself but I felt bloated and inactive that I decided I wanted to run, just for fun, wake up my sleepy head and to take a tour of my surroundings, which I've been neglecting for obvious reasons.

So I dressed up as inconspicuously as I could. Don't I look normal? Don't I look unmuggable? (If not, then don't I look like the type you can't harm? How about the type with no money?) In my bag was some water, P500 for throwing at a mugger just in case, my phone, and a towel.

So, I'm trying to get rid of excess weight, right? Well, my destination was Santi's Delicatessen. Yeah, a food market. Great. But I love the place, and it's the best place to go to (in addition to Cook's Exchange) to exercise your culinary self.


This is the most complete spice rack I've seen. I'm a big fan of Kettle Chips's Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper (which has 3 kinds of pepper- black, jalapeno, and cayenne), so I got ground Cayenne pepper. Also, you can see artichoke hearts (which I LOVE) and asparagus spears (which I also LOVE) there, which might be useful for an entree later.

Here are the basic sauces-- soy sauce (sweet, dark, brewed), Sambal Oelek, Mint Jelly-- I don't have much use for these now.
Here are the shelves for the beans, pulses, grains, and pasta. I've always wanted to make cornbread and polenta (I like the crunch and the flavor).
mustards and oils
Here are the mustards (yes, they have several different kinds), liver spreads, and oils.
Here they have instant mixes and marinades, and on the right you have tea and jam. Above you can see packets of instant potato dishes (gratin, mashed)-- not good for you unless pressed for time. I bought satay mix and peanut sauce mix. I would have preferred to make my own but I haven't come across a recipe that tasted good enough to repeat, plus there is the factor of spices accumulating in you cupboard, like cumin, which will easily lose its bite.
Butcher meats. Really expensive, but only few markets will know what you're talking about when you ask for sirloin, rump roast, top round, or such. Only tenderloin has crept through the language barrier, weird.
Deli meats. I'm not a huge fan of sausage, so a well-chosen seasoned wurst from PriceSmart is good enough for me. However, few places will have turkey ham and italian deli meats.
Cheeses. Probably the only place I know that sells Mascarpone. But the price is prohibitive, so unless you plan on serving a crowd, get your Tiramisu from La Piadina.
Biscuits and fruit juices. I'm fairly satisfied with Nissin's Butter Coconut Biscuits. See? I'm not all complicated.
And here's my favorite area, the dessert area. It has dried fruit, chocolate, nuts, ground nuts (a lifesaver for those of us without food processors), and dessert sauces. I didn't show the freezer section. I was clandestinely taking pictures by pretending to think with my phone on my chin (the "Oprah" hold). I bought a package of frozen spinach because it was cheap and saves me some time on cooking spinach.

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