You’re reading my blog right now probably because we share a common interest—we both love Filipino food. But our passion for the local cuisine should not start in the kitchen; it begins at the market. Knowing how to check the freshness of the foods and ingredients that you buy is just as important as cooking and food preparation.
Whether you shop at your neighborhood palengke or a posh supermarket, picking the freshest produce is a skill that one learns from experience. The freshness of the food that you buy will definitely affect the outcome of the food or dish that you prepare.
I personally love grocery shopping and going to the market. There’s something about it that I find therapeutic. But I also understand that not everyone likes doing this chore, so I’ll make it easier for you with some of my tips on how to pick the best and the freshest produce. But first, here are my rules of thumb:
- Support your local public or farmers’ market.
- Use your senses of touch, smell, sight, and hearing. Taste if possible.
- Preferably, shop in the morning. The early bird catches the worm!
- Buy produce in season for the best price and taste.
Pandesal is one of my favorite breakfast carbs, next to garlic fried rice or sinangag. Perhaps, the most popular type of bread in the Philippines, pandesal or pan de sal is a simple yeast-raised bread that, despite its name (which is Spanish for salt bread), actually tastes sweeter than salty reflecting Pinoys‘ love for sweets.
If it’s your first time to bake bread, I tell you, this pandesal recipe is fairly easy to make. In fact, pandesal was the first type of bread that I made and it came out perfectly!
Although it’s important that you religiously follow any kind of recipe in baking, this pandesal recipe is very forgiving if you made minor mistakes in the process. For example, if you added too much liquid, you can always add more flour. You can also add filling, such as cheese, corned beef, or pork giniling for a tastier treat.
If you live in a big household like me, chances are, you have a very disorganized pantry and fridge. If not, kudos to you and your family. Every now and then, people at home would pass by the supermarket or palengke to grab a bottle of ketchup or a hand of bananas only to be left in the refrigerator’s time-space warp corner, bound to be buried in oblivion.
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
Improper food storage can lead to a wastage of good food and hard-earned money. Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food gets lost or wasted globally. Not only that, it can also jeopardize your family’s health and well-being. Did you know that more that 350,000 people die of food poisoning worldwide? These are the statistics that I’m sure you don’t want to be a part of.
So, how can we be part of the solution and not of the problem? We can start by teaching ourselves where to store food items to prolong their shelf life. Some foods like the cold, moist environment while some last longer in a dry, open space. Which common Filipino food items should be kept inside or outside the fridge? Let’s find out: