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.
After weeks of testing different recipes, I fell in love with the beautiful Breville Smart Oven BOV800. Let me tell you why.
The Breville Smart Oven is the first and only smart oven in the country. It’s bigger than a standard toaster, smaller than a regular oven, but has all their functions plus more.
Just a little background, Breville is a premium brand from Australia known as a maker of small kitchen appliances for more than 80 years. The brand created the original sandwich toaster and its name has become synonymous to the appliance, just like how the Hoover brand is associated with the vacuum cleaner. Breville also makes premium kitchen appliances, such as coffeemakers, juicers, food processors, and mixers. But today, I will be talking about their smart oven.
Baking is not exactly a piece cake (sorry for the pun), but it’s something that I’ve always wanted to learn. I have baked cookies and cupcakes and pasta before, and I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. But unlike cooking, I don’t bake regularly because it is a tedious, precise food preparation, and it takes lots of patience, practice, and so many tools.
I’ll talk about the outcome of my test recipes later, but for now, check out the slides below and find out what features and accessories come with the Breville Smart Oven:
“This is the book that I’ve always wanted to write.” I told Amy Besa, co-author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, a book of Filipino stories and recipes gathered from all over the country.
“I get that a lot,” she replied with a sweet smile on her face. She was about to sign the book, so she asked, “What’s your name?”
“GJ,” I said. “I’m a food blogger. I blog about my lola’s recipes.”
“That’s great! You should write a book too!” she said. And that’s the same message that she scribbled as she signed her name on the title page.