10 great finds at Philippine Harvest fair

Angelo G. Garcia

Posted at Sep 23 2017 02:01 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2017 02:06 PM

MANILA — The 6th Philippine Harvest fair, which opened Friday, is a showcase of local products — and more.

This year, lead organizers Department of Agriculture (DA) and Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) partnered with the French Embassy in Manila to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Philippine-France diplomatic relations. 

Dubbed “Philippine Harvest Meets Bon Appetit,” some French products are also showcased in the fair.

“What is the best way to commemorate the 70 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries but food,” said DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat. 

The fair highlights some of the best food products in the country, from the premium chocolates of Davao to the award-winning coffee of Sagada. 

“This is yet another way of enriching the lives of our customers—by offering them the opportunity to experience and appreciate the different varieties of Philippine and French food products, as well as meet the men and women behind them,” said SSI Group Inc. president Anthony Huang. 

The three-day event, which runs until Sunday, is being held at Central Square of Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City. 

Here are some of the great finds at the fair:

1. EL TIGRE CHILI EXTRACT FROM DAVAO

In 2012, Typhoon Pablo, one of the strongest typhoons to hit Mindanao in recent years, struck the southern island of the country. The storm destroyed homes and residents' sources of livelihood. In Cateel, Davao Oriental, residents were given an opportunity to rebuild through the help of the local government and non-profit organizations. After the storm, the community was given seeds of siling labuyo (bird's eye chili) for a potential new livelihood. The result is a product that can rival any hot chili sauce in the market today. El Tigre produces two variants—a chili extract made with chili, garlic, and turmeric, and a chili paste made of chili, garlic, turmeric, and honey. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

2. WIT FRANCE: LUXURY WINE BY THE GLASS

Established in 2008, WIT France solves the problem of sampling premium French wine without buying a whole bottle. The brand sells some of the best French wines in 100 ml and 50 ml test tube-like bottles. The price ranges from P300 to P1,450. Wine lovers can enjoy premium French wines without having to spend much. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

3. OH SO HEALTHY! FRUIT CRISPS

Oh So Healthy! is a healthy alternative to fried chips. Produced in Valenzuela City, the brand mixes different fruits together and dehydrates them to create crunchy fruit chips. They currently have three variants: purple yam banana coconut; mango sweet potato banana, and guava purple yam banana. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

4. HIRAYA BAKERY

According to owner Colette dela Cruz, she tries to make pastries that don't follow current trends but rather highlights seasonal local products by mixing them into her unique creations. Dela Cruz is from San Pablo, Laguna and only sells her products at bazaars. What's unique about her products is her use of local seasonal and non-traditional ingredients, so she has different products every season. One of her bestsellers is the Cerveza Negra chocolate cake, a decadent chocolate cake that uses the popular local dark lager. Her kamias brownie is also a must-try. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

5. PAMORA FARM CHICKEN PRODUCTS

Pamora Farm prides itself in raising free-range chicken. Located in Abra, the farm sells free-range eggs, chicken meat, and premium patés. Some of the paté variants include chicken gizzard, and chicken liver. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

6. BALANGAY'S BEST DRIED FISH

With a witty slogan “It's worth drying for!” and funny product names such as Darling Danggit, Mommy Dilis, and Baby Bangsi, Balangay's Best definitely wins with clever marketing. There's actually more to the brand than just selling dried seafood, a Filipino favorite. The company works with seven communities in the Visayas, where they also teach responsible and sustainable fishing under their program Fish Forever. They are making sure that there will still be danggit for future generations. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

7. ENGKANTO CRAFT BEER

Engkanto Brewery takes its beer seriously and with a little bit of magic. Founded by Ian Paradies, Engkanto is one of the more popular craft beers available in several bars in Metro Manila. Crafted with love, the brewery's magic does not come from elementals but rather from brew master Josh Karten. Variants include lager, blonde, pale, IPA, and double IPA. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

8. SGD COFFEE

Various produce thrive in Sagada. Its fertile soil and cool climate are perfect for cultivating vegetables, fruits and, of course, coffee. SGD Coffee is the pride of Sagada especially after winning recently at a coffee competition in Paris, France. The single origin brand uses Arabica beans that are naturally grown, handpicked, and naturally processed. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

9. STANFORD AND SHAW OLD FASHIONED GINGER ALE

Who would have thought that a delicious, sweet, and fizzy ginger ale is produced somewhere in Mandaluyong? Stanford and Shaw produces old-fashioned ginger ale in 600 ml bottles. The drink has a bold ginger flavor, sweet, and refreshing. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia

10. RITUAL LOCAL PRODUCTS

Ritual carries various products from different parts of the country like raw honey from Negros, sukang sasa from Quezon, turmeric powder from Marinduque, kalingag powder from Davao and South Cotabato, and coconut sugar from Aklan, just to name a few. Ritual's products are simply packaged and highlights their origin. Its newest and must try product is the Dulce Gatas from Negros, made with carabao milk and muscovado sugar. Photo by Angelo G. Garcia