Kitchen & Pantry

Today’s lunch: fried sun-dried danggit (rabbitfish) and ensaladang mustasa (mustard leaves salad)

Today’s lunch: fried sun-dried danggit (rabbitfish) and ensaladang mustasa (mustard leaves salad) | casaveneracion.com

Last night at Eastwood City, between dinner (Buffet 101 — lousy) and the last full show (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Sam and Alex spent two hours at Dimensione (oh, they love houseware and knick knacks!) and Fully Booked (they discovered hardbound editions of classics). I wanted to step out for a smoke while Speedy couldn’t resist going to the hardware so we agreed to meet the girls at Fully Booked.

On the way to meet the girls, we visited the food stalls that dotted the open area on the second floor. Some were interesting, some were downright boring but two stood out. One was selling chocolate bars with very witty names. I asked the seller if the chocolate bars had at least 70% cacao content (that’s my requirement) but she didn’t know. The best information she could offer was that, according to her boss, they were made with “chocolate compound”. Not enough information. We walked on. Then, we came upon Lola Consuelo’s. I didn’t make the connection immediately but, looking back now, I think it’s the same brand that sold tsokolateng tablea a few years back. If they were still selling tsokolateng tablea, I never noticed — my eyes were on the bottles of vinegar. There were several varieties (plain, with chili and with turmeric) and all were made from kaong (sugar palm nut).

Lola Consuelo's kaong (sugar palm) vinegar with turmeric

Because of the experience with the girl manning the chocolate-bars-with-witty-names stall, I decided to ask the Lola Consuelo guy (obviously, the owner of the business) what kaong was. I couldn’t resist it. I wouldn’t buy anything from anyone who doesn’t know what he’s selling. So, I asked. And he knew exactly what kaong was. He even explained what makes vinegar processed from kaong different. I was hopeful.

Next came the taste tests. The seller encouraged us to sample the vinegars. He also offered information on the health benefits of turmeric.

Lola Consuelo's kaong (sugar palm) vinegar with turmeric

We bought a bottle of the kaong vinegar with turmeric and used it as a dipping sauce for the fried danggit that we had for lunch today. Delicious! The vinegar is mild in the mouth with none of the scorching acidic mouth feel of commercial vinegar made with too any artificial acids.

Lola Consuelo's ensaladand mustasa

But, more than the vinegar, I was smitten by the ensaladang mustasa. I saw the tubs while Speedy was still sampling the vinegar varieties. The Lola Consuelo’s owner offered me a sample of the salad and, goodness, it was so good I immediately said I was going to blog about it. And that little outburst earned me a PHP50.00 discount that I did not ask for. I would have blogged about the products without the discount but I do appreciate the gesture. Thank you, Lola Consuelo’s owner (so sorry I forgot to get your name).

Lola Consuelo's ensaladand mustasa

For those interested in trying Lola Consuelo’s products, the owner said he is at the Eastwood mall every weekend although the location of the stall varies from week to week. It won’t be hard to locate it because all the food stalls are on the second floor. There are so many Lola Consuelo’s products and we’ll try more next time.

By the way, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was soooo enjoyable.

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