(New) More Theo & Philo Chocolate Flavors!

We are happy to introduce the new Theo & Philo flavors in our shop: ginger and calamansi! The pan de sal flavor is gone, but sink your teeth into these two tropical lovelies.


(New) Sewing Tools

Mending things reminds us that we have the ability to make things right again. It soothes our subconscious and acquaints us with problem solving at a small, manageable level. I cannot begin to expound on the therapeutic value of taking a needle to a hem that was undone, and holding your finished creation up for inpsection.

Sewing in itself has always been an important domestic avenue of creativity and invention. My grandmother would innovate on the toaster cover by including a pocket for small tongs (to handle hot bread with).

Unfortunately, in an age when shortening an ordinary pair of pants in Makati will set you back about 100 pesos, the tools (and skills) of sewing are obviously no longer ubiquitous.

Thimbles (above, on middle finger) were originally essential in every household, but are now met with puzzled looks. I still remember getting a fancy painted porcelain one as a childhood present! They are used protect the finger from needle pokes, or to help push needles into thick fabric like denim. They have small indentations that allow for slip-free forcing of the needle through.

We have a bunch of stainless steel ones at the shop.

Tailoring scissors or shears are used to cut through heavier fabric, where "normal" smaller pairs of scissors would prove challenging to use. Traditionally, they are made with cast iron and steel, with a brass bolt holding the blades together. It provides the weight for a steadier hand.

Our tailoring scissors are vintage pairs made from traditional materials, and come in these awesome boxes. They have a well-sized cutting edge (the "bottom" blade), allowing for good slicing through your pet fabrics.


(New) Cotton Tablecloth

It seems a bit hardcore to call tablecloths "biodegradable", but it's worth a mention that today's standard vinyl, nylon, and poly tablecloths have the ecological effects of giant plastic bags. We've tried composting them, and they don't. They end up in landfills.

Hence, we have a few of these rough cotton tablecloths available. They look better anyway.


(New) Local Cheese, Forest "Prunes", Dried Squid and Kamias

We now stock one variety of Malagos Farmhouse cheese. There is only one that is not sold in plastic-- Blush, a semi-soft, cow's milk cheese that is mild and succulent. It was marinated in bignay (Antidesma bunius) wine, and has mild hints of fruit and blue. The flavor is actually more complex than the first impression-- for us, it would resemble Camembert, then segue into a non-smoky Idiazabal. They are beautiful wheels. Olive Puentespina of Malagos, Davao, really puts her heart into her cheeses, and she makes them a cut above all the hobby-level stuff in the metro.

Those that trawl organic supermarket sections have seen these dagwey (Saurauia subglabra) preserves before. They are from a forest tree from Nueva Vizcaya, and are sweetened with some sugar and dried. They taste like prunes, and are an addictive snack. They can also be used to bake prune cakes, and do call us for a tasting when you do. They do well with yogurt and granola. I imagine a Moroccan tagine or some pate with it. Yes? Now you can get them in small or large quantities, without packaging.

And dried squid for breakfast! The thin, "ballpen" type, scientifically called Uroteuthis bartschi. This species swims inshore in the shallow waters of the Calamianes Islands, and contains light-producing organs. They are processed naturally, sundried with no preservatives. Fry them and eat (dipped or not in vinegar) with garlic rice. They can also be used to add a bit of mysterious complexity to your broths and sauces. For Korean and Japanese style preparations, soak for a bit before slicing and cooking.

And ah, kamias. We used to pluck the fresh ones off the tree and eat with rock salt, testing the limits of our taste buds. Some would candy them. But the season does not last all year. Luckily, Batanguenos dry them religiously, and use throughout the months to make sinaing na tulingan, or guinataang tambakol. You can also boil them to make a sour summer punch! We've been so happy that people are trying this out at the shop. We love to see you experiment.

(New) Refill Your Jam Jar

... Or any jar, for that matter. We are now allowing you to bring your jars in for our "Jam of the Moment", Pineapple Coconut Rhum. It is positively one of the most fun sweet preserves there is.

The Fruit Garden makes local jams using traditional French methods and that famous copper pot. Pierre is quite ecologically minded as well and has allowed us to take the whole jam refilling concept for a spin. The drill is: You bring a clean jar. And we will spoon jam into your clean jar. How do you like that? Jam without the unecessary jars, since you've probably got a lot lying around your house anyway. You will then refrigerate the jam immediately, in between consuming it liberally, because life is for living and jam is for eating.