(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.

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