Friday, October 10, 2008
Food and Memories
I hope you'd agree that some food make you remember things. When I was a little girl, I remember how my parents would buy us some really delicious stuff. One of those I vividly remember is the Mazapan de Pili. They used to come wrapped in foils, smelled of nut and vanilla, were chewy and never tasted too sweet.
As I was growing up, somehow those mazapan disappeared from the shopping list. I really don't know whether they were bought from the supermarket or from a specialty store or bought from someone who travelled to Bicol, but for a very long time I had not been able to taste that wonderful flavor that I remember.
Not until last Saturday, that is, when I paid a visit to the Bicol Exhibit held at the Megatrade hall of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. I went to the exhibit hall because these interest me - there are so many things there that I can learn from. One of the things I like about going to these food exhibits is the way they would let the visitors have a sample of their goods. As I was almost done with my visit, I chanced upon this stall where they claimed to have no flour in their Mazapan de Pili. At first I didn't quite believe what they said. Everyone said almost the same thing - that their product is the best, that I should take one sample and I would learn to love what they were offering me. But not me. Through the years, I have learned to be more discriminate with my choices.
Just the same I gave that mazapan a shot. I'm glad I did. It turned out to be truly the best one I have ever tasted since my childhood. It is the same as the mazapan I had been looking for! That one that brought back memories of my childhood, my mom and my family.
That mazapan de pili is a product of Albay Pilinut. I had asked them for a short interview and the owners were happy to oblige. They are the original makers of mazapan. The owners are the 3rd generation of this 70-year old nut candy factory and had inherited it from their grandfather, Don Antonio Morales Regidor Sr., a Spaniard who chose to live in the Philippines and had started the business way back in 1936.
I didn't have the opportunity to taste all of the goods they had on display. But what I did try were the Mazapan, the crispy pili (which had hondey) and the salted pili which were all of extraordinary quality. These products retained the taste of the indigenous pilinut and used minimal natural additives to enhance the flavor of the nut, making it the finest and most excellent delicacies of the province.
Although the factory and the stores are found only in Legazpi City in Bicol, their products can be ordered and shipped to Manila and any part of the world. I was told that for less than a hundred pesos extra, a huge box of their delicacies could be delivered door-to-door to any part of Metromanila. I had asked because I intend to buy some for my dad to bring to mommy in the US.
To order, you may call their Telefax at +63 (52) 481 11-61 or their office number at +63 (52) 820-3529. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.