UTT 4.0 NBC Tent

#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Pepita’s Binagoongan… Ooh La La Lechon!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
Pepita’s Lechon!
 Binagoongan and Garlic, Potato & Herb Lechon

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 391
 “The binagoongan lechon with rice was delicious!”

“Lechon has the herbs I like. Yummy even without the sauce. I want
gravy to go with the gourmet meat taste of the lechon. love the roasted
– Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

Pepita’s Lechon debuted in the Ultimate Taste Test 4.0, and foodies raved about Pepita’s Filipino Binagoongan Lechon. The concept was simple — Lechon de Leche with Binagoongan Rice inside. It was awesome! But there were a few comments about the liver sauce being too “hardcore-liver” in taste.

Dedet loves lechon, and we were privy to her taste test sessions at home when she was experimenting on different flavors since last Christmas. Aside from the Binagoongan, our personal favorites were the lechon with pineapple (which tasted like ham) and the lechon with chorizo and cashew. Innovative and masarap!

The secret of Pepita’s Lechon is that they use native Lechon de leche. Plus, they are pugon-baked, which makes it really yummy because the meat is juicy and absorbs the flavor well. The crispness of the skin needs to be consistent, though, and she needs to work on the right sauces for the lechon.

Congratulations, Pepita’s Lechon! Try ordering her lechon for your next special event. 🙂

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Strawberry Ginger & Orange Whisky — The Fruit Garden Jam Love!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
The Fruit Garden Luxury Jams!
Orange Whisky, Dalandan, Strawberry Ginger, Peppered Pineapple, Mango Coriander, Mango Banana, Pineapple Banana.

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 194

“Interesting flavor combos! and they work!”


weet but with a kick at the end-

– Jams are unique and very good”

 – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

The Fruit Garden debuted in UTT3, and most of the foodies there raved about it (Read: The Fruit Garden as the Best Fruit Jams in Manila). We received Fruit Garden Jam as gifts last Christmas, and we loved it.

In UTT4, they introduced an innovative line of Jam flavors. Most foodies raved about the Strawberry Ginger, Mango Coriander, and their premium jam — Orange Whisky, made with the Scottish Glenlivet whisky, which is 12 years old!

To make jams, fruits and sugar are cooked together, so adding an exotic ingredient like ginger, coriander or whisky is quite tricky. But when balanced perfectly, it enhances the overall taste so that you won’t get tired of it and, as the UTT 4.0 foodie commented, it does give the jam a nice kick in the end.

Congratulations to The Fruit Garden for their consistent product innovation — proudly made in the Philippines!

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Denim Kitchen’s Smoked Mackerel!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
Denim Kitchen
Bangus Sardines in Canola Oil, Smoked Mackerel in Olive Oil, Crunchy Garlic, Mango Chutney

Total Number of Foodies who rated: 274
 Subtle, delicate…flavor, just right saltiness”

“Love the smoked mackerel. May konting spice.” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

This is one of the surprising discoveries in Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 because it is quite rare for foodies to rave about this kind of food. During the event, you could see a lot of the foodies were delighted with the homemade bangus sardines and the smoked mackerel.

I find the branding strategy counter-intuitive, using a type of fabric as branding for food. They do have very unique packaging, though — a 750g microwaveable tub placed in a pine crate.

The taste is way better than the bottled ones you can buy commercially. It has the right amount of flavor and salt that goes very well with rice (although some foodies did find it a bit too salty). The love and dedication the owners put in their product are quite evident in every bite.

Homemade-Tasting Food + Awesome Packaging = Winning Foodie Product!

Congratulations, Denim Kitchen!

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

The Best Fresh Chocolate Milk is made by Holly’s Milk

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner 
Holly’s Milk by Real Fresh Dairy Farms
Whole Milk, Low Fat Milk, White Cheese

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 400

“I love the milk & milk chocolate, so fresh, unlike those commercially produced milk”

Fresh, pure, high quality, fantastic dairy”  – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

We are fans of fresh milk, and my favorites include: Rizal Dairy Farms and Holly’s Milk! In UTT4, the foodies were raving about the fresh milk and fresh kesong puti by Paco Magsaysay’s Real Fresh Dairy Farms. Paco is known in the foodie circle because he founded the “Tuesday Group“, which is a foodie club that tries out the latest restaurants in the metro.

From their delicious offerings, our personal pick is Holly’s Choco Milk — it is not too sweet and has the right amount of chocolate. The chocolate is smooth and does not overpower the milk. Aidan, Joshua and I can finish one bottle in one sitting during one of our bonding sessions together.

Congratulations to Holly’s Milk! 🙂

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Tina Raines’ Frozen Lemon and Herb Pie!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner 
Frozen Pies by Tina Raines
Frozen Lemon & Herb Pie, Peanut Butter & White Choco Chips, Strawberry & Chocolate Chips, Mangoes & Roasted Macadamia Nuts

Total Number of Foodies who rated: 281

“Be it the savory pies or the frozen ones, Tina Raines really knows how to rock it!!”

“Frozen lemon meringue was really refreshing” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

Winner of Ultimate Taste Test 2.0- Callos Aussie Pies by Tina Raines
Winner of Ultimate Taste Test 3.0- Homemade Savoury Pies by Tina Raines
Winner of Ultimate Taste Test 4.0- Tina Raines’ Frozen Lemon and Herb Pie!

Ever since UTT2.0, Tina Raines continues to surprise foodies — first, with her savoury Aussie pies and, now, her frozen pie creations. You’ll know a food supplier is great if they can create innovative food products that foodies would love. She’s been a consistent favorite in past Ultimate Taste Test events. 

Personally, I love the Frozen Lemon and Herb pie because the lemon neutralizes the sweetness and gives a refreshing aftertaste. It reminds me of the Frozen Brazo treats because it has the same texture and feel when eating it. But it is different because it uses Meringue with Graham crackers as the base.

You have to be careful when eating one slice because it could soon lead to another one. You won’t get tired of the taste, and this is a quality that you should look for when offering/seeking great desserts. It comes in a frozen pie shape that is very tempting to throw in someone’s face (think Eat Bulaga). 🙂

Only thing is, it is messy to cut the pie into nice triangular slices because it won’t hold up.

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Boracay’s Swirls Frozen Kefir — Better than Yogurt!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner 
Boracay’s Swirls Frozen Kefir!

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 353
 “Better than the popular froyo brands”

Wooo! Better than froyo!” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

Frozen Kefir is a great innovation, and you can think of it as an evolved form of Frozen Yogurt — but instead of powdered yogurt, a very healthy and probiotic Kefir is used. It tastes like White Hat Yogurt in terms of creaminess and sweetness, but you can be assured that what you are eating is very, very healthy.

I first heard of Kefir from Jeren’s Kefir Culture, and she turned it into Kefir Salad Dressing and Ice Cream sold in Arama. Kefir Power Probiotics could be credited as the first supplier to offer Kefir products in the local market, and they are selling them at Salcedo Market. Kefir became popular in the Chinese and health-conscious circles because of its seemingly miraculous healing properties.

Now, kefir comes in a frozen form, and it is the perfect dessert if you want to maintain your toned beach body while in Boracay. 🙂 I wish they would already set up an outlet in Manila!

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Ice Cream Sansrival: Pistachio Torte!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
Ice Cream Sansrival: Pistachio Torte!

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 420
 “Nice Layers! Perfect! Ice cream cake and Pistachio – my favorite :)”

Two of my favorites , pistachio and sansrival” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

This is my personal favorite and a genius concoction from Nowie and the FIC Summer Cafe team. There are plain sansrivals without ice cream, and sansrival-flavored ice cream, but there’s nothing like real ice cream sandwiched between meringue layers formed into a cake. It is very hard to make because each layer has to be done one step at a time.

This is like Jill Sandique’s Pistachio Sansrival; however, instead of layers of butter in between, Fruits in Ice Cream is used.

It is actually a diet-busting combination, but it’s worth every bite. Unfortunately, it is only available at FIC Summer Cafes in Alabang and Boracay. 🙁 It would be a great dessert to bring to a party or to just enjoy at home to celebrate a special occasion.

Great stuff, Nowie. 🙂 Looking forward to your future innovations! 

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Divine D’s – Love It!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner 

Total Number of Foodies who rated: 315
 “The desserts stand up to the brand’s name — Divine!


Read First: Ultimate Taste Test 3.0 Winner – Divine Desserts (Indeed!)

I liked the crust

– Excellent date cake!

– I love the crunch!” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

Divine Desserts is probably one of the best dessert suppliers in the country today. 🙂 We discovered them when they joined the Ultimate Taste Test 3 last November, and the foodies raved about their Double Double Fudge Cake and Cookie Caramel Crunch Cake.

In Ultimate Taste Test 4, they offered totally different cakes — Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake and their latest offering — Date Cake. Most foodies raved about these new cakes! They have the same level of food quality and following as Dulcelin. (I wonder what will happen if they decide to go into gourmet food?

Millet has mastered the art of balancing out the creaminess/sweetness by using contrasting tastes like blueberry or dates. Plus, she enhances the texture by adding some crunchiness to the treats. But some say that her cakes are still too rich and sweet.

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Oh, Tapa of My Dreams!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Overall Winner
JAM FOODS Angus Beef Tapa!

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 544 
 “The Best Tapa Ever!”

“The Best Tapa Ever!” – Ultimate Taste Test 4 Foodie 🙂

The Ultimate Food Discovery and overall winner during the Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 is JAM Foods Angus Beef Tapa! 

Most of the foodies couldn’t stop raving about how the tapa was bursting with sweet flavor in every strand. Since it’s USDA certified beef angus tapa, you can be assured that the meat is tender and has the right texture.

Best of all, you can buy it for take home. The tapa is marinated already and frozen when delivered. All you have to do is cook it at home together with eggs and rice, cooked the way you like it. Most of the raves were transformed into actual purchases during and after the
Ultimate Taste Test event.

Congratulations to JAM FOODS Angus Beef Tapa!

*** July 7 Update: a customer complained about JAM Foods Tapa and I would like to share it with you:

“I was disappointed to find out upon delivery of this product labelled USDA Certified Angus Beef that it was incredibly full of fat under which the meat was hidden, and the real product was, to me, a misrepresentation of its name. When I wanted to have the product replaced, the JAM foods contact told me that all their products were that way because it was ‘beef bacon’, then, why not label it so? The consumers must know as this product is certainly not the best tapa for those who stay away from so much fat. I’ve tried a lot of better beef tapa. The one served at Pancake House in their breakfast menu, for instance, is real beef and delicious.”

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