It was a very sweet privilege to be invited (yet again) as one of the food blogger judges, and taking lessons from the last time I attended, I did two trips - first to take pictures, and second to get samples from all the booths, so I can choose the order of the food I eat, interchanging between savory and sweet choices.
While there, I thought of writing a post showcasing my top 5 choices, but I truly loved everything I tasted that I decided to give every concessionaire an equal treatment by sharing every food my sister and I tried.
In random order:
The Happy Monster
I am an Elvis Presley fan, so the minute I saw this, I already knew this had peanut butter and bananas. I loved their presentation - allowing foodies to see the layers of components of the pie. Tastewise, it was good.. and because this was the very first food I tasted, it gave me the thought that the event would be a very great one.
As a food blogger judge, I had to make two decisions, and this I voted for the "Most Innovative Recipe" because it was really innovative. It wasn't "just" fries, as the potatoes were bigger than the ones served at fast food chains, and I commend them for serving perfectly cooked fries, despite the threat of the long line on their booth. What I loved the most were the toppings. It had bonito shavings, nori seaweeds, mayonnaise, and a special kind of sauce that blended well together. The fusion of east and west was so wicked!
Parmesan Herb Monkey Bread / Original Cinnamon Monkey Bread
Ruby Red Kitchen
Typically, Cinnamon Bread is served in bun-like rolls, so the way Ruby Red Kitchen served theirs in clusters made it innovative. My sister loved their Cinnamon Bread that she regretted not bringing enough money to buy the bread on sale. Between the two breads they showcased for this event, it was the Parmesan Herb Monkey Bread that I loved more because it was on the savory side. Ruby Red Kitchen served it with two sauces, which went well with the bread, perfect for breakfast or tea time.
Pork Hamonado Flavored Chorizo de Cebu
Chorizo de Cebu PH
First up, I want to apologize for not capturing a good picture of their booth and their product. It was always jammed pack in their booth whenever I try to capture a snapshot of their booth and their product. Their pork hamonado chorizos were very tasty, had a good balance of sweetness and saltiness, and is something that would make you crave for rice (whether sinangag or freshly steamed rice).
Niku Niku Crabstick
Niku Niku (A Japanese Fishcake Concept)
This I voted for the "Experts' Choice Recipe" category. At first glance, it may seem something you can re-create at home, but as I "dissected" it, I found it trivial to do so. Do I need to mash the fish to wrap the crabstick? Do I have to soften the cornflakes so it will stick to the fish? So difficult to find answers, that the only solution to it was to just give up the idea of recreating it and just order an authentic serving from Niku Niku. What I loved was the fact that they didn't use any extenders - it was pure fish wrapping the crabstick, and the marriage of all the flavors and textures was so good, you would want to try it over and over.
Batak Sesame Cupcakes
It wasn't love at first taste for me, simply because the sesame flavor isn't something I usually taste. However, as I taste it more and more, the goodness grows on me and by the time I finished my cupcake I already liked it.
Oreo Whoopie Cupcakes
Chef Francesca's Cupcakes Couture
My sister and I decided to share one sample serving and take home those we weren't able to eat so mommy could taste it, too. Having one bite of the Oreo Whoopie Cupcake was enough for me to say that it was good, but I gotta say, I loved it more when I had a bite of the one we took home the morning after the event.
Very smooth, very creamy, very good! The melt in your mouth experience made this foodgasmically awesome.
This gave me an idea what to do the next time we bake cookies at home. :)
One of the most intriguing food I tasted at the event. Babci Kuchnia offered different flavors, some served boiled, others fried. The cheese and raisin variant I didn't like (as I don't really eat raisins), but tasting the beef variant totally blew me away. The steamed kind was good, but I preferred the fried one because of the contrast in texture - slightly crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy inside.
Original Chili / Bite the Bullet Chili
Chilli Chilli Bang Bang
As is or with chips, the Chili con Carne is a comfort food. Between the two, I loved the spicy more, because that kick in spice is what makes any Chili con Carne really good.
Pescado Gourmet Tuyo
Buenavi Food and Beverages
Their gourmet tuyo wasn't overly salty, it just had the right amount of saltiness to be enjoyed by itself. Buenavi Food and Beverages served their Pescado Gourmet Tuyo as a pasta dish, and I gotta commend them for serving pasta without the fishy flavor and smell usually associated with tuyo.
Gourmet Chocolate Rhum Balls
The Cooking Ina's Kitchen
I give them an A for innovation as they were able to combine chocolate with unusual flavors!
Yema Filled Crinkle Sandwich
Mau's Cupcake Cafe
Prior to this event, I have already seen ways to market crinkles - the most recent being the Red Velvet Crinkles with Cream Cheese Frosting. When I approached their booth and asked them a little about their product, they were very proud to say that theirs isn't the typical kind of crinkles and I just have to taste and let the product speak for itself. It held so much promise, that among the food I tried, I would say I had high expectations of this... and it didn't fail me. It was indeed unlike the other crinkles I have tasted! It was soft and chewy, the kind that sticks in your mouth making you salivate and enjoy the flavors more and more.
Their burger was so tasty and so good, it would make you feel as if you died and have gone to burger heaven!
Something every cheesecake lover would love. Among the four flavors I was allowed to taste, my favorite was the berry flavored one because I loved the contrast between the slightly salty cream cheese and the tarty berry filling.
If you're interested to know my Top 5 choices... I truly, truly loved these five:
- (5) Polish Perogi (Beef) by Babci Kuchnia
- (4) Country Herb Monkey Bread by Ruby Red Kitchen
- (3) Yema Filled Crinkle Sandwich by Mau's Cupcake Cafe
- (2) Niku Niku Crabstick by Niku Niku
- (1) Okonomiyaki Fries by Country Fries
As for my sister, she loved:
- (5) Pork Hamonado Chorizo by Chorizo de Cebu PH
- (4) Cinnamon Monkey Bread by Ruby Red Kitchen
- (3) Niku Niku Crabstick by Niku Niku
- (2) Pastillas Flan by Modern Desserts
- (1) Okonomiyaki Fries by Country Fries
Foodgasm is a food competition, and by the end of the event, several concessionaires were awarded.
- Foodgasm 4 Champion - Dying Burger by Hunger Buster
- Experts' Choice Award - Ruby Red Kitchen
- People's Choice Award - Niku Niku Crabstick by Niku Niku
- Most Innovative Award - Okonomiyaki Fries by Country Fries
Hopefully, there will be another Foodgasm later this year. I am truly happy to have been part of this event, and I am grateful for the UP EcoSoc for inviting me to this event. Not only were you able to showcase awesome food finds, this has also been a good avenue for food entrepreneurs to innovate and provide foodies with out of the ordinary dishes, as well as giving young entrepreneurs a place to prove they also have what it takes to make it big in the food industry.