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7 REGIONAL FAVORITES YOU CAN HAVE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP

No matter what type of quarantine we may be under, it’s pretty clear that food has remained an undeniable source of joy and comfort throughout the pandemic. Admit it—you just had to try the Feta cheese pasta hack when it went viral, and you gave in to your curiosity of what ube cheese pandesal tasted like. No shame in admitting too when you went whipping when you heard all about Dalgona coffee. We’ve all been there.

Thank goodness we have reliable delivery services available so we can keep safe in our homes while enjoying our favorite foods. With summer in full swing and with lockdowns preventing us from visiting our provinces, we can’t help but miss what our titas and lolas prepare for us back home, especially when these aren’t the kinds of items we’ll find in a supermarket. Even if we don’t step out of our homes, it’s good to know that we can still savor regional goodies.

Truth be told, our country has a wealth of delicacies and specialties that evoke nostalgia and provincial charm. We may not be able to go traveling at the moment, but because of delivery services, they’re just a bus ride away. We bring you along on a virtual food trip and list down some of the region’s best gastronomic treats.

Ube Jam 

The ube jam made by the Good Shepherd nuns continues to tickle taste buds in search of a milky, nutty, and sweet treat. Photo by @kandlecafe

Delightfully sweet and creamy, this purple treat from Baguio City has charmed generation after generation of palates. It’s made by boiling and mashing ube or purple yam. Condensed milk or sweetened coconut milk, as well as melted butter, are added to the mixture before being stirred and thickened. 

On its own, ube jam makes for a delicious dessert, but it’s also used as an ingredient for a host of pastries, such as cakes, ube cheese pandesal, and also as a topping for halo-halo. Many travelers will know by heart the way to the convent which sells the most sought-after ube jam in the city and in the country. Best chilled, it’s an easy sweet you can grab from the fridge so you can savor mouthfuls while watching your favorite Netflix series or after a long day working from home.

Kalinga Coffee

For the more adventurous, sample one of the world’s most sought-after coffee varieties: civet cat (also known as musang or alamid) coffee, made from the droppings of the nocturnal animal. 
Photo by Travel Trilogy

There’s no doubt about it, we need that hot (or iced) cup of coffee by our side as we power through our deadlines or sit through Zoom meetings every day. And if we’re talking about coffee, we might as well get the best brew every single time. Kalinga coffee from Tabuk, Kalinga, Apayao in the Cordillera highlands, is typically earthy, nutty, and full-bodied in flavor, with round-tasting notes. It’s the perfect work and downtime buddy no matter what your day looks like.

Corn Coffee

For those seeking healthier, caffeine-free alternatives, Isabela’s corn coffee helps control diabetes, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, lower hypertension and reduce cholesterol, among other benefits. 
Photo from Angie’s corn coffee

A top producer of crops, Isabela is home to the unique corn coffee. Ground corn is roasted until it turns brown, and then the resulting powder is boiled and run through a filter. The result is amazingly just like your run-of-the-mill coffee, but without the caffeine, which is great if you’ve got a tummy that’s easily upset. You can even drink it right before bedtime (after your skin care routine or while curling up with a good book) because it’s totally caffeine-free!

Alaminos Longganisa

Savor the sweet, salty, and garlicky taste of these sausages tied up by toothpicks. Best paired with a steaming bowl of garlic rice, some salted egg, and tomatoes. 
Photo from lemiapp.com

Out of the Philippines’ numerous varieties of longganisa or pork sausage, the one hailing from the city of Alaminos in Pangasinan will be number one in many Filipinos’ hearts, because of its strong garlic flavor and generous seasoning of the region’s natural sea salt. What also sets it apart is its characteristic yellow color because of the atsuete or annatto seeds that form the ingredients. Just cook these (the smell alone is heavenly) with garlic rice and a serving of atchara and you can create the perfect staycation experience! 

Lingayen Bagoong

The salty fermented paste adds that depth of flavor to  dishes or green mangoes. Which only makes it natural for a bottle of it to have a designated spot in our pantries. 
Photo from lifemoto.blogspot.com.

What started as a backyard business for many people in Pangasinan’s capital, Lingayen, has fully evolved into one of the country’s world-class products. That’s because the pungent, fermented fish paste is made with salt from western Pangasinan, famous for its clean and bright flavor. Planning a simple celebration at home with the family? Just adding a little instantly elevates any dish. Try it with your kare-kare or lechon. It’s also perfect with those mangoes ready for picking in your backyard. 

Carabao milk candy

Sink your teeth into these sweet and chewy carabao milk chips and transport yourself to the quiet farm villages in Tuguegarao. 
Photo by Jasmine P. Ting

Carabaos or water buffaloes are a common sight in the rice and corn fields of Tuguegarao for their strength and hard work used for plowing. Which makes it no surprise that locals have also enjoyed the animal’s milk as an ingredient to incorporate in desserts. The town of Alcala is home to the popular carabao milk candy, chewy rectangular milk chips. Instead of junk food or grocery-bought candies, these make for a more nutritious alternative. The next time the kids are hankering for something sweet, whip these out and they’ll surely ask for more.

Pili Nuts

Encased in an incredibly sturdy shell, pili nuts have to be manually cracked open before they can be opened. Because of their amazing health benefits and buttery flavor, they’re a sought-after superfood in the world. 
Photo from bulusanruralvagabond.wordpress.com

Because we’re always at home these days, it can be tempting to just stock up on junk food. But we can always use it as an opportunity to start eating more healthy foods. Enter the pili nuts from Bicol. These massive nuts are packed with a ton of nutrients, omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein, plus, they’re delicious and incredibly buttery.

Let someone take care of your padala

Did you know that there’s a great way to get these goodies delivered straight to your doorstep? You could even turn this opportunity into a promising enterprise, by ordering these in bulk and selling them to an eager market back in Manila or wherever your home may be. 

DG Man, the newest door-to-door delivery service under Victory Liner’s terminal-to-terminal cargo and freight service Drop & Go, provides the fastest and most economical option to have goods transported across Luzon. As one of the country’s largest provincial bus companies servicing routes mainly to the provinces of Luzon, you can expect faster operations because their drivers and conductors traverse these regions every day. What’s great about it too is that the people behind it are Victory Liner’s very own employees—from its conductors, drivers, and mechanics, which means you’re helping support their families with each shipment.

With DG Man, people can safely stay at home and have their packages dropped off at Drop & Go outlets. They can visit the DG Man website, fill out the necessary information, and wait for a DG Man rider to pick up their parcel. Recipients can simply relax and wait for the cargo to be delivered to their location. DG Man is currently available in Bataan, Baguio City, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac City, and Zambales. As long as you’re within 10 kilometers from a Drop & Go outlet, a DG Man rider can attend to your needs. 

For more information, call the Victory Liner hotlines at (02) 8842 8679 or 0998 591 5102, send a message via the Victory Liner Facebook page, or visit www.victoryliner.com. Enjoy the flavors of the Philippines!

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