‘Big Bite!’ offers taste of Luzon
THE ILOCANOS’ “dinakdakan” by Chef Jackie de la Cruz, the “bangus sisig” by Chef Danilo Maramba, and the traditional Kapampangan “pork sisig” by Chef Sau del Rosario helped provide a gastronomic feast worthy of a grand food event called “Big Bite!” in Pampanga last week.
These variations of sisig opened the three-day festival at Marquee Mall in Angeles City, part of city’s monthlong Fiestang Kuliat.
More than 100 sellers of local food products and farm produce from Central Luzon and neighboring regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera participated in the event.
Merchants made it an exciting food scene. Cesar Crisostomo, 42, sold his bottled garlic bits, chili garlic, “longganisa” and coco vinegar.
The Tuguegarao City-based entrepreneur quit his job at the Department of Trade and Industry where he worked for 18 years. On an initial capital of P17,000, he produced garlic bits, a family recipe. With encouraging sales, he availed himself of a P600,000 loan from the Department of Science and Technology that came at a zero-interest and without collateral.
“I’m completing payments early next year,” Crisostomo said.
At Big Bite!, organized by the Ayala Malls Group, the women members of the Amucao Seed Growers Agro-Industrial Cooperative based in Tarlac City sold premium rice and smoked fish.
Patricia David of Pampanga put on sale her “Ortelano (Farmers) Vinegar,” which is made from sugarcane and coconut. She has bottled achara (raw papaya and vegetables pickled on vinegar), best paired with “chicharon” or fried fish.
Garden’s Secret by Adelina Timoteo of La Trinidad, Benguet province, featured one product: turmeric tea in powdered form.
Leopoldo Namujhe sold oranges, “yacon,” banana, rattan fruit, pomelo and durian grown in farms in Nueva Vizcaya province.
Apung Diung Bakery, which started business in Guagua town in Pampanga in 1880, sold different kinds of cookies.
Gil Navarro drew buyers for his bottled “tabang talangka.”
The Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives based in Talavera town sold “pastillas,” pastries, yogurt and milk.
Also on sale are coffee, fruit drinks, jams, spices, condiments, native delicacies like Ilocos empanada and “bagnet,” Kapampangan cuisines, and more pastries from Bulacan.
“From 80 (vendors) in 2013, we have drawn more food sellers now, making Big Bite! a more exciting food feast,” Mark Sablan, senior division manager of Ayala Land commercial business group, said of the weekend event that is now on its third year.
Big Bite! goers were also treated to cooking demos by celebrity chefs led by Gene Gonzalez, and students of culinary schools, and live musical concerts.
On the average, Sablan said, sales in Big Bite! hit between P10,000 and P15,000 a day.
Edelyn’s Peanuts was a bestseller, raking sales of P30,000 on the first day last year, said its owner, Edelyn Sitchon-Cañero. Tonette Orejas
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