Many Germans had the chance to sample Filipino cuisine and food ingredients for the first time during the Philippines’ inaugural participation in the International Green Week, recently held at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds on 17-26 January 2014.
The German public, who are known for being rather conservative in their food preferences, were drawn to the Philippine booth by the culinary creations of Chef Margarita Fores and her team from the Cibo Group, who successfully paired Filipino and German ingredients to create a fusion of tropical colors and a medley of unique flavors. Ms. Fores emphasized that their objective was to give Germans a sense of the familiar and to demonstrate that Filipino ingredients could find a regular place at their dinner table.
The Germans flocked to sample Chef Fores’ versions of adobo, including lamb adobo with atchara (pickled papaya), adobo rice topped with sour-sweet santol preserve, and chicken adobo rice rolled in broccoli rabe leaves. Chef Fores and her team, which included Patricia Ann Locsin, Mariel Bustamante, Anthony Prudencio and Rey Moraga, placed a strong focus on featuring the products of the seven (7) Filipino business exhibitors present at the fair. This included combining ingredients through such samples as:
- German cheeses paired with mango, green mango, and mango-calamansi fruit preserves (courtesy of Kapfer’s Island Gems);
- Sardine (courtesy of Permex) sotanghon with malunggay furitake (courtesy of JPM Japan Philippines Malunggay Eco Farm), crumbled chicharon, and organic eggs;
- Adobo flakes with cream cheese and fresh dragon fruit (courtesy of Refmad-V Enterprise) on German brown bread;
- Coconut sugar (courtesy of Tree Life Sugar) sweetened dragon fruit tea (courtesy of Refmad-V Enterprise); and
- Malunggay and roasted brown rice tea (courtesy of JPM Japan Philippines Malunggay Eco Farm).
Chef Fores serves sardine sotanghon with malunggay furitake, crumbled chicharon, and organic eggs to excited visitors (left) while Chef Rey Moraga explains the taste explosion coming from Filipino mangoes, grapefruit and coconut jelly (right) (Photos courtesy: Ayessa Bautista)
Head of Delegation and Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Ms. Berna Romulo-Puyat, also brought with her samples of Destileria Limtuaco & Co.’s new Manille Liqueur de Calamansi. Passersby were impressed by the calamansi-infused liqueur, which has a distinctive but similar taste to Italian limoncello.
According to Karen Adecer of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Filipino exhibitors such as Banig Handicrafts and Ilocos Food Products, were able to get a sense of the European food market and were able to explore business opportunities with prospective clients in Germany.
The Berlin International Green Week, first founded in 1926, attracted 410,000 visitors this year and included 1,650 exhibitors from 70 countries representing the agriculture, horticulture, and food industries.