The Malagos Tree to Bar Chocolate Experience

Davao Cacao Export

A plain chocolate lover will know what is a good chocolate. And “a good chocolate comes from good beans,” says the Puentespina family of the Puentespina farms in Malagos, Davao, producers of single origin, tree to bar Malagos Chocolates.

In the time of the FoodPrints Davao taping, I meet the Puentespina matriarch, Charita, a fervent and sprightly lady, who herself inspires. One day I see her at the farm, showing us around the cacao farm and another day I see her in girl scout senior uniform, cutting up durian at their gentrified space in the city.

Mrs.Charita Puentespina

The Puentespina Farm covers 24 hectares of land. Maximizing land use with a diversified setup, they grow Grade A Trinitario cacao beans (a crossbreed between Criollo and Forastero) and a variety of flowers and fruits, raise goats and make artisan cheese.

Puentespina FarmCacao Flowers

Says Discover magazine, “A cacao tree produces tiny, dime-size flowers on its trunk, a strategy called cauliflory. Once pollinated, a flower will take up to six months to develop into a mature pod. Fewer than 5 percent of all cacao flowers bear fruit.”

Cacao (2)Cacao TreePuentespina Farm Cacao CommunityMucilage (pulp) is cleaned off the cacao beans with the aid of sawdust.Mars Cocoa Development Center, Puentsepina Farm, Davao

Tita Charita says, to sustain livelihood with communities, they’ve also tried exporting to global chocolate brands such as Mars, Inc. Their very own brand, Malagos Chocolate, developed by son Rex, makes premium raw, untreated 100% pure chocolate and 65% dark chocolate, meant for the dark chocolate lover and a suitable couverture for baking.

I can’t bake nor am I a farmer, so I can’t be too technical with their chocolate’s characteristics. But from what I saw, the methods they use are healthy and at par with fair present-day standards.

I’ve just eaten the last rectangle from the couple of dark chocolates I bought from the chocolate counter at Malagos Farmhouse. Very robust and smooth, it has complex flavors of wood, nuts, aged red wine and slightly tangy fruit.

The visit was such a treat.

Cacao FermentationCacao fermentation.Cacao DryingThe solar dryer.Cacao SeedlingsCacao seedlings.Malagos FarmhouseMalagos Dark ChocolatesDavao CacaoHot Cocoa

My best ever  hot extra rich chocolate drink made from tableya was at the Puentespina vacation house, located at the Puetespina Farm in the Baguio District of Davao.

*With special thanks to Mrs Charita Puentespina, Dr. Bo Puentespina, Vault, Ruben Neri and FoodPrints with Chef Sandy Daza.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The not so humble pie at Osvaldo’s

Osvaldo's Cakes

I am constantly enamored of beautifully crafted cakes. Let’s go back to Davao for this post.

Cake studio Osvaldo’s Cakes has all the right ingredients — an accessible location, avant-garde cakes, a cosmopolitan ambiance, a space to eat the decadent cakes and a friendly, good-looking master baker. Say hello to Joel Rodriguez, graduate of the Wilton School Cake Decorating in Illinois, USA.

wedding cakes by Osvaldo CakesOsvaldo's CakesOsvaldo's Cakes

Joel’s cakes look good as well as taste good. Originally from Cotabato City, he has created some of Davao’s most talked about cakes and pies.

Straight after a FoodPrints shoot, the crew hastily dipped their forks into the alluring desserts. So fleeting that I failed to jot down the specifics. I remember a strikingly delicious blue cheese cheesecake. And, of course, the pomelo lemon pie, which actually tastes more interesting than a key lime pie. It has the right balance of the delicate kinds of tart and sweet. One glorious forkful.

Pomelo Lemon Pie

Keep Osvaldo’s on your to do in Davao list. Did you watch the FoodPrints Davao episodes?

Osvaldo’s Cakes Ground Floor, Paseo De Legaspi, Pelayo St., Poblacion District, Davao City 0919 291 5007 0932 428 4070 Open Mondays-Saturdays 9 am-10 pm

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

A Peek into Davao’s The White House

The White House 10

A remnant of a colonial plantation in Davao is now the destination for fusion cuisine. The 1932  house, originally owned by Ker and Co., was rejuvenated by Ms. Cathy Binag to fit The White House.

The White House is a refreshingly homey restaurant, cafe and wine lounge, and yet an air of  sophistication surrounds each and every visitor. Harmonizing with its old meets new design is a state of the art kitchen where a team of chefs prepare stylish creations.

The menu boasts of fresh local and imported produce. On a FoodPrints Season Two shoot, host Chef Sandy Daza explored contemporary dishes anchored on Japanese flavors.

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Beautifully prepared uni shooter opened up the taste buds for more equally elaborate halibut, sea bass and pork belly concoctions, followed by a vanilla cheesecake laced with green tea meringue and topped with yamamomo berries, raspberries and strawberries.

Foodistas, don’t fail to visit this house in Davao!

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*With special thanks to The White House, Lifestyle Network, FoodPrints and DoT Davao.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Camella Northpoint, Bajada, 8000 Central, Davao City, Philippines Tel. No.: (082) 2824540 CP No.:  +639154483601  Mon – Sun 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014