Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas for the palate

It's that much-awaited time of the year again - Christmas! I bet everyone's now busy preparing the Noche Buena spread. I know what families are having - it's kinda easy 'coz it has become traditional for Filipino families to have lechon, morcon, pancit or spaghetti, ham and queso de bola, fruit salad, leche flan and ube halaya - on their table at Christmas. In our family, we try to prepare something different each year with my grown up kids now doing the planning and cooking. Hehe.. Come New Year's Eve, however, it's my mom who prepares the yearly star of the Media Noche spread - beef morcon! My mom's the best, I promise! 
In some restaurants, "limited edition" Christmas-themed food and drinks are offered to make diners feel the cheer of the Yuletide Season. Regretfully, I only started to scout for them a few days ago due to the busyness of December (you know, gift-shopping, preparing the home, attending Christmas parties plus working on year-end reports in the office!) Some of those Christmas food and drink offers, I've had and taken a shot of. 
Here they are:

Christmas Ube Flan Cupcake at Costa Coffee
I fell in love with this cupcake the moment I set my eyes upon it at Costa Coffee in Robinsons Place Manila. Isn't it captivatingly lovely? Sadly, I was disappointed at its non-distinct ube flavor and dry texture. It failed to awaken my taste buds though it indeed was a pleasure to look at. With that beautiful Christmas tree top, this cupcake is a sight to behold!

Bumbong Smoothie at Ka Tunying's Cafe
This smoothie truly carries the Pinoy stamp as it has Puto Bumbong, which is the traditional kakanin for Filipinos at Christmastime. The elongated, purple, sticky native cake is a favorite snack among those attending the "Simbang Gabi",  which are actually dawn, not evening masses in Catholic churches. Stalls selling puto bumbong as well as bibingka (also a native cake) are a familiar sight in the vicinity of churches in the Philippines starting 
the 16th of December until the 24th.
At Ka Tunying's Cafe in Quezon City, you can drink instead of eat your puto bumbong. And it has the authentic taste of the kakanin, much like you're eating it, only you can slurp it with your straw. This festive drink has "krema" powder, muscovado sugar, coconut and of course, puto bumbong. I loved it as it was deliciously creamy and just mildly sweet. Yummy!

Santa Mocha Cupcake and Snowman Strawberry Cupcake at Amor Bakery

Amor Bakery is that lovely, rustic bakeshop on Espana Blvd. near UST in Manila that offers so many kinds of bread and cake plus coffee and milk tea. For the holidays, they came up with Christmas-themed cupcakes topped with round chocolate drawn with familiar Yuletide characters. I loved the one with mocha icing. The cake, which is actually Japanese cheesecake, is soft, moist and fluffy and the icing is yummy although it's just a bit sweet, thankfully. 

Christmas Sundae at Dairy Queen

It was love at first sight for me for DQ's Christmas Sundae. How lovely -- an edible, cold and sweet Christmas tree! Below the green frost are three layers of treat - strawberry ice cream, crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate ice cream. It's the perfect in-between shopping indulgence!
Santa Claus donut at Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme offers six Christmas doughnuts and the Santa is my favorite -- lovely to have with a cup of brewed coffee to warm up 
on a cold December day.
Salted Caramel Chiller also at Krispy Kreme 
Krispy Kreme also offers this Yuletide Season the Salted Caramel Chiller. 
I ordered this for my daughter and she loved it, 
though it's too sweet for me.

Well, it won't be very long before Noche Buena as I write this post. 
Merry Christmas, folks and happy eating! 

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