Peanuts and Chocolates: Stuff to take home from Bohol

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When going on a vacation, one of our main concerns, aside from where to eat of course, is what to take home. The safest thing to take home is food, provided it's airplane-approved and it's not such a hassle to bring home. For one thing, we all love to eat so we can't go wrong with food items. The souvenir foods we got from Bohol though, were sure hits and something we'd like to share to all of you.

Pasalubong finds are found in tourist shops or if you have the time and patience, the local supermarket. We got our souvenir items from a tourist shop during our tours. Aside from these, the Tagbilaran airport also has a little stand in the waiting area where you could shop for last-minute finds.

Wallets or keychains inspired from tarsiers or knicknacks or whatever reminds you of Bohol, they got it.

Of course I'm here to talk about food of course. One thing I noticed about the snack finds are the abundance of peanut products - peanut crisps, peanut fingers, star peanuts. These peanuts are a result of alternate cropping, which means after a period of planting just rice, the soil needs to rest. In that period though, it's time to plant peanuts, which requires less water than rice. And what to do with those peanuts? Make peanut products of course, like the Peanut Kisses, another specialty of Bohol:

This picture here was taken in the airport where we both needed a little munchie.
It's so cute shaped like a Chocolate Hill, except it's peanut. It tastes like peanut brittle too. I do suggest to have water in handy while munching this one.

The peanut kisses are already available in filipiniana shops here in Manila, but not the star peanuts, which are clusters of peanut meringue shaped like stars.

The taste is similar to peanut kisses, except this one's texture is smoother. If the thought of too-sweet meringue makes you gag, this one's not too sweet. As with all peanut products, I do recommend a tall glass of water to wash this down, if peanuts tend to make you all scratchy. Needless to say, those with gout or peanut allergy should stay away from this.

I do have a solution to you guys though... CHOCOLATE! You could take home a Hillcolate, which is a chocolate-hill shaped chocolate snack that can't get any cuter.

If snacking isn't your thing, then nothing beats good ol' tablea, which are blocks of cocoa powder that you melt in boiling water before lacing it with milk and sugar. Swear that and broas or homemade cinnamon sugar butter biscottis and I'm all set! I prefer my tablea the way my mom makes it: thick and mild with a 2 tablets:1 cup ratio. My first attempt at tablea making had me at the 1:1 ratio that I saw when I googled recipes on how to make tablea drinks but I found that I could taste it better with a 2:1 ratio, or maybe it's because the discs are so small. I like the tablea so much, I actually felt bad we only got little of this, since we were just going to try it out. thank God there's tablea in the supermarket or Kultura shops here.

Of course there are other mentionables like kalamay, dried mangoes, and broas. Inasmuch as we'd like to take the whole tourist shop with us, we had a baggage weight limit so we had to keep it at that. In buying souvenirs though, it really pays to buy from reputable shops and supermarkets with strict quality control.