A virtual Vancouver market featuring unique Filipino foods and gift items goes live Friday (November 20).
Organizer Corvette Romero told the Straight that 25 vendors will participate in the market called Magkasama, which means ‘together’ in the Filipino language.
The food choices include distinctively Filipino favourites like bibingka, cake made with rice flour and coconut milk.
Online bakery Bellie Bake will offer bibingka packs of four, with different flavours.
These are itlog na maalat, salted egg; cheese, ube macapuno, purple yam and soft coconut; and coco pandan, or pandan-flavoured-coconut jam.
The bibingka is typically sold during the Christmas season in the Philippines.
The rice cake goes well with coffee, and one of Magkasama’s vendors is Kapé, a social enterprise founded by Paolo and Iona Santos.
The Santoses source their coffee from Indigenous farmers in the Philippines.
One coffee brand that will be available for shoppers is called Ate Roselyn’s, which comes from Davao del Sur, a province in southern Philippines. Ate means elder sister.
Romero and her partner Matt Brennan created the concept Magkasama.
They also own and operate Shameless Buns, a food truck that celebrates Filipino food.
Shameless Buns considers Filipino food as the “unsung hero in the Asian food lexicon”.
For this year’s Magkasama event, Romero said that Shameless Buns will offer items like mango bars.
Another vendor is Grit and Grub Catering, which especializes in pan de sal or Filipino bread roll.
Pan de sal, literally translated as bread of salt although it’s actually sweet and not salty, is a popular Filipino breakfast fare.
Grit and Grub Catering choices include a pack with two pieces each of ham and cheese pan de sal and pan de sal with turkey and gravy and cranberries.
Shoppers looking for ulam will also have their fill.
Ulam is Filipino word for any dish that goes with rice. For example, if you’re eating inihaw na liempo, grilled pork belly, with rice, the inihaw na liempo is your ulam.
Juju Foods will provide in frozen packs choices like Bicol Express, a spicy ulam from the southern areas of Luzon, a main island in the Philippines.
Bicol Express is a creamy dish made of pork, coconut milk, and chili peppers.
Often, ulam becomes pulutan or bar chow during inuman or drinking. Pulutan comes from the word pulot, which means ‘to pick up’.
One of the most popular pulutan items among Filipinos is sisig, chopped meat, liver, onions, citrus, and chili peppers, usually topped with egg and served on a hot plate.
New York Times writer Ligaya Mishan wrote that sisig, pronounced as see-sig, is the “greatest pork hash-arguably greatest pork dish-on Earth”.
“Say the name with two flicks of the tongue, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss," Mishan, a poet, suggested.
Juju Foods will also have crispy fried chicken skin, another great pulutan, which can be eaten as ulam as well.
Shop: November 20-29
Pick up: December 4-6 (11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday)
Pick up location: 302 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver