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Food and Travels of Parts Unknown

Disclaimer: This is the full feature from The Royal Chef column on Edge Davao.

Most often, the answer lies within. And that 95% of the time, we just need some wide, open spaces to reconnect with our selves. Not being melodramatic; just telling what the heart forgets to acknowledge. Nah, this is not about ‘fixing’ anything; this is about exploring the many options we have.

Davao City is home. Yes. For many of us. Still, even at home, we long to escape the mundane familiarity we have been used to. We want to explore the many other options. Though Davao is packed with adventures from every corner, going over the comfort zone is also a necessity to keep the fire burning.

Come tag along as I take you on a trip with my Family and friends as we explore nature and the many delicious food finds we stumbled along the way. Of them, do you have a favourite?

Fresh Strawberry Jam at Bemwa Farms
Address: Datu Salumay, Marilog District, Davao City
Contact Number: 0923 694 9789
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bemwa.farm
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Likened as the Baguio of the South, Bemwa, as it is commonly known, boasts of cold weather, fog and fresh, organic produce that you cannot find in the city. To state, Bemwa Farms is where you would want to be when you want some fresh strawberries. Yes, we also have them here fresh. Not only strawberries but crunchy fresh lettuce, fresh eggplant and a personal favourite herb, fresh basil.

Of the many other things sold at the farm, go ahead and try their fresh strawberry jam – made with fresh strawberries and wild, pure honey. It is thick, yes, and not overly sweet. The right consistency if you are one to spread some butter and jam on your toast. Also, perfect as a strawberry vinaigrette over those fresh crunchy lettuce.

For the Strawberry Vinaigrette: In a clean bowl, scoop over 2 tablespoons of fresh strawberry jam, ½ of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Taste as you go to achieve that ‘personal taste’. Drizzle over lettuce, carrots and apples.
Tip: Visit the farm early in the morning to join the strawberry picking.

Suman at Sikwate at Seagull Mountain Resort
Address: Davao-Bukidnon Road, Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao, Bukidnon
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Located along Buda Road (Bukidnon-Davao Road), Seagull Mountain Resort has an elevation of 4,000 feet. Naturally cold, the place is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. At the mountain resort, you can opt to spend the night, go swimming or just take in the majestic view from the top. Aside from the many beautiful scenic spots, they also have a restaurant that serves uber-juicy steaks and sizzling dishes. What’s the one thing you need to try? Definitely their suman and sikwate.

Their suman and sikwate is a rustic take on the classic favourite that is normally served by our elders during the cold, winter nights. At the Phoenix Gas Station (some meters way from the mountain resort), their version is one of texture and depth. It’s crunchy yet malagkit, bland yet sweet. The addition of hot sikwate (pure chocolate drink) verily complements the suman in all of its grains. Tip: Try adding just a tiny bit of brown sugar to your sikwate and let the sweetness from the suman make wonders to your palate.

Boxed Biscuits at the Monastery of the Transfiguration
Address: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
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The Monastery of the Transfiguration is one of the most visited religious communities in the Philippines.
Located in a hill, you’d surely be in awe as you come face to face with their vast, wide open green spaces, fresh smell of pines and of course, the pyramid structure (Magnum Opus) place of peace and prayer. This is also where Benedictine Monks live and pray every day.

Aside from the place of prayer (If you happen to visit, go on the second Sunday of the month, hear the mass and eat breakfast with the Monks), you’d love the fact that they have a number of delectable food finds you’d surely would want to take home. Of which, their Monk’s Blend coffee, which is grown, produced and processed by the Monks themselves, is on everybody’s list of things to buy.

Also, they sell tubs of peanut butter, pinato, polvoron, pastillas, dried roasted peanuts and alamang. But of them all, their boxed biscuits and cookies is one to munch on. Aesthetically packed, you’d love their Lengua de Gaato, Hearts to Bite Cookie Hearts with Creamy Butter taste and Cashew Cookies. Also try their Rumball and Crinkles. Any of the biscuits and cookies goes very well with their coffee. Personally, I love them with a cup of tea.

Want to know my latest food finds? Follow me on Instagram @iamleebai and I’ll make you hungry in a snap. For missed features, you can read them on my blog theroyalchefeats.wordpress.com.
Happy munching, #royalistas!

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