Happiness comes in many forms. Sometimes even in bottles. No, I don’t mean instant happiness, but the happiness that comes from food in bottles. It’s hard ranking them because my food cravings change from day to day, but here’s the rundown of my Top 7 favorite bottled foodstuff, in no particular order. (Why 7? Because I was planning to do this post for 07/07/07 but real life got in the way :P)
Nutella Hazelnut Spread
I first encountered Nutella as a little girl. It’s the stuff childhood memories are made of, along with Horlicks Choco-Malt tablets and Liver Sausage. Don’t mind my memory association. I had a weird childhood. It re-entered my life when I was in college; for some reason, it escaped my notice until that fateful day at the supermarket when I realized, “Hey, they have Nutella!”
A favorite addition to already sinful desserts, its smooth rich chocolate-nutty goodness is just as delicious on a piece of white bread. Try it on crepes, ice cream, cookies—just about anything. Nutella-tastic resto recommendation: Order the Fantastic Pinay Crepe from CafÃ© Breton. Then, order a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top, ala La Pinay. Sheer bliss as the mango and Nutella meld together, making sweet music topped by a luxurious bite of creamy ice cream.
Gourmet Sundried Tomato Pesto
You can feel much love from me to Gourmet, can you? One of my favorite instant bottled Pesto blends, Gourmet’s Sundried Tomato pesto marries the sour-saltiness of sundried tomatoes with fresh basil. It’s a more flavorful pesto variation and lends itself to a host of other dishes, other than just the usual pesto on pasta. Try it with rice or chicken breasts.
With Lactobacilli Shirota Strain! A yogurt drink hailing back to the days when yogurt drinks were unheard of, Yakult was a food group all on its own. It was deemed healthy and we were told to drink one bottle a day. Just one bottle though, I was told that drinking more was bad for you. Now, I drink a couple of bottles in one sitting but I’m still healthy, still alive, with lots of good bacteria. Plus, I have friends who attest that they would pour three bottles of Yakult in a glass then gulp it down, and nothing bad happened. So, what’s the story?
Bottled Fish Roe
No, it’s not caviar, nor Japanese-style roe like Ebiko or Tobiko. It’s fish roe cooked in olive oil, garlic, and god knows what other spices. I’d like to know too because I’m truly nuts about this and would love to learn how to make it. I haven’t sworn allegiance to any particular brand since I’ve tried only two. I loved them both, but sadly, I can’t find more. My first bottle was branded Carmel, we bought from the Gourmet Silang store, while the other, I think it was called Blue Kitchen, just showed up in our house. I’ve no idea what fair my mom picked it up from but unfortunately, I can’t find any more.
I’ve only learned to eat hummus recently, thanks to forays into foreign food care of Bentolunch. I was on the lookout for some ready-made hummus that would last in the fridgeâ€”I wasn’t sure restaurant hummus had the shelf life. Fortunately, my mom spotted a jar of hummus at Healthy Options so now, I can have hummus when I want it, without having to open a can of raw garbanzos. All hail the bottle!
Gourmet Brand Bottled Tuyo
For years now, the lowly dried herring, locally known as Tuyo has been glammed up with olive oil and all sorts of spices. Still, before all these brands began sprouting everywhere, there was Gourmet Tuyo. While I can’t pinpoint when I first encountered it, I am sure it’s one of the first bottled tuyo brands in the market. And to me, it’s still peerless, with its cleanly deboned fillets and perfect blend of spicesâ€”it has just a hint of vinegar to add a subtle sourness to the tuyo.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to find. That’s why when Gourmet (yes, that Organic Veggie and Salad Dressing brand) participates in food fairs, we make sure to grab a couple of bottles at least. Otherwise, it’s only available at their Silang, Cavite store. (Which reminds me, we’re all out, hence the absence of a photo. Durn.)
Mine Shine Milk Tea
Mine Shine Bottled Milk Tea! I love Mine Shine because it’s light yet milky enough, without being too creamy. You can taste the tea underneath the milk. It’s pleasantly refreshing with a taste I can’t tire of. I enjoy it both cold and hot. Just nuke it in a microwave-safe mug for a minute or so. Mmmm—good!
There you have it. My Top 7 Bottles of Joy. I’m sure you have your own bottled favorites. What’s yours?