1. Benguet Coffee Beans, 2. Cashew Butter, 3. Coconut Cheese Macaroons, 4. Trader Joe’s Organic Dark Truffle Chocolate, 5. Very Buttery Lengua de Gato, 6. Nestlé Crunch Matcha

 

Christmas is right around the corner, and one of my favorite haunts when looking for local delicacies, imported hard-to-find treats, and ready-to-serve dishes for holiday parties (or any excuse for a party, really) is The Blue Kitchen. Established by friends Michelline Suarez and Mamou’s Malou Fores in 1995, the little shop in Rockwell has evolved to open two more branches – one in Shangri la Mall and another in Robinsons Magnolia.

Whether you’re looking for a present to impress a balikbayan, an expat, a tourist staying in Manila for the holidays, or a friends looking for a fun take on their local favorites or unique sweets, The Blue Kitchen always has something for you, with new items being added every month.

Here are 6 stocking stuffers from The Blue Kitchen you may want to consider:

 

Benguet Coffee Beans (Php 105/ 250 grams)

Unbeknownst to most, the Philippines actually has a very rich coffee culture. When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they brought with them coffee plants to be brought to the highlands to thrive and flourish. The Cordillera region boasts of Benguet Arabica coffee beans, rich and robust with a strong, taste and hints of chocolate. This is a lovely gift for a world traveler to take home with them.

 

Cashew Butter (Php 225)

While the cookie butter craze has seemed to run its course, I find Cashew Butter to be a lot more versatile, and useful in both sweet and savory dishes. Use this to spread on melba toast for an interesting take on tea or add a few spoonfuls to thicken a bowl of chicken curry. This is a rather unique gift for the foodie friend, who’s always on the lookout for something new.

 

Coconut Cheese Macaroons (P265 for 12 pieces)

Chewy, chewy macaroons made with coconut, butter, and milk is taken to a whole other level with the salty addition of cheese. Once you’re stuck in, I promise you stopping is impossible, not until you finish off the whole box. This goes really well with that Benguet coffee with a little bit of sugar and cream, too. This makes a great gift for that balikbayan relative of yours who hasn’t had a taste of local desserts in a while. Be sure to take them to The Blue Kitchen before they head back to the airport, to stock up on favorites like garlic tinapa, dried squid, alamang bagoong, and the deadly-yet-delicious Chocoron – yes, chocolate dipped chicharon)!

 

Trader Joe’s Organic Dark Truffle Chocolate

The smooth, slightly bitter, best-seller from Trader Joe’s in the States can also be found in the walls of The Blue Kitchen stores! Soothe that sweet tooth with this simple but satisfying bar of chocolate, with the art deco packaging looking like it came right out the Gatsby era. The ideal gift for the self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur among your peers.

 

Very Buttery Lengua de Gato (Php 320)

You haven’t tasted legua de gato until you’ve had a taste of The Blue Kitchen’s Very Buttery Lengua de Gato that comes in flavors like almond, ube, and oatmeal raisin, cookies and cream, this is one Filipino treat that every generation can appreciate. Pair this with a piping hot cup of coffee, warm tea, or a glass of milk before bedtime. A jar of this makes a great gift for anybody, really!

 

Nestlé Japan Uji Matcha Tea Specialty Drink

Frothy, milky and sweet with that earthy matcha aftertaste, this is hugely popular in Japan. Each box has nine individual sachets that can fir in your bag or pocket for a quick drink at school or the office. Best given to well-known matcha lovers (there’s always one in the group) or that co-worker who never fails to order the Green Tea Frappuccino at Starbucks.

 

The Blue Kitchen is located at Level P1, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City and is open daily from 10am – 9pm. For inquiries or to order items for delivery, please call +63 2 898 0931 or email thebluekitchen@gmail.com.

 

 

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