Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meager veg finds at Rockwell's Baker's Dozen: Vegan MoFo #17

I'd like to interrupt this mofo with a public service announcement...

Kids, you don't have to drink cow's milk-based baby formula to be in danger of consuming melamine. Don't consume dairy, and
you won't get poisoned, alright? Save the cow's milk for baby cows, and drink soy if you need a milk fix.

Don't you hate that the packaging of this crap has happy dancing cows on it? As if the cows happily gave their milk for us to make candy out of and pranced around the meadow after the milking. Well in this case it's supposedly the
carabaos. Oh, let's (us being the dairy industry) trick the world into thinking that the cows freely gave, nay, gifted us, with their mammalian reproductive secretions because we need them to live. Let's (us being consumers) not forget that these mothers have to be raped before they get pregnant and have their babies removed from them (right after birth!) so we can drink their breast milk. Did I mention that these mothers are stuck in metal prisons the whole time? And that they cry, just like we would do, when their babies are ripped from their bossoms?

On to the veg finds. Baker's Dozen is a weekend baked goods market in the basement of Powerplant Mall, Rockwell. Indie baker-entrepreneurs peddle their goods Fridays to Sundays from now until December. It's a good avenue for entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their merchandise to the masses (without having to spend on renting permanent retail space), and for the masses to check out what's hot and new in the baking world. Last year I recall seeing a lot of cupcakes (one table sold cocktail-inspired cupcakes) and sugar-free desserts like carrot cake. This year... it's pretty much the same thing. Everyone wants to diet (hence sugar free) but still have cake.

I say there were meager veg finds here only because mainstream bakers use dairy and eggs in their products, and this applied to the Baker's Dozen bakers. What this market seriously lacks are: [1] traditional Filipino desserts that are usually naturally vegan and [2] vegan western desserts. I've been battling with myself on whether or not to rent a table and sell my goods (don't judge the site, it's a work in progress!), but the logistics and timing are too difficult. I have a day job and I bake all on my own. I can't cut work to bake enough to stock up for the weekend.

Anyway, there were two things that I found vegan at the Baker's Dozen market...

The Muesli-Granola Kitchen and Bakeshop sells granola bars. No honey! No egg whites (yeah, some low fat bars use egg whites to bind)! Only oats, fruit, and nutty goodness! No white sugar, just brown sugar and muscovado sugar. Contrary to popular belief (or what I've been told), according to MGKB's owner, brown sugar in this country isn't white sugar + molasses. It really is unrefined sugar. In the totem pole of refined sugar, on the bottom sits muscovado, followed by brown sugar, then washed sugar, then white on top. Probably on top should be sweet poison, aka artificial sweeteners... no nutritional value whatsoever. I have to confess I'm hooked on Splenda whenever I drink coffee, but I'm really trying to wean myself from this stuff...

MGKB's granola bars come in a lot of flavors, most of them vegan. I lost the flyer so I can't reiterate everything, sorry. I do know that there's a chocolate bar, which isn't vegan. But everything else seems to be vegan. There's a Krispy Kreme variant, which has almonds, the original which has walnuts and dried fruit, and Monkey bar which has bananas and peanut butter. I really like their Pinoy granola bar -- "Mangga't Kasuy", or Mango and Cashews. It's quite refreshing to find a local purveyor of granola bars in this country. At P35 or $0.73 per bar, it's not bad at all. And yes, they have sugar free too, at P45 or $0.94.

Next up is Xocolat, purveyor of all things chocolate. You'll find brownies (not vegan), ready to drink hot chocolate (not vegan), and canisters of pure cocoa powder (vegan! they have an organic line!). I believe they try their best to source their chocolate from local growers, which is refreshing as well. It's sad that our local cacao industry never took off in the past, and I hope that guys like Xocolat reclaim and market cacao as Filipino and world class. I'm a fan of tsokolate eh myself, and I've been known to cook my oatmeal with tablea ala champurrado (rice porridge with chocolate). Hmmm, I really should experiment with baking with local cacao... More on cacao here.

Xocolat was selling chocolate-themed tote bags too, at P150 or $3.13 per piece. Not bad eh? I'd've bought one if it was big enough to fit groceries in. It seemed to be big enough only for light shopping, or to carry things like clothes or books.

Anyway, I really like Xocolat's packaging. I love that they use metal canisters instead of cheap-o unrecyclable plastic. Their brand design's not so bad too, you'd never have thought it was Pinoy. It seems pretty wasteful though that they wrap each slice of brownie individually in tissue paper, with probably plastic inside to catch the oil from blotting the paper.

That's pretty much it. I wasn't too disappointed because I found the granola bars. If you go visit the MGKB table, you'll be able to try all their flavors.

Baker's Dozen
Basement level
Powerplant Mall, Rockwell
Fridays to Saturdays,
September to December 2008

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