By VIANCA GAMBOA
To start it off, the sad thing about many Filipinos is that we are ignorant of vegan culture and the many ways it can benefit us and our ecosystem.
Always highlighting ways on how to care for animals and bring light to veganism, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently hosted the Best Vegan Desserts Contest to answer questions such as: How do vegans enjoy desserts? What are their alternatives?
This project is not only for those taking baby steps to go vegan but to also delight the 90 percent of Filipinos (according to studies) who are lactose intolerant and bridge the gap to demands for dairy products.
Held at Century City Mall, the contest showcased 15 merchants with their homemade animal-free desserts like doughnuts, ice cream, cakes, and kakanin, all competing for the title of best vegan dessert.
The event was graced by vegan celebs, influencers, and chefs. The judging panel was composed of PETA senior vice president Jason Baker, chefs Rosebud Benitez, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle’s Gene Gonzalez, and Aaron Isip, event planner Ferdi Salvador, actor Addy Raj, Manila Vegan Facebook group founder Nancy Siy, Zero Basics founder Jana Sevilla, and bloggers Evan Tan, Nikki Torres, and Jecca Uy.
The first thing we tried is Super Scoop’s ice creams: Strawberries and Cream and Coffee Cashew Crumble, which are coconut-based. These don’t divert much from the real taste of their actual flavor. The same thing goes for Lost Bread’s ice cream Strawberry Acai and Chocolate Granola but has a slightly tangier taste. Ambassador Ice Cream made use of coconut sugar and Pinoy favorites like Tablea chocolate. Cakesmith presented the Prune Cake with Candied Walnut Crunch and Date Caramel sauce, a vegan customized cake like no other. Already making rounds in the vegan food scene, Corner Tree Café tried their luck with their gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Greens Spot Café’s has the best tasting choco chip cookies which also won a special category for Best Cookie. Green Bar is every vegans-with-sweet- tooth’s dream come true with their doughnuts that come in a variety of our favorite flavors like Boston Crème and Glaze. Jertie’s Kitchen garnered special awards for its Dark Choco Cake and gluten-free Banana Choco Peanut Cake. Cute and quirky Instagram shop ImVento Box set aside its bento box to “invent” vegan desserts like Calamansi Muffin, Sticky Rice Balls with Peanuts, and paw-printed Fudgy Chocolate Cookies that has huge chunks of chocolate. When it comes to ice cream, Nice Creams—Morena(plain chocolate) and Diet Ako, Bukas (banana and chocolate) by Chocolate Bar and Café are new to your palate for their really smooth and gooey texture. Antojitos’ plant-based tex-mex vegan desserts like Maris Peanut Butter Cups and Rocky Hazelnut Cups have just the right amount of sweetness and filling.
We were lucky enough to get to try the best of them all, Super Scoop’s Coffee Cashew Crumble, which bested every contender and was hailed as PETA’s Best Vegan Dessert. For Carmela Cancio-Go of Super Scoops, what started as a passion project grew more into an opportunity to expose her special dessert.She also said that they’re bringing more into the table, solidifying their position on their technical business as well. “We want to become a brand that genuinely stands for the good,” says Carmela.
Following Super Scoops as runners-up are Jertie’s Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Cake, and Ambassador’s Mango Biscoff Ice Cream who came in first and second, respectively.
Special awards were given to: Green Spot’s Kind Cookie for the Best Cookie (honorable mention: The Baking Owl’s Thumbprint); Jertie’s Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Cake for Best Cake; Green Bar’s Havana Cupcake for Best Cupcake; Super Scoops’ Coffee Cashew Brittle for Best Ice Cream (honorable mention: Lost Bread’s Acai Strawberry Soft-serve); Baking Owl’s Cocoa Cherry Bar for Best Chocolate Dessert (honorable mention: Cholate’s Morena Nice Cream); Cakesmith’s Prune cake for Best Non-Chocolate Dessert (honorable mention: Aging’s Cutechinta); and Delicious’s Moringa Green Affogato as the Most Unique Dessert (honorable mention: Imvento Box’s Sticky Rice Balls)
“All the showcased vegan desserts prove just how delicious compassion can be, and everyone wins—the consumers who get to indulge in heavenly treats and the animals who are spared suffering on cruel farms,” said Jason.