By Monica Araneta Tiosejo
The Australian Embassy in the Philippines hosted Taste of Australia, a food and beverage showcase as part of the Australia Day 2020 (Jan. 26) celebration. Held at the second-floor foyer of Makati Shangri-La, the event gathered some of the best Australian products like coffee, wine, and cheese that are available in the Philippines. Afterward, Australian ambassador Steve J Robinson AO received guests like Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, a Filipino-Australian, at the Rizal Ball Ballroom for the National Day Reception. The whole affair was a celebration of diversity, not only of food, which brought the two cultures together but it was also a celebration of mateship and bayanihan, which we have in common.
1. Woomera Rosé
The semi-sweet spritz popular among the ladies is refreshing. On the nose, the perfume smells like lilac, and of course, roses followed by musk. It is versatile for pairing but is perfect with root vegetables and squash. A lot of people like to drink it with barbecue-flavored or sea-salted potato chips, and with a salted caramel dessert.
2. Roaring Forties Blue Cheese
This is a rich and creamy product with a subtle taste in comparison to other blue cheeses. A beginner’s blue cheese, if you will. For accompaniments, which must always enhance and never detract from the cheese’s flavor, try it with honey, walnuts, prunes, figs, and dates. Spread it on some toasted walnut bread or almond biscotti, or even on wedges of buttery, oven-roasted pears.
3. Remedy Kombucha
It’s only Remedy’s first week in the Philippines. It’s the number one kombucha brand in Australia. The bestseller is Raspberry Lemonade, a deliciously lip-smacking flavor. The beverage is brewed in small batches for 30 days until there is no more sugar. It’s a raw, vegan, and dairy-free source of probiotics, so even people with lactose intolerance can love their gut. It’s a game-changer in many ways, especially as an alternative to soda and mixers.
4. Where’s Marcel? French Vanilla
Manila is the first offshore site of the Australian coffee company from Melbourne. The name of the brand started as a joke when owner Marcel Ruggieri went on a trip with his friends. He did some exploring on his own and his friends thought they had lost him. The coffee (a blend of Arabica and Robusta), however, is seriously good. Try the French Vanilla.
5. Doritos Crackers
These triangles are shaping the snack scene to be healthier. The baked (not fried) bites are supposedly guilt-free, and are available in four flavors: Cheese Supreme, Mexicana, Meatlovers Pizza, and Cheesy Pizza.
6. DJ&A Veggie Crips (Wok Veggie Mix)
The contents of a 65-gram bag of this ready-to-eat vegetable snack are made from 180 grams of raw vegetables, namely broccoli, garlic, red and yellow capsicum, green beans, and shiitake mushrooms, a mix that has 30 percent less fat than potato chips. The nutrient-dense crisps are a good source of dietary fiber.
7. Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
Four Pillars, while being a small Australian distillery in the Yarra Valley, is a big deal. The 2019 Gin Producer of the Year’s ambition is to make the best craft spirits in Australia. The Bloody Shiraz Gin is approachable, spicy, and juicy. It’s delicious neat or as a gin and tonic.
8. Vittoria Coffee Oro
They say Vittoria is Australia’s number one pure coffee brand. The family-owned business boasts of 100% Arabica beans sourced from all over the world, then blended. The Oro blend combines Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America to produce a smooth and rich, full-flavored and maximum-bodied coffee.