As a kid growing up in a developed country like the United States it was easy to believe all the fruits and vegetables came from the Supermarket. Of course this was the seventies and eighties so no Farmers Market boom yet, but so many aisles and displays with fruits and vegetables you later discover were grown all around the country, and even the world, before being delivered to your local area.
Living in a developing tropical country you don’t always have access to this vast selection of fruits and vegetables you may find in Europe or the US. This is of course both good and bad. Great because you know you are getting locally grown fruits and vegetable. You know the produce was grown nearby and the carbon footprint for their consumption is a fraction of that of say a banana purchased and eaten in New York. Of course the downside is you are only ever able to get fruits and vegetables which are grown in the country AND when they are in season. Here in Cebu this is not as limiting as it was in other counties like Fiji where the seasons for growing were quite different.
The carbon footprint for consumption is a fraction of that of a banana purchased and eaten in NY City.
Running a resort we do a LOT of purchasing of fruits and vegetables for our restaurant. While we would love to say all our produce comes just a few kilometers away from the local village of Boljoon they do not. The reason? Because we found much fresher and more variety for our produce 20 minutes up the highway in Dalaguete. The Dalaguete Public Market is very similar to the Farmers Markets that have become increasingly popular across the United States.
Dalaguete is located at the entrance to the highland area known as the “Vegetable Basket of Cebu.” Only 30 minutes up the mountain you will find farmers growing lettuce, chayote, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes. Others may be growing sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, cabbage and more. Of course this means we have produce readily available all year long, although there might be a few weeks we may have difficulty finding say lettuce or peppers but we know they will be back in a couple weeks when the weather changes. And this all means our kitchen is using the freshest ingredients for producing food for our guests.
The other fun part about visiting the same market for our purchases is the relationships we make with the venders. It really feels like visiting a Farmers Market. Working with the same sellers for certain purchases can lead to better discounts or them reserving the best and freshest products for our resort. The big smile at the top of the page is Joy. Joy is our “Suki” (local term for your local “hook-up”) and each week she holds the best mangos for us to purchase. Her heart is just as big as her smile.
Come and visit us and tell us what you think of the vegetables found in our dishes. We have trained our chefs to prepare them al dente and keep a little bit of snap, so if you prefer them cooked a bit more just let us know. We can also advise how you can visit our local Farmers Market.