Bringing an icon into the kitchen

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By Betsy Gazo

Kaleidoscope

Saturday, March 22, 2014


AFTER launching its Lacson outlet last Monday, March 17, Victorias Foods moved up to the next level: it showed a select group how to incorporate its famous products into easy-to-prepare dishes.

What would normally be “abre lata” fare in our homes has transformed into gourmet food in the hands of the chefs of Bacolod Academy of Culinary Arts (BACA) who created recipes especially for Victorias Foods.

Don’t let the word “gourmet” daunt your culinary journey. Victorias Foods products have long been comfort food for many years in Negros.

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Dubbed “Signature Recipes by Victorias Foods,” the launching at BACA, according to Atty. Anna Rosario Paner, chief executive officer of Victorias Milling Company (VMC), Victorias Spanish-style sardines, Spanish-style bangus, chorizo, bacon and ham are part of our heritage cuisine and have been in the market for over thirty years.

“We hope to be able to remind you of Negrense heritage,” she said.

Victorias Foods chief operating officer and general manager Jaime Unson assured us of unadulterated products. What he meant here is that the company consistently produces high-quality food products. The bacon is not sweet and has a slightly salty taste that makes it stand out from among the usual honey-cured ones in the supermarkets.

“It’s about time we made our products more accessible to our customers for them to have easier access to our legacy,” Mr. Unson explains.

And for easier menu planning, Victorias Foods presents the signature recipes, one of which is a tweak on Salad Nicoise with Victorias Sardines Bangus Salad using the basic nicoise ingredients of julienned Baguio beans, boiled potato rounds, lettuce, quartered boiled eggs, cucumber slices, quartered tomatoes, and olives, and substituting anchovy with Spanish-style bangus.

The oil in which the fish is soaked is not thrown away but incorporated in the dressing. Voila! A French classic with a local flavor. But do add the bangus oil little by little for you might not agree with a strong fishy taste.

Skinned Victorias Foods chorizos can be minced and mixed with chives, garlic, and red onions, and seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Shape the mixture into patties and dredge in flour, dip in egg, and, lastly, in breadcrumbs. Fry and serve. The suggested way of serving the patties is with coleslaw and mango chutney.

Chef Marcel (who jokingly says he is half-German, half-shepherd) came up with a cool way of cooking spaghetti for kids. Would your little ones like to eat Victorias sausage spiders? Sounds scary but it’s just dry spaghetti noodles stuck into the soft-skinned sausages, boiled together, and served with tomato sauce, and possibly pesto, to cater to the adults. When the sausage is lifted, it will have noodles dangling just like spider legs.

In the way of tapas, here’s a quick hassle-free idea for impressing your guests. The Victorias-Style Banana Bacon Wrap can be prepared ahead and frozen for future get-togethers. It’s a variation of the Bacon-Prune Wrap and in fact is perfect for those who cannot stand prunes. Banana slices are wrapped with bacon strips and fried. Have aioli sauce ready to keep them company. This is a simple way of satisfying continental tastes. The banana slices make creamy morsels and lessens the guilt of eating bacon.

The 16th Lacson outlet is the first one to house all Victorias Foods products from the iconic Spanish-style bangus and sardines, to the sweet-tasting American cooked ham and Chinese ham.

It opens from 7:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the afternoon every day. This will give us Negrosanons the chance to access a home-grown brand.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 22, 2014.

Lifestyle

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