Tuesday, August 03, 2021

5-star canned classics

Admit it, on more than one occasion, we’ve all had a sudden craving for Filipino comfort food but not the time, energy or the ingredients to recreate it at home. A common favorite is the kare-kare or beef stew in peanut sauce.

Fork-tender meat simmered in rich and savory peanut sauce for hours—you can either do it yourself or save yourself the trouble and simply break open a tin can.

Yes, you read that right.

Plantation Prime, a boutique manufacturer and canning facility of Filipino classics, offers a line of ready-to-eat and long-lasting Filipino food in easy-to-open cans, the kare-kare being its flagship product. The modest 200-square-meter processing plant on Mactan Island is owned and operated by MB2 Food Products Inc. and manned by a tight five-man crew.

“We conceptualized the brand in 2018, aiming originally for the Filipinos who live overseas,” shared Brian Noel, managing director of Plantation Prime, and general manager of Casa Verde, another proudly Cebuano brand. “With my fellow incorporators and I having lived abroad, we know firsthand the lack of options for Filipino comfort food especially in the context of people living fast-paced lives and little time to prepare meals.”

The concept came to full fruition in 2020 when the company started producing canned beef shank kare-kare and longaniza (sausage) from time-tested recipes of one of Cebu’s five-star resorts, owned by one of the incorporators. The company invested in machinery and expertise after enlisting the help of various government agencies.

“As soon as our Food and Drug Administration permits were released, we began canning our Beef Shank Kare-Kare,” said Brian.

The product line has since expanded to include Bicol Express (pork stew in coconut milk with chili) and chili con carne, and soon, the Filipino spaghetti meat sauce. Plantation Prime is making these classic dishes readily available to the working consumer, and bringing five-star dining in the convenience of their own homes.

“We really set out to can Filipino classics that are difficult to prepare or take a long time to do, especially for the working consumer who may not have the time to slow-cook beef for kare-kare for the four hours it normally requires,” explained Brian.

The boutique manufacturing plant produces a limited number of cans per day, presently only 300 units, thus retaining an artisanal quality despite the world-class machinery, and ensuring product safety and longevity, making each can last up to two years with proper storage.

“We mean what we say. We even have it printed on the label: ‘Serving the global Filipino from the Visayan archipelago,’” Brian pointed out.


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