TIPS: Where to buy Baguio vegetables
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Good weather makes Good Friday in Baguio a good time to buy Baguio vegetables.
Tourists, unless they are gourmets and gourmands who know their way around, are clueless on where to get the cheap stuff and usually go home with Baguio brooms, peanut brittle and strawberries.
The whole spectrum of Baguio vegetables are available and the best place to buy, of course, is at the Baguio City Market.
If you are buying wholesale, it would be wiser to go to the source, which is the La Trinidad vegetable outpost. There's the old one near the La Trinidad municipal hall and a new one near the Benguet capitol.
But if you are buying only for yourself, it would be wiser and less chaotic to buy at the Baguio City Market.
Start at the Hangar market, which is at the southeastern side. Different booths have different vegetables to sell but the cheapest prices (as of writing) are as follows:
Romaine lettuce at P80 per kilo. It could go up to P120 in other parts of the market and this is the cheapest we could find. Plain old lettuce is at P35 while the Butterworth variety is at P40 per kilo.
Large potatoes come at P50 a kilo and it goes cheaper by P5 as the size diminishes. Try the marble potatoes at P25 per pack. Just wash it then boil. Skinning it later would be a cinch.
Cherry tomatoes come at P100 a kilo while the other types of potatoes are way cheaper from P40 to P15. There are two booths that sell the wild tomatoes at P15. These are as small as cherry and obviously organic because they grow wild. Koreans love to buy this because it is tangier and much tastier than cherry tomatoes.
National Artist Bencab bought some orange tomatoes from Italy which he now grows near his museum in Asin village. He sundries some of them and sells to Hillstation.
French beans (slender and blanched for salad) are a steal at P30 a kilo while regular beans sell at P20 a kilo. There is a violet variety known as magic beans which you can also use for salad. It magically sells at P15 a kilo.
Eggplants, which are plump, large and dark purple usually seen in the kitchen of Martha Stewart, sell at P50 a kilo. Give them dignity by calling them aubergines.
Zucchini, which are always mispelled here as sukini, zukini, suchinee, sell at P20 a kilo.
Sugar beets sell for P40 a kilo while red radish sell at P35. A large stalk of celery sells for P40.
Lemons are hard to come by and a bit expensive at P50 a kilo. Sweet peppers are cheap now at P20 a kilo while the habaneros come at P30 a kilo.
For herbs, buy behind the fruit section of the market near the rice section. The old woman there sells basil (P30 a kilo), dill (P15 for the small bundle), mint at P40 a kilo and parsley at P20 a bundle. She also sells watercress at P20 for the very thick bundle. Asparagus are at P50 for the small bundle.
For organic products, look for the booth of La Top at the same section where the old herb seller is.
La Top is a group of organic farmers in La Trinidad and their price is uniform throughout the year. They have the same varieties as the Hangar but in smaller quantities and more expensive. Buy arugula and other less popular salad greens here.
Also look for amki, which is shaped like an orange shriveled mushroom. These sell for P25 for 5 pieces. There are fragrant spices that are very very hot. They are rare and a good addition to your spice rack. Just don't wipe your eyes after holding them. - Rappler.com
Baguio is one of the country’s top producers of crops and agricultural products. If you ever swing by the place, you should be able to get the freshest organic produce. If you're staying home, you can still enjoy great food and grocery discounts online. Just click here and see the latest coupons.