And the Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Winners are…

Thank you to all the Ultimate Taste Test Masters judges for rating, commenting, and supporting the new awesome products of 2021 from home-based food entrepreneurs and also the new ones from established names in the industry. This year’s competition included the Best Chili Makers in Manila in collaboration with the Philippine Hot Sauce Club.

UTT Masters Edition was tough because the judges had high standards, and just winning this taste test competition with a 3.8 rating above was a big achievement! Congratulations to all of the the Top 8 winners and the Top 3 Chili Makers winners from the Philippine Hot Sauce Club.

Also, we will do a special mention here of the brand that almost hit the 3.8 cutoff. We felt they deserved to win because of their good product.

Related Blog Post: Announcing… Ultimate Taste Test 2021

And the Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Winners are ….

  1. @THEKABUTEFARM 4.10
  2. @PUFFTDOUGHNUTS 4.00
  3. @NOMNOMJOY 3.88
  4. @KARABELLADAIRY 3.88
  5. @LOUISSEPATISSERIE 3.87
  6. @THEUGLYMUGPH 3.83
  7. @MONIQUECAKESPH 3.82
  8. @ARCTICCREAMERY @JMNAUGHTYNICECREAM 3.81
    ——
  9. @SCHROEDERS.DELI 3.71

BEST CHILI IN MANILA

  1. @DONHULYOHOTSAUCE 3.83
  2. @ALEROS PH 3.83
  3. @EPICSPICEMAD 3.79
    ——
  4. @LOUIESPICY 3.74

1. The Kabute Farm @thekabutefarm 4.10

This is our comfort food during the pandemic and we always have packs of their mushroom sisig in our freezer. It’s healthy, tastes good when served hot or even cold. Plus, the kids love them.

Congratulations to The Kabute Farms for winning the overall Top #1 spot of Ultimate Taste Test 2021!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

Love the texture of the mushroom sisig, it feels like eating real sisig without the fat guilt!

Tried the sample with egg. I think it’s best enjoyed freshly cooked and the egg on top instead of mixed with the sisig. No need for calamansi but a dash of soy sauce will round the flavor and give it the “sisig” fantasy.

I love that it tasted like pork sisig, but is actually mushroom. What would be great is if they can create a new taste profile for sisig that makes the mushroom taste more prominent.

I think I ate 2 servings of each and I love the fact that it tasted like meat even if it’s not. This is something that i’ll buy and will send to my relatives abroad!

Their mushroom sisig was great! The mushroom didn’t taste earthy and the flavorings were great. The regular packaging is at 300 grams which is a good size for a meal.

Tried the vegan version.. ang husay, dimo aakalain na mushroom, lasang chopped fried skin ng lechon kawali na tinadtad to make Sisig.. ok din yung semi chewy texture.

It’s healthy because the sisig is made of mushroom. It won’t add anything on your calorie if you are a calorie-conscious person.


Super sarap, hindi halatang mushrooms lang siya! Pero if you carefully take a look, they are mushrooms! Amazing!


Good alternative for meat sisig. Flavor was not overpowering. For me, it will be good to have a spicy version 🙂

AMAZING product. Gives you everything youre looking for in a sisig. I would eat a whole plate of this. Only note missing is texture.

Surprised that the vegan version tastes closer to pork than the original one. If I didn’t know, I would have thought this was regular sisig. Pretty good!!

So good! We had seconds!! Loved both versions. Best in show contender.
Add mushroom chicharon bits on top! I personally liked the Vegan sisig better.

About Kabute Farm
by Angela Yu

The Farm

The Kabute Farm proudly established its roots in Mt. Banahaw, in the quaint town of Lucban Quezon, where our family have been enjoying cultivating fresh organic produce and crafting homemade classic Filipino delicacies for years.

Our love for Filipino food and continuous search for healthier options have undeniably been our core since we started The Kabute Farm. By using our own produce of Kabute and fresh spices, our family has found ways to keep that rich beloved taste of Filipino dishes and made it healthier.

Let’s together celebrate our love for food without the guilt here at The Kabute Farm.


The Kabute Experience

The secret to our good food is our Kabute. Our family goes through this intensive process to use fresh and high quality Kabute in the food we make:

Mixture
The sawdust and other raw materials are combined and composted for 21 days to create a suitable substrate. It is then bagged densely to resemble a wood log.

Pasteurization
The bags are then pasteurized at 100 centigrade for 6 hours to exterminate contaminants and other live microorganisms that may affect the growth of the mycelia.

Inoculation
After the bags are cooled, it is then transferred to the sterile room for the inoculation of spawns into the pasteurized bags.

Growing
The inoculated bags are moved to the growing room with a temperature of 29 to 32 centigrade where it will be stored for 30 days as the mycelia populate the entire bag.

Hanging
All the fully ramified bags are carefully selected and transferred to designated harvesting rooms and are hanged. The bags undergo thorough washing and cleaning to ensure that there won’t be any contaminants left. After a couple of days, it will go through the process of cold shocking for the mushrooms to start coming out of the bags.

Harvesting
The best time for growing and harvesting mushrooms for the Philippines is October to February since it is the coldest and wettest months of the year. But with the help of technology, it is already possible to harvest and grow mushrooms all year round. Fully grown oyster mushrooms are carefully harvested from fruiting bags every dawn. The mushrooms are then sorted and cleaned to ensure quality.

Mushroom Sisig
Made with pure oyster mushroom sizzled with native onions and chili peppers. It is lard-free and organic. Indulge in real sisig goodness without the guilt.

₱400 per pack (300g)

The Kabute Farm
Mobile
: +63 9338269192
IG: @thekabutefarm
FB: @thekabutefarm
Thekabutefarm.com


2. Pufft Doughnuts @pufftdoughnuts 4.00

Ever since we tried this, we’ve always thought that these are the best doughnuts in Manila in 2021 and the Ultimate Taste Test Masters judges confirmed that!

Awesome congrats to Pufft Doughnuts for winning the Top #2 in UTT 2021!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

I like the doughnut itself even without the filling. The cream filling is yummy. Even without the candy cane, it looks aesthetically okay. I also like the strawberry doughnuts. Must be eaten altogether with the doughnut to balance the sweetness.

• It’s true what they say, it’s not super sweet despite its looks. Sarap without the umay factor!

• Filled Doughnuts (Strawberry Cheesecake) – Cream filling is superb, though the Strawberry Jam used gave a processed product-after taste.


Strawberry Doughnuts – Highly Recommended! A little messy to eat by hand.

• Sobrang sarap! Best among the strawberry filled donuts that we have tried before. You can feel the quality of the strawberries based on texture and taste.


The strawberry fruit that’s on top of the doughnut is sour but it blends to the sweetness of the doughnut. It’s delicious and mouth-watering.

• I just loved the sweetness of the strawberry doughnuts. Filled doughnuts are just as good.

• Most elegant filled doughnut ever!!

• The sweetness is just right. I normally think glazed strawberry desserts are too sweet but not this one! Which means I can have more 🙂

• I like that it’s not too sweet! The strawberry filling WAS so good!!!!! Presentation is great too. Definitely enjoyed this!

About Pufft Doughnuts
by Meg Hornsby-Bates

A fresh and grown-up take on a classic – was created by Chef Meg, a food lover and entrepreneur with 16 years of culinary experience across London and Manila.

Pufft is “adulting” doughnuts that you can take a knife and fork to and be totally valid for it. Each Pufft doughnut is soft, fluffy, and filled to capacity (when we say “filling”, we mean it). Did we mention it’s adorably squishy too? Check out our product photos and know that – when you finally hold one in your hand – the images don’t lie.

Each doughnut is proudly and lovingly made from scratch, and every filling and frosting on the menu is homemade. Our dough boasts only farm-fresh eggs and no preservatives whatsoever. A unique testament to the quality of Pufft is that whether left at room temperature or refrigerated, each doughnut tastes as if freshly-made.

Every classic flavor has been elevated to cater to both the tastes of old-fashioned doughnut lovers and those with perhaps a more discerning palate. And whether you prefer to eat them the fun way – by hand – or in a more sophisticated manner, Pufft doughnuts fit the bill.

Rest assured that each box of Pufft holds a fresh batch from which you’ll get a sumptuous whiff the moment you flip the lid open. And if its your first time trying Pufft doughnuts, feel free to give them a poke or squish and let us know how well- deserved the name is.

ProductQtyPrice
Filled DoughnutsBox of 6₱630
Strawberry MonstBox of 4₱880
Stronut Box2 Monst & 3 Filled₱775
Strawberry NiniBox of 4₱700
Happy DouglasBox of 4₱650
Tiramisu CupBox of 4₱600
Premium Frosted1 pc₱120 – 140
Regular Frosted1 pc₱60 – 95
Belgian Fudge Brownies16 squares₱700
Brown Butter Blondies16 squares₱700

Pufft Doughnuts
Email: hello@pufft.ph
Mobile: +639176258735
IG: PufftDoughnuts
FB: Pufft Doughnuts
www.pufft.ph


3. Nom Nom Joy @nomnomjoy 3.88

All the chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies I talked to raved about the mussels! I still find it amazing how Joy was able to do a bottled product out of the mussels from Aklan. Ang sarap, and goes well with rice or pasta.

Congratulations to Joy for winning the Top #3 spot in UTT 2021!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• Loved the Gourmet Mussels, I like that it is very versatile and not tied down to a particular cuisine. It can tongue-shift depending on how you’d eat it. Chili oil, pesto, gochujang, calamansi, chimichurri, the list goes on!

• I love the balance of flavors, but would be good to use better quality mussels as the mussels on their own was quite bland. It was the other ingredients that compensated for the blandness of the mussels and made this a really good product! I also like the pulled pork bec it was juicy all throughout.

• I feel bad that I wasn’t able to buy! I can definitely eat this anytime of any day! I super love both products! Should be placed on top of a hot bowl of freshly cooked steamed rice for ultimate experience!

• The Gourmet Mussels are superb while the Pulled Pork Adobe was too salty.


• Kampeon yung pagkaluto and flavor ng tahong.

• Sooooo Gooood! A must have in every household pantry!

• Sarap parehas. Medyo salty lang and hindi super pulled yung pork, pero the mussels were AMAZING! Sobrang sarap!

• Pulled pork adobo, good concept for the traditional adobo pork cuts. Adobo flavor and aroma could be enhanced.

• The pulled pork is fine – I think adobo in general is hard to challenge because everyone would have their own family recipes by now. It’s the mussels that blew me away, like seriously I can’t stop thinking about it.

• I LOVE THE GOURMET MUSSELS!!! Giving it this brand the highest rating for that. The best i’ve tried so far!!! So so so good!!! You wouldn’t think it’s in a bottle.

About Nom Nom Joy
by Joy Rodriguez

Growing up, I have always been fascinated by the kitchen. The smell of my lola’s freshly baked ensaymada, the colorful fruitcake my mom and dad slaved on for Christmas orders, the sound of boiling tomato sauce when we cook our favorite spaghetti, the taste of my uncle’s fabada with homemade
sausages, and how rough and soft lola’s perfectly round buchi were — it was heaven for my developing senses.

Cooking has always been something I loved, it reminded me of family and good times. You can always find me happily whipping up something in the kitchen and excited to share with family and friends.

When the pandemic hit, I often found myself in a cooking frenzy – one part to keep my sanity and another part a way to stay connected with my friends in these crazy times. I wanted to create comfort food that is convenient — something that you can just put on top of rice or pasta, or even eat straight
out of the jar.

Nom Nom Joy was born out of my realization that food is a love language. I wanted to share comfort food to friends I missed and colleagues who were having a difficult time. I initially had no intention of starting a business, but after receiving good feedback from friends, I just had to take a leap of faith.
The Gourmet Mussels came from my love of seafood, made more convenient. Adobo has also been a constant comfort food, but I wanted to add a twist, creating a fusion of spices from Pulled Pork and the taste of our Filipino adobo.

Gourmet Mussels (Regular: ₱250, Spicy: ₱260)
Pulled Pork Adobo (Regular: ₱300, Spicy: ₱310)

Nom Nom Joy
Cooking whatever I’m currently craving, from savory to sweet. Menu changes constantly. To order, send me a DM.
IG: @nomnomjoy


4. Karabella Dairy @karabelladairy 3.88

The Chocoholic made from Auro Chocolate and Don Papa Rum was an absolute hit! I also thought that the chocomint Dynamite was the perfect palate cleanser in between tastings. Galing rin the Ube with alcohol gelato.

Congrats to Karabella Dairy for continuing to innovate and win UTT2021!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• The chocolate with don papa was a standout, just the right amount of chocolate goodness with an added liquour kick!

• I dont have enough words to describe the texture, perfect balance of temperature and creaminess. The gelato itself has a unique and indescribable feel inside your mouth.

• I also love Dynamite. Didn’t taste like a toothpaste and it is perfectly served with the chocolate cookie on top. Perfect combi. “

• That Choco Gelato with Don Papa is a piece of art in your mouth


• The chocoholic was my favorite. It was creamy with a hint of alcohol. Then they even added a shot of Don Papa rum and I was happy!

• Love the spiked ice cream chocoholic.. you can taste the rum but it’s not overpowering, the blend is perfectly balanced.

• The chocoholic is my pick for the best spoonful this year. Doesnt hide the rum

• Double awesome!…texture flavor are just amazing!..a must!..and w don papa?..how could one go wrong!

• Great carabao milk ice cream. Specially loved the mint and the ube. Sarap!!!

• Don Papa was mind blowing. There are a lot of other liquor-based ice cream out there but this one lived up to its name – you can taste the rum, it was strong, and yet still enjoy it as ice cream.

About Karabella Dairy
by Eric Jan Buenaflor

Karabella, from the term “Caraballa” (female carabao), is a social enterprise with the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm (GKEF) that seeks to provide the experience of eating gelato in its most wholesome form.

From the raw ingredients to the finished goods, Karabella is proud to use only real and natural ingredients sourced from our local farmers and other social enterprises. We deliver rich, yet real dairy products using 100% fresh carabao’s milk. No vegetable oil, filled milk, or any additives.

At Karabella, we are creating real dairy products made from carabao’s milk to nourish your families and the families of the farmers we serve.

CHOCOHOLIC & DYNAMITE
₱150 per cup (100ml)
₱450 per pint (450ml)
₱1,300 per tub (1.89L)

Karrabella Dairy
Contact: Eric Jan Buenaflor
Mobile: +63 917 190-5797
FB: Karabella Dairy
IG: @karabelladairy


5. Louisse Patisserie @louissepatisserie 3.87

This was one of the surprising discoveries of UTT2021, and everyone who tried Louisse’ Gateau Camille raved about the balance and intricacies of the flavors.

Congrats to Louisse, another winning Filipina pastry chef!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• I love how her gateau was light and satisfying at the same time. I love, love, love the chocolate taste that was fresh and not cloying. I super love the bite and texture – so well balanced: the soft bite, the almost silky texture, the melt in the mouth experience. First time I was able to finish a rich gateau. ❤️

• Wondetful and lovely looking gateau. Nice combination of raspberry coating and chocolate cream filling.

• Like: Balance of tart raspberry and chocolate tastes


• Great presentation/plating! Very classy and tasty, oerfect for fime occasions. It was not too sweet and you can taste the natural flavors of the berries.

• Love the jelly outside texture and mouthfeel of the mousse. Also the easiness and just the right amount of sweet is the its best selling point.

• Best- my favorite so far. Elegant, not too sweet. Wouldn’t change a thing.

• Mousse cake!!..and not too sweet and raspberry pairing..gotta be!
Super sophisticated! I can’t believe all those perfect entrements were each done by hand. Really good.

• BEAUTIFULLY made. I love raspberry and this was really well made. Great design and great flavor.

• It’s okay because it’s kind of reminiscent of what we get from 5-star hotel catering 🙂

About Louisse Patisserie
by Patricia Louisse Lopez

Patricia Louisse is an alumna of Enderun Colleges & Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts, Philippine Represenative for Juniores World Cup Pastry 2019 in Italy. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, with pastry and hospitality restaurant experience for a Michelin-star restaurant in France and the flagship restaurant of Jean-Georges in NYC. She has loved baking for as long as she can remember, but her journey genuinely began during her travels in Europe. She took up pastry in Manila and Malaysia and she has also taken various Master Classes from MOF (Meuilleurs Ouvriers de France). 

Patricia started “Louisse Patisserie” with a goal of sharing her passion for pastry and continuously innovate and interpret pastries that speak close to the Filipino palate.

About the company: 

I started my business last 2018.  I intended to share pastries I have only dreamt of making. During my travels and work experience around the world, I fell wildly in love with food and most especially pastries. Wanting to create something, I started selling chocolate chip cookies in high school until it evolved and tweaked in college after several trial and errors. Orders grew and I knew I had to create something different, so I pursued my passion for pastries and being able to create different flavors using the best ingredients I could find to share to everyone. I started my business after I finished graduating pastry school, but I had to leave the country and work in NYC so the Instagram page became inactive. I activated it again by posting photos of my creations when I returned to Manila last September 2020.

Louisse Patisserie has a passion to constantly improve whether it’s on the French classics that has been practiced in pastry school, my job at Jean-Georges NYC, or on the creations discovered while on her global travels. Pastry is a vast world that is continuously innovating and ever-changing. 

At Louisse Patisserie, we see to it that pastries we make are pleasing to the eyes, while staying connected to the flavor.

About the product:

The flavors I used for Gateau Camille are raspberries and dark chocolate – a cake named after my mother and a homage to her favorite flavors.

The use of each ingredient brings something unique, yet retains its distinctive character. Raspberries and dark chocolate complement each other which makes the dessert well-balanced. It is an elevated version of flavors that are familiar to our taste.

Fun fact:

Our logo is crafted from the handwriting of Patricia herself. The macaron represents the pastry that ignited her love for baking. 

7” Gateau Camille ₱1,900

Louisse Patisserie
Mobile: +63 917 587-0915
IG: @louissepatisserie


6. The Ugly Mug Cafe @theuglymugph 3.83

The Best Waffle of 2021—Croissant Waffle that every chef, restaurateur and foodie raved about, thinking bakit hindi nila naisip ito. Galing!

Congratulations the Ugly Mug Cafe for your Croffle innovation!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

Love the texture, soft, crisp and ot too sweet!

• Flaky and buttery, inside is with fluffy goodness with crispy edges.

• I like the fact that even if i ate them at home already, the croffle is still crisp and yummy! A scoop of vanilla icecream on top will surely elevate this one.

• YES YES YES. The best one I’ve tried at UTT this year!

• Solid yung texture.. because of the chew provided by that croissant-like feel of the waffle. One of the best sa UTT.

• I like that the waffle stays crunchy and chewy even if cold. Fresh strawberries too!

• Sobrang yummy, wala masyado umay for a dessert. 🙂

• Grabe, kahit ang dami ko na sweets nakain today, umangat flavor niya and ang sarap talaga ng waffle. I loved both flavors!

• Great texture, good quality ingredients, not too sweet. Super yum.

• I love the consistency of the waffle itself – light crunch but not dry! I tried it with strawberries and cream but I imagine it would stand on its own even without toppings. Will recommend to my friends!

About The Ugly Mug Cafe
by Carla May Reyes

I am Carla May Reyes, a seafarer; Asst. Pastry in a passenger cruise ship by profession before the pandemic, and now one of the owners and representing The Ugly Mug Café. Our small business started last June 8, 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, many businesses shut down, big or small. However, it also gave an opportunity for those people who lost their jobs to take a chance to open up a business whether it’s online or with a physical store, and since I have dreamt of having my own Café, at the same time home cafes, minimalist, or sari-sari store vibe cafes started to pop up, so I/we took the risk to open up our own Café, right beside our home. I took up some Coffee Shop training, how to make coffee in different ways, and since I love to drink coffee too; we ended up creating our own mixes. But, there’s also a lot of competition within our area; Mandaluyong, and their coffee are good as well, so we thought we need to up our game too, we needed to be known or noticed for something that consumers will keep coming back, and that’s where our Best-Selling Croffles (croissant-waffles) comes in. 

The idea of the Croffles was given by my business partner, she’s a fan of Kdrama, and croissant waffles are trending snacks in Korea, and we all know how instagrammable yet delicious Korean snacks are. Croissant waffle is basically made out of croissant dough, cooked on a waffle machine, tested out some of dough recipes for our Café and when we came up on our final recipe, we added some toppings or flavours that will definitely works well with our croffles, and some of our best-sellers are Strawberries and Cream; made out of our own cream recipe and topped with fresh sliced strawberries and dusted with icing sugar, Mozzarella Cheese; burnt cheese on top and it’s already a combination of something savory and sweet  and our Classic croffle, simply dusted with powdered sugar and yet you can still enjoy the crispiness and taste of the Croffle. For now, we have 7 flavors; White Matcha, Strawberries and cream, Dark chocolate, nutella, mozzarella cheese, cinnamon sugar and our classic croffles.

Despite of the pandemic, and how most of us considered this as somehow “Ugly” because what we’ve all been through, we are still blessed to be able to open up and start our dream café/ small business, and share a cup / mug of our favourite drinks with our loved ones, henc the name The Ugly Mug Café.

Croffles Croissant Waffles
• Classic (₱95/pc) powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar
• Premium Croffles (₱115/pc)
Nutella, Matcha, Dark Choco, Mozzarella Cheese, Strawberries and Cream

The Ugly Mug Cafe
Mobile Number: +63 945 420-7013 / +63 945 176-3317
FB: The Ugly Mug Café
IG: @theuglymugph


7. Monique Cakes @moniquecakesph 3.82

Our favorite baker of 2021, with her guava cake, strawberry shortcake and chocolate grand slam! Beautiful cakes, beautiful presentation, beautiful advocacy and beautiful personality overall.

Congratulations to Monique for winning the Ultimate Taste Test 2021—you deserve every accolade!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• These are some of the prettiest cakes I have ever seen. Plus I love the story and the advocacy. Texture, bite, and technique were good, but the flavors were held back. It is as if the chef was afraid of making the cakes overly sweet. I know she can do better flavor wise. She has the personality for it and her decor shows it, too.

• I really reallllly reallllllly love the strawberry shortcake. Not that sweet and overwhelming in terms of sweetness.


• The Guava cake is so interesting. It was my first time to taste one. I like it but I think, I’ll like it better if chilled.

• The sponge is light which is good. But the flavor of the guava tastes like medicine for me. The strawberry shortcake is ok. Not a fan of their chocolate cake.

• To die for ang guava! galing ng combination! and so meticulously and beautifully made with ❤️


Super gorgeous cakes that are extremely delicious especially the guava!

• Strawberry shortcake was not too sweet but very delicious, especially the cream. Kulang lang unti ng strawberry flavor.

• Chocolate cake was amazingly fudgy and chocolatey. A bit too sweet for my taste lang if ever ako pipili ng cake, I don’t usually go for chocolate, but overall it was fantastic! Mapapakain din ako kahit di ko siya favorite!

• Guava cake was PERFECT! Unang kagat, lasang lasa agad yung fruity flavor 😘 Definitely my favorite!”

• Tastes like guava but it’s not sour and overpowering, it’s the one I liked best from the lot

• Really tastes like guava but not overwhelming! Strawberry shortcake wasnt too sweet, icing is good— creamy


• The strawberry shortcake was absolutely delicious. The guava cake—I feel like it could use a little more balance. The icing on both felt a little too thick, especially with the guava cake

About Moniques Artisanal Cakes
by Monique Tancongco


From hotelier to shipbuilder to baker
by Monique Toda, The Philippine Star

“Cooking and baking have always been her comfort zone. After a long day at work, she turned to the kitchen (and grocery shopping) to unwind. Monique would always find the time to cook a good meal. More cooking and baking happened with the abundance of free time during this pandemic. Aggravated by the limited social gatherings with loved ones, her cakes then became her “language of love” to family and friends.”

Read complete article here

Helen’s Guava Cake
Dainty and fragrant masterpiece, subdued but with discernible hints of guava. Its moist and fluffy chiffon is filled with homemade organic real guava jam with just the right sweetness, garnished with generous slices of red guava fruit on top.
₱1,500

The Inspiration for Helen’s Guava Cake stemmed from the desire to bake delectable cakes and pastries for my family, my mom particularly, using the finest and most wholesome ingredients as much as possible. Guavas bring about the fondest childhood memories. Growing up, we had guava trees at my grandma’s house and relatives’ houses. My aunties, uncles, and elder cousins built swings and playhouses on and around them. My late grandma, late dad and my mom taught us the nutrional value of eating natural and unprocessed food as much as possible. Guava fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C. My late dad, Crispino Tancongco, used to work for Del Monte Philippine packaging in Davao City. The Del Monte Guava juice was his brainchild. The jam recipe I used for this particular cake was my grandma’s “pamana” to my mom, Helen. It was my mom who inspired me to create a cake out of it. Hence the cake’s name. – Monique T.

Strawberry Shortcake
Fresh, juicy, in-season strawberries on a delicate, pillow-soft tender cake covered with light and velvety strawberry cream frosting.
₱1,900

Grand Slam Chocolate Cake (Caramel / All-Chocolate)
Luscious chocolate, gooey caramel, crispy chocolate wafers, and a moist decadent layer.
₱1,900

MONIQUE ARTISANAL CAKES
FB: Monique Tancongco
IG: @moniquecakesph


8. Arctic Ice Cream @arcticcreamery + J&M Ice Cream @jmnaughtynicecream 3.81

Although the basic flavors of Arctic—Vanilla, Ube, and Melon were really good, the J&M Naughty & Nice alcoholic ice creams were what the UTT2021 judges were raving about! We loved Secret Breakfast, Irish Coffee and Tiramisu.

Congratulations to Carmen’s Best for a winning J&M and Arctic innovation!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• Smooth and soft. Melts pleasantly and not too quickly in my mouth. No
detectable ice crystal or sandy texture. Had a very enticing color.

• I’ve tried the Tiramisu, for me I didn’t get much of the liquors included in this flavor but it does taste like the typical tiramisu.

• Both Ice-cream are verify smooth in texture and flavorful, just an exact amount of sweetness and preserves its natural flavor. The alcohol was not overpowering to taste.

• Nice taste though some of its flavors doesn’t yaste much like what the flavor it is described for. But definitely a good ice cream. Better than mainstream.

• Love the alcohol infused ice cream but it seems a bit softer than the usual ice cream.

• The artic line is creamy good and affordable. Not a fan of alcohol in ice cream but it taste good too


• Super smooth and creamy! Hindi agad nakakaumay unlike other ice creams, especially the J&M Irish Coffee Flavor!

• Super yummy!!! Alcohol infused icecream is the best! I want moreeeee!

• Awesome! That first spoonful I had made me smile. Sarap! Sobra!

• I liked Irish Coffee but it’s the Secret Breakfast from J&M that blew me away!

• Arctic’s Melon is great too, reminiscent of Melona actually.”

• THE SECRET BREAKFAST IS SO GOOD!! Tried other flavors but this one won my heart. It’s light, yet flavors are there! Would definitely have it again.

About J&M and Arctic Ice Cream
by Paco Magsaysay

J&M stands for Jaime & Mikey, the sons of Paco Magsaysay. This ice cream line combines naughty with nice in the form of alcohol with ice cream. Each flavor is infused with liquor to enhance the taste and experience of having ice cream.

IG: @jmnaughtynicecream

I

Arctic Ice Cream
Our “value” line ice cream made with the DNA of Carmen’s Best. 🍦
IG: @arcticcreamery

You may order through our full e-commerce site: www.carmensbest.com


SPECIAL MENTION:

9. Schroeder’s Deli @schroeders.deli 3.71

Our favorite sausages from Schroeder’s are Hungarian Cheese and the Smoked Chorizo! It’s better to eat them in thicker sizes and freshly cooked off the grill.

They deserve the special mention because their sausages are quite good!

Ultimate Taste Test 2021 Rating:

Comments:

• The Hungarian with cheese is so good! Bought a pack and cooked it right away. I instantly knew the sample won’t give it justice as it was cooked in slivers. The skin has a really good bite and the cheese inside made it extra juicy. The saltiness and spice is also on point, you can eat it as is!

• The sausages were generally palatable, but they taste like any other brand. It would be good if you can tweak your product a bit so the taste is uniquely yours and can stand out from all the rest.

• Like: Chorizo had good flavor
Improve: Add more fatty bits to chorizo

• I just love their sausages. Kielbasa is love!! I will definitely order from them!


• Their Hungarian sausage has a different and surprising flavor profile than other Hungarian sausages I’ve tried.

• The sausages are adapted to Filipino palate in the sense that the casings are not as sturdy and are easier to eat.

• Loved the German Franks! All sausages where tasty and savory, though some are a bit Salty.

• I love the chorizo and cheese hungarian in particular. Sausages were pretty well constructed.

• I loved the smoked variants (chorizo and Italian sausage). Super sarap!

• It tastes premium!!! I’ve tried them before, actually, and I like it today as much as I liked it the first time!


About Schroeder’s Deli
by Patti Sandico

Schroeder’s (Shrow-der) Deli is your neighborhood deli—wherever your neighborhood may be.

Inspired by family-owned recipes passed down through many generations, our products have been crafted and perfected through taste tests and time.

Like every great deli, our company is committed to delivering gourmet provisions and quality meats to everyone in the metro—from national restaurant chains and major groceries, to discerning customers like you.

The Bizmarck Platter (₱500)
A taste of German and Italian sausages never sounded this good. Enjoy our Bizmarck Platter that caters to every taste bud, you won’t regret it.

Includes:
Hungarian Sausage, German Franks, Polish Kielbasa, Smoked Italian

Weight: 1kg

Schroeder’s Deli
💛 Est. 2018 ~ Your neighborhood deli
📍Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila
🛒 We deliver from Monday to Friday
Email: schroedersdeli@gmail.com
FB: Schroeder’s Deli
IG: @schroeders.deli


The Best Chili in Manila @PhilippineHotSauceClub

Thank you to the Philippine Hot Sauce Club for presenting the best Chili Makers in Manila with an awesome interactive table of fire challenge!

And the winners of the Best Chili Makers in Manila are….


1. DON HULYO HOT SAUCE 3.83

The Don Hulyo Dry Hot Sauce is our absolute chili favorite of 2021! This is my son Aidan’s favorite, and we use it as an all-around dry chili sauce to spice up for meals. Any chili lover will absolutely love this!

Congratulations to Don Hulyo for winning the #1 Best Chili Maker in Manila!

UTT 2021 Ratings & Comments:

Spicy

• The reaper was an experience

• I’m not good with spice so didn’t dare try

• Traydor ung dry hot sauce

• Don Hulyo Dry hot sauce the best we’ve tried.

• Love this hot sauce! Bagay sa mga meats. The dry hot sauce is amazing! I will put that in any food 🙂

• Super hit!!!

About Don Hulyo Hot Sauce

Don Hulyo Hot Sauce is a small batch artisanal hot sauce company based in Manila and is founded in 2017. Our mission is to be part of every people’s lives by providing the highest quality and best tasting product anywhere in the world. Committed in creating food products that suits local tastes as well as international standards. Our focus is to bring Filipinos appreciate the flavor in a hot sauce as to how it enhance the eating experience.

Spurred by passion, purpose, and roots, Don Hulyo Hot Sauce started from a humble home kitchen equipped with a vintage Oster and stock pot from his parents.

Coming from the 4th generation family of vinegar maker from Barrio Santor, Tanauan, Batangas. He was exposed to the world of condiments at an early age. Got in love with the pain and pleasure brought by the peppers and started collecting hot sauce as a souvenir wherever he goes.

One day, got bored from off the rack hot sauce as he felt something is missing and decided to craft his own for personal use and as a Christmas gift for friends. It became a hit that a friend encourage me to make more and sell it.

Our peppers are lacto-fermented for at least a year to safely preserve the peppers – and gives our hot sauces their deep tangy flavor. All our ingredients are smoked using local woods which gives our hot sauce the amazing flavor. Don Hulyo Hot Sauces has an interesting, well-balanced, rich, and familiar Filipino flavors, you can definitely tell these are made by love, soul and passion. Our signature flavor is smoked adobo and the ingredients are handmade and all-natural with no artificial preservatives and colorings.

We have a 4 different heat level of hot sauces that suits your tolerance. Don Hulyo Hot Sauce is great with barbecues, steak, lechon, nachos, burgers, fried fish, tacos, sandwich, hotdogs, ribs, burrito, sisig, caldereta, chips, kebabs, sausages, lumpiang shanghai, chips, sausages, embotido, ramen, and isaw. Hell, it’s great with anything you wanna eat!

At Don Hulyo Hot Sauce, we believe In world-class quality and we are on the mission to put the heat, the flavor, the passion, the craftsmanship back to every family’s dining table.

Don Hulyo Hot Sauce (OG) – ₱200 per bottle 

Heat Level: Medium
Ingredients: Ghost Peppers, vinegar, tomato, garlic, onion, sea salt, pepper, bay leaf, sugar, and spices

This hot sauce is the “OG“. Our first ever hot sauce made available in the market. Earthy and thick brown sauce made of blended pit-smoked red ripe ghost pepper, with loads of smoked tomatoes, garlic, and onions. This tangy addictive condiment provides middle-of-the-mouth heat with a unique great-tasting flavor. This hot sauce uses all-natural ingredients from locally farmed peppers, aromatic spices, and fresh herbs. Combining the best flavors from the Philippines and Tex-Mex for a distinct western-Filipino taste.

Infierno Black Reaper – ₱500 per bottle 

Heat Level: XXXTRA HOT
Ingredients: Carolina Reaper pepper, Don Hulyo Hot Sauce, distilled cane vinegar, sugar, and spices. 

Just when you thought that Infierno X couldn’t get any hotter, Don Hulyo made the Infierno Black Reaper that is twice as hot as Hot Sauce-X and the hottest on our line-up yet. This insanely ass-kicking hot sauce with a unique great-tasting flavor is made of lacto-fermented Carolina Reaper and spices. Infierno Black Reaper offers familiar Filipino flavor layered with deep smoky flavor and a lingering heat that last. The flavors are enough to add balance while giving tremendous heat to your mouth. A true hell in a bottle.

Don Hulyo Dry Hot Sauce – ₱500 per bottle 

Don Hulyo Hot Sauce
Don Hulyo Hot Sauce is a small batch artisanal hot sauce company based in Manila founded in 2017. Our mission is to be part of every peoples lives by providing the highest quality and best tasting product anywhere in the world. 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Contact: +63 917 500 9324
Email: donhulyohotsauce@gmail.com
FB: Don Hulyo Hot Sauce
IG: @donhulyohotsauce
www.DonHulyo.com


2. ALEROS PH 3.83

This line of fruit chili sauces was a surprising discovery for me and my favorite was the Oh! Dalandan Hot Sauce! Some people loved the Pineapple Hot Sauce.

Congratulations to Aleros PH for winning the #2 Best Chili Maker in Manila!

UTT 2021 Ratings & Comments:

• I super wanted to love this, but it is lacking in linamnam. The flavors were there as promised, but they came out flat. They shoukd add or increase an ingredient that will boost or bring out brightness in each sauce.
Spicy

• Great. Good ingredients.

• Pineapple passion! Perfect yung pagkaka anghang

• Loved this the best!!!!!

About Aleros PH

WAP is in the business of good flavorful hot sauces. We seek to use high-quality local ingredients, tried and tested cooking techniques and latin inspired flavors to provide a one-of-a-kind fruity experience. At the same time, we seek to cultivate a holistic relationship with farmers, producers, suppliers while also aiming to be environmentally responsible.  

Pineapple Passion – ₱200 per bottle 
Oh Dalandan – ₱200 per bottle 
Mango Sour – ₱200 per bottle 

ALEROS PH
Kick-Ass Latin food 🌮 & 
WAP Fruit Hot Sauces 🌶🥇 
/a•le•ros/ Honduran slang for best friend
Contact: alerosph@gmail.com
Email: +63 917 117-9268
FB: Aleros PH
IG: @alerosph


3. EPICSPICE HOT SAUCE 3.79

The Perfect Bleu Cheese Chili sauce is perfect for meats, rice toppings and everything else. Ang sarap!

Congratulations to EpicspicE for winning the #3 Best Chili Maker in Manila!

UTT 2021 Ratings & Comments:

• The best part of the event 🔥‼️

• Loved every bit of all the products!!!

• Perfect bleu white hot sauce. It will be good to have a milder version 😜

• Loved the unique flavors!

About EpispicE Hot Sauce

We are EpicspicE! 

We started of as Epic’s hot sauces in 2015, with our first hot sauce Tropic Smoke. As we progressed with more creations we became inspired to deliver more curious and creative takes on hot sauces and other spicy products, inspired mostly by films and pop culture, wherein we push the boundaries of what is perceived as normal and try to make recipes that are larger life and thus Epic. 

Our brand logo consists of an ambigram of Epic’s and Spice, mainly has the colors (but not limited to) Black, Red and White, and features an owl that symbolizes the weird and nonconformist side of us. 

Through the years EpicspicE have received numerous awards for various hot sauces in our product line as well as with our limited-edition creations, we have produced sauces for food businesses, customized hot sauces for events, and have been featured in a social media articles, blogs, video reviews, an online TV special and a magazine feature. 

Our craft is our passion, and we love sharing it with everyone, and with that in mind we’ll see to it that we continue to improve on our trade and bring forth more of our concoctions to the world.

Tropic Smoke – ₱250 per bottle 
Perfect Bleu – ₱350 per bottle 
The Mad Hotter – ₱200 per bottle 

EpicspicE Hot Sauce
EpicspicE. Awesome hot sauces. Madness inspired micro batch chili products.
Contact: +63 995 920-2532
Email: epicsfoodph@gmail.com
FB: EpicspicE
IG: @epicspicemad


SPECIAL MENTION:

4. SPICY LOUIE 3.74

I love their spicy meat sauce for kebabs, burgers or just to spice up any other meat! A must chili sauce for any of the chili lovers out there. 🙂

UTT 2021 Ratings & Comments:

• The Habanero Rosemary in EVOO is the BEST product discovery for me in this UTT. It is awesome, awesome, awesome. On its own or mixed with something else, it is so good. I bought this and made friends try. They all loved it. So delicious and very refined.

• Bought the meat sauce! I think this is perfect for my wagyu burgers and steaks!

• Spicy meat sauce was the bomb! I love it. The habanero rosemary was a bit surprising in the sense that I don’t think I got to appreciate it fully because it was tested over a cracker. The cracker did not give it justice as I felt like I had massagr oil on my tongue because of the potency. However, if it was tried with meat or something complementary then it would have been a better experience. The salted egg sauce was okay for me.


• The best yung spicy meat sauce

• My new favourite, spicy meat sauce!!! 🙂

• Super good, umami bombs! Special mention to the meat sauce. It was so good.

About Spicy Louie

In 2016, Spicy Louie began in a small home kitchen in Makati. Sauce maker, Louie Calara acquired a variety of chilies that are not usually available in the supermarkets. Out of curiosity, Louie started incorporating the chilies with usual dishes that are being served at home until family and friends noticed the enhancement of the quality of food. From there, he decided to produce a small batch of condiments to test the market. 

Spicy Louie came up with 3 varieties of sauces. The reviews were humbling. Unique, sophisticated and high-quality products were always the feedback mentioned after sauces were added with different kind of food pairings. Since then, Spicy Louie’s product line grew with a wide range of selections. From oil based, fruit based hot sauce, vinegar, and specialty sauces. 

Curiosity drives sauce maker, Louie to combine different unusual ingredients to create something out of the ordinary. These sauces received recognitions from an annual competition where all local artisans gather to showcase their respective products.

Habanero Rosemary in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (infused Oil)
₱350 for 150ml

Salted Egg & Crab Fat Sauce
₱350 for 250ml

Spicy Meat Sauce
₱350 for 250ml

Spicy Louie
Deliciously Homemade Organic Spicy Oils and Sauces made with pure passion in cooking and love for spicy food
Email
: louiespicy@gmail.com
FB: Spicy Louie
IG: @louiespicy


Final Thoughts

Awesome thank you to all the UTT Masters judges, food entrepreneurs, chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, influencers, sponsors, family and friends in the food industry for making Ultimate Taste Test 2021 a smashing success and a safe event despite the pandemic challenges!

The winning products are good as food gifts for your foodie friends or as something to spice up your Christmas celebrations.
Kabute Farm’s Mushroom Sisig or Nom Nom Joy’s Mussels,
Pufft Strawberry Donuts or Ugly Mug Cafe’s Croffle,
Monique’s Guava Cake or Louisse’s Gateau Camille,
Karabella’s Chocoholic or J&M’s Secret Breakfast Alcoholic Ice Creams,
Shroeder Deli’s Hungarian Cheese & Smoked Chorizo Sausages.

Special thank you to Philippine Hot Sauce Club for making the event sizzle with their awesome chili sauces from the best Chili Makers in Manila!

For chili lovers, make sure to stock up on the best chili in Manila:
Don Hulyo’s Dry Hot Sauce
Oh Dalandan Hot Sauce
EpicspicE’s Perfect Bleu Hot Sauce
Spicy Louie’s Meat Sauce

See you all at the 20th Edition of the Ultimate Taste Test on its 14th year in November 2022 @ Gallery MiraNila by The Blue Leaf!

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Ultimate Taste Test is founded by Our Awesome Planet.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. We are already accepting food supplier applications for UTT 2022. Please send an email to ultimatetastetest@gmail.com to apply.

Thank you to Gallery MiraNila by The Blue Leaf for the awesome venue, with a safe high ceiling exhibit hall, a charming al-fresco garden setting, and awesome service from The Blue Leaf.

Thank you to Bizu Catering Studio for the awesome table, cocktail, and seating setup for the event! Only from the best caterer in Manila for UTT. 🙂

Thank you to SIP Purified Water for quenching our thirst and for supporting the Ultimate Taste Test annually!

Thank you to The Tasteful Selections for showcasing your finest products!

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