June 1, 2018

Sweets to celebrate

by Vizlumin Cabrera (Published in Pilipino Express June 1-15)

A fantastic way to introduce a foreign culture to anyone is by sharing its food. With Manitoba being home to more than 70,000 people of Filipino descent, it’s no surprise that the traditional flavours of our cuisine have made its way into the hearts and onto the plates of many non-pinoy food lovers. While the savoury umami flavour of patis, and sharp notes of sinamak and sampalok will always be a delicious feature of our most beloved entrees, the unique variety of desserts from the Philippines will give anyone with a fondness for sweets, a run for their money.

Although dessert is typically eaten at the end of a meal, Filipinos are given the opportunity to have a little sugar-fix throughout the day, during meryenda as well. From the sweet-savoury, charcoal smoked nuances of bibingka, to the playful, childhood-memory inducing halo-halo, there is a treat for everyone’s sweet tooth. One dessert that is as traditional as it is approachable, is the pinoy doughnut; pilipit or shakoy. These treats are sold by street vendors everywhere, and resemble a twisted rope - if said rope came from a magical land, and all the rope was made of deep fried dough, and rolled in sugar. Even a hard to please eater would be drawn in to our culture by sampling this treat.

Everyone loves doughnuts. Oh Doughnuts, a locally owned doughnut shop has been creating intricately designed offerings for happy customers since September 3rd, 2014. Owner, Amanda Kinden produced small batches available at a handful of Winnipeg’s most beloved boutique coffee shops, before opening up her very own place on May 9th, 2016 at 326 Broadway. The toothsome array of doughnuts in the shop include flavours like Lemon Meringue, Imperial Cookie, Lavender Glaze, Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cheesecake, and Chai Glaze. Since Amanda is no stranger to translating exotic flavours in to doughnut-form, in January of 2017, Ube joined the ranks of their regularly produced specialty flavours. Once released to the masses, the violet delicacy sold out almost every day before the end of the day, sometimes within a couple of hours.

Most recently, Oh Doughnuts and ANAK Inc. have been collaborating closely to create a Mango Float doughnut to celebrate Philippine Heritage Week. Mango is the national fruit of the Philippines, and a favourite flavour of tropical fruit lovers everywhere. For those who don’t know, Mango Float, is a delicious concoction of mangoes, graham crackers, condensed milk, and cream – last seen on the dessert table at your family’s last handa, and probably made by your favourite Tita. Served up in the pillowy softness of Oh Doughnuts’ flawless dough formula, and you’ve got the perfect vehicle to deliver culture, flavour, and a reminder to celebrate our motherland.

The Mango Float doughnut will be available during Philippine Heritage Week, which runs from June 8th until June 15th. Oh Doughnuts is open daily from Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – or until their stock is sold out. They are closed on Sundays.