When people come to visit, they usually bring presents from back home. Lots of times it’s food that’s sorely missed or can’t be bought here. From Manila, I always receive ensaimadas (sugar and cheese buns) or bibingka (rice cakes). Sometimes, I get a small bottle of taba ng talangka (crab fat/roe) that I have sauteed with a bit of garlic and tossed with spaghettini for a quick lunch.
Our most recent guests were my brother in-law and his family who had arrived from Buenos Aires and brought some goodies from Argentine: a large box of assorted Havanna alfajores (cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche). There were two kinds: some covered in chocolate and others covered in powdered sugar. They also brought several packets of Chocolinas (chocolate biscuits) sent by my mother in-law when she heard from me that my husband was remembering a taste of his childhood. (He’s now gone through most of the packets of biscuits which he eats slathered with dulce de leche.)
The largest (and heaviest) goodie was the doorstopper of a book A Day at El Bulli by Ferran Adria. It’s been sitting on my bedside table all week waiting for the right opportunity for me to go through it and read all about what it’s really like to spend a whole day in one of the world’s most famous restaurants. I might even attempt one of the easier recipes in the book if I ever get off my chaise longue this summer.