Saturday, October 30, 2010

comforting yet complex

Now that I have to watch my weight, my cholesterol, my uric acid-- in general, my health-- I easily become enraged at food that disappoints in terms of taste and presentation. Yez, ENRAGED. There are only so many calories I can should consume in a day and there is only so much pain that I'm willing to endure after my meal. So please, don't waste my time.

Which is why I am ECSTATIC when I encounter good eats. My loot from Casa Carmela Kitchen:

Pitaw, chicken inasal paté and Bacolod chorizo paté.
Carmelinas pastilles, piayitos in mascovado and mango flavor.
First, let's take a look at the packaging. I said it before here and here, it's just so intelligent! It make sense, it's attractive and it really shows off the product. Case in point: I bought the bañadas solely because of their looks. I didn't know what they were and I didn't bother to ask. I just couldn't resist the candy colors.

The outside is not enough, though. Once the package is opened, the product itself must look good.

The pastille is perfect with a cup of strong coffee after dinner.
The bañadas look all cute and cuddly inside the basket.
Of course, none of that means anything if it doesn't taste good. And that's why Casa Carmela Kitchen is a successful enterprise. Ultimately, it's all yummy.

But is yumminess subjective? What tastes good to me might not taste good to you, and who can say who's the "better" eater? I believe that there is a standard, though-- a measuring stick that everyone can relate to and understand.

Food must be comforting yet complex. It must be familiar but not necessarily obvious. It can be the traditional version or an update or reinvention. It's never really anything completely new and alien. Good food always carries with it a whiff of our childhood.

At the same time, it must challenge the palate and elevate the senses of the ones who eat it. Otherwise, it's not FUN.

Take it from Cookie Monster: Enjoy your food.

Happy Halloween!
Verdict: The mascovado piayitos are still the best. The mango ones need a little work. Some were sweet while others were still too tart. The bañadas are crisp and light, but substantial enough for a proper merienda. Eat them upside down so that the sugar glaze hits your tongue first with every bite. The paté series is ridiculously delicious and indulgent. I've already consumed a jar all by myself. The pitaw is still untasted as of this writing. The valedictorian of this batch is the pastilles. I'm not sure what they are or what they're supposed to be (Old, new? French, Spanish?) but I really ENJOYED them. I am sad that I bought only one pack.

Casa Carmela Kitchen does a much better job of describing their stuff. Check out their website.


  1. thank you db memoirs. now i have a high...not a sugar-high, but a db memoir high.
    casa carmela

  2. i love all your stuff! my friends are now addicted to your piayitos, too. i look forward to tasting more products soon.

  3. I'm going to assume that what you said is a GOOD thing for Casa Carmela. :-)