Posted on valcaulin.com
Thursday, April 18, 2013,2016
By Valerie Caulin
Negros Occidental is one of my favorite destinations. When I attended the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2013, your travel writer had a chance to visit a wellness destination that is more than just an organic farm.
Owned by the Jo family, Rapha Valley is located in Don Salvador, more than an hour from Bacolod City. Nice scenery, cool weather and most of all – something new for my tastebuds. I love to eat like most freelance writers but I’m not an adventurous type (read: no exotic foods like frog porridge or crickets on stick,etc).
1. Black Puto
Rapha Valley’s appetizer. Black puto ( rice cake) from fermented unpolished rice (hence to color) with coconut milk and honey with two kinds of dips. The typical pair for puto is dinuguan ( blood pudding) made healthier with their bloodless and meatless dinuguan and non-diary cheese pâté made from cashew nuts, Himalayan salt and herbs.
After some enlightening talk ( no more Maling luncheon meat!) with Dr. Albert Jo who looks very young for his age ( in white shirt and hat) with DTI’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), we head for lunch instead of the usual route of touring the organic farm.
2. Rapha Green Flowered salad
I feel so healthy with this salad with aragula, iceberg lettuce and other greenies. It was so fresh and cute at the same time watching and eventually eating some flowers like torch ginger flower ( the purple petal) and narotium flowers. Dressing are also healthy like the vinaigrette made from olive oil, honey and local vinegar.
3. Pasta with Mushroom and Tomato Herb Sauce
Linguine pasta made from durom wheat. There are two sauces, the Tomato Herb Sauce and the Mushroom Sauce. Must be real good, my husband who is not into pasta (but loves mushroom) had a happy tummy during the feast.
Rapha Valley aside from using organic ingredients cooks using clay pots. I just learned the scientific basis on why food cooked in clay pots we call in Cebu as “kolon” are far more sumptuous from Dr. Jo.
4. Squash Carrot Cake
I don’t know if we have squash recipes other than the soup and “gulay”. It is very healthy to create desserts made from a vegetable like our own squash variety which is very healthy. In Japan, I love their kabucha ( pumpkin) ice cream.
Only few Filipinos love carrot cake. Amazingly, this recipe combines two vegetables known for their vitamin A and beta carotene content. And here in Rapha Valley, dessert is really guilt-free.
And my favorite ( sweet tooth yes!)
5. Turmeric Creme Brûlée
The usual cream and milk dessert is replaced with coconut milk and local crops. It was good, I ate my husband’s. Haha. There was some yam, I think, and I love it. Enough said :).
Of course, the drinks deserve a separate post so please stay tune.
Many thanks to Negros Occidental Provincial Tourism for bringing us here. Happy bellies!