Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Luxurious Taste of Summer at the Lab

Mangoes  are the taste of cerulean blue skied summers and the sun on your shoulders, leaving your tanned cheeks rosy.   During the summer months,  punnets of the glorious yellow  fruit is à go go in our home.   Dull are the days without it.   Straight-from-the-market  abundant ripe mangoes  are  macerated and served with crushed ice and a duvet of  whipped cream or  sometimes it doesn't reach the kitchen at all.   In some homes  they are squidged in a cauldron  with some natural cane sugar and lemon zest until nubby and sweet to create a phenomenal venetian  orange brown  sauce to be swirled into a vanilla-freckled ice cream base.  Bliss.

Down the memory lane, I could still catch a glimpse of  the winding road where fruit-laden trees  lined up as we  reach the antique house of my grandma.   We would spend lazy afternoons eating the sweet yet odorous meat of jack fruits under the tree with a bowl preserving the seeds  for boiling and snacking, later.  To add, the  endless staring at the glorious guyabano tree awaiting  its  harvest time and how can I forget the gigantic mango trees near the window of  our room.  Alas, a far-fetched summer experience.
Until,  last February 23,  where Pierre Marmonier  (the French behind the jeweled jam creations), presented the new daring flavor combinations of Philippine fruits- Mango, Jackfruit, Durian and Guyabano, as The Fruit Garden Tropical Collection 2012 was launched.    The Tropical Line highlights my favorite fruit, mango.  The exhilarating burst of  heterogeneous flavors between the mangoes and the three other fruits were jarred attractively, made me feel like the so-longed for summer at my Grandma's is hand-held.
The mixes are, Mango Guyabano (Sour Sap),  Mango Jack fruit and Mango Durian. 
It is Pierre's vagary of what this year's  summer taste is. 
At a certain laboratory,  food, science, culture and arts, have been fluxed, as Chef Bruce Lim, once again have shown his evasive action delivering  one gastronomic lunch,  and jams were fused  into his recipes.

It  renders the versatility  of the The Tropical Fruit Garden Line which worked  well with impeccable gourmet dishes and  have proved that it is more than just a fruit spread and breaking the "jam for  breakfast"  culture.
Let me share you what had been whipped up for us.
 Seared Prawn Salad
Mango and Durian Jam lightly diluted with white vinegar made a unique twist into the humdrum vinaigrette that we use in our salads.  The subtle kick of durian didn't actually ruin the salad,  (sorry but I am not yet that durian lover then), instead  it gave the unique sweet taste clinging on the crunchy leaves, that will leave you asking for more, without the pungent odor of durian.
Guyabano Marinated Pork Belly
For the Main Course, our plates were adorned with not one  but two pork cuts, which were marinated with the Mango Guyabano Jam.   The meat chops were then wrapped in plastic thrice, preserving the liquid.  I know for a fact that jams can help tenderize meats, but according to Chef Bruce the pork bellies where cooked slowly for two hours.  You could  then think how tender to the bite the meats are.  I love a bit of sweetness to some of my dishes, like putting pineapple juice and bits on my Adobo, raisins on my Menudo, saba bananas on my Cocido, cranberry sauce on the turkey meats,  just to name a few.   This did made a mark on my palate.
Banana Leaf Prawns
This simple yet cunningly sumptuous prawn was marinated with Mango Jack fruit Jam,   covered with banana leaf, to be  baked into perfection.  A glaze of the jam was still present on the pillow-soft,  orange-skinned crustacean, inviving you into an untamed flavor of sweet and seafood fusion.
Banana and Mango Langka Jubilee
A different take on our childhood favorite cold snack, the Saba con Yelo.  Instead of the usual shaved ice with evap milk, vanilla ice cream was used.  To flare up the dessert some more,  Mango Jack fruit jam was added to the sliced saba bananas while it was being cooked, adding brandy to the concoction which gave a sharp caramel taste.  And what could a dollop of the same jam on top of  the layer of banana jam and ice cream would do?   Enticingly good dessert.

You too can play wicked with the usual dish that you prepare for your family, like what Chef Bruce did, where Philippine-made jams are used to liven up our summer meals, only with the freshest pick from the best luxurious Fruit Garden Jams, now in Tropical flavors.

Check their website  for  information on where and how to purchase.
Recipes for the four  dishes are found  HERE
You might want to like  their page  The Fruit Garden at Facebook, for more product updates.

More pictures from The Chef's Lab...


  1. Do they offer chocolate dishes in the Chef's Lab? And because this is a "Lab", does it mean they have lots of experimental dishes or is their menu fixed?

    1. They do have chocolates on some desserts and cocktails. As far as I know, they have a fixed menu, some dishes were actually Chef Bruce's originals which came from his other resto, The Chef's Table, but what's nice is that they have daily new dishes.

  2. Oh my this post makes me hungry! Banana and Mango Langka Jubilee looks yummy and perfect for summer!

  3. @stellaEffects and Pinay Ads, thanks for dropping by dears!

  4. whoa! that banana and mango langka jubilee looks so mouth-watering... i wanna have one

  5. uy oo nga parehas tayo! hahaha pero oks lang nga mas maganda naman laman nung sayo hehehehe.....

    and the fusion dishes looks very yummy! kakagutom!

  6. nakakagutom naman to! craving for Banana and Mango Langka Jubilee :)

  7. all i can say is "nakakagutom!"
    nice photos btw.


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