i am nothing if not predictable about my routine in manila. i usually take the friday flight right after work in guam, and arrive in makati just before most of the restaurant kitchens close. saturdays start early with a couple errands, and then off to the market at salcedo village.
predictable, but considering the variety of food and produce available, not exactly boring. and not particularly expensive either--the current rate of exchange is about 49 pesos to the US$1, so i can usually get a great meal and enough fruit for the weekend for about US$5. la-la-love a (relative) bargain, baby.
i was looking at photos from produce markets at tableau vivante and she who eats, and thinking that i'll never get such gorgeous artichokes nor delicate tulips here, but then again, i don't think frost damage is ever really a concern for the local crops, either.
and it never fails, i always find something new. spices 'n flavours run a stall there, with a small but fairly intensive selection of their merchandise. i picked up a small tumbleweed of dried oregano, and a packet of kasubha (Carthamus dentatus Blanco), which is similar to saffron but not (used much the same way, though); it was there i noticed a steel bowl filled with these almost coal-like fruit fossils labelled "black lemons."
preserved lemon, certainly, and a little interrogation of the shopgirl revealed it is from india, but no recipes were offered. has anyone ever used black lemon? does anyone out there know how? anyone? anyone?
tagged! manila makati philippines salcedo produce market