One thing that stresses me out is finding an herbs and vegetables (or any ingredient for that matter) whenever the recipe calls for it. It is good to know that supermarkets here in Cebu have fresh supply of those herbs, though the mix is not that extensive. There are times that all you need is just a few of those leaves to add flavor to your dish, and most of the time you left those greens napping on your fridge until the next cooking time, or worse, it will be thrown away when wilted. Not a good idea.
You can find those needed herbs and spices at the vegetable section of any mall here in Cebu. Most of the time there are sweet basil, mint, parsley, or coriander in the shelves packed in handy small containers. I don’t know where they came from; the most important is it’s available and ready for taking. But how about those other herbs like rosemary, tarragon and the like? Sad to say, for almost a number years of my stay here in Cebu, I found none in those supermarkets and I am satisfied just using the dried version—McCormick (hahaha ang kinakusgang McCormick). Though always available, it is still a huge different if you will use the fresh ones.
The solution? Grow those plants! But where can we found those hard-to-find plants here in Cebu?
Cebu is a metropolis where you restaurants are mushrooming in any streets possible. People here just love to eat. Sad to say, I still had difficulty finding an appropriate ingredient in the supermarkets, or at the public markets. My presumption is, all are coming from outside of Cebu Province since Cebu has only a few agricultural lands. However I was fascinated by an idea that there must be somebody who grows those plants here in Cebu. The next blog posts are listings of my few finds here in Cebu.
So why plant if you can buy it? For me, it’s both practicality and ensuring where they came from. I only cook a dish for two so I don’t need something more that will be later on dumped on the bin. Its availability all the time whenever I need it is enjoying it at the convenience of my home. And I want to make sure those are being grown my way, organic and fresh. Plus the joy of growing those is simply beyond measure.
So the next time you will cook pasta or a fresh salad, make it more close to real one by garnishing some fresh herbs.