01 April 2009

DO YOU EAT FLOWERS? I DO.

Apart from the online jobs that I have these days as a result of my self-serving job ad, I also have recently embarked on a microretail enterprise that involves promoting Dulce De Dingle or dried green papaya "flower candies" of Dingle, a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo in Western Visayas, Philippines.

Dried green papaya flower candies--or simply papaya candies--are traditional Ilonggo confections that originated in the municipality of Dingle in the province of in Western Visayas and are considered as the trademark of the town.

This rare, local delicacy is made of unripe or green papaya pulp coated with sugar and formed into a flower or a rose. At the center of the "flower" or "rose," there is a delicious-looking yellow stuff called
yema (a sweet concoction made of milk and eggs) that reaches down to the upper part of the “stem,” which is also made of dried green papaya.

Unlike
pinasugbo, piaya, bande, bukayo, butterscotch, biscocho, and other common delicacies identified with the province and the city of Iloilo, green papaya flower candies are quite unknown and are always hard to find because production is based on pre-orders only. In fact, it is so rare that almost no local confectionery store sells it in Iloilo City.

Despite their lack of publicity, these candies are probably one of the oldest Ilonggo delicacies there is--dating back as far as the 1920s. This was according to my father, who is a good son of Dingle, where I also spent a part of my childhood.


Another factor behind their scarcity is, it takes nearly a week to prepare the freshly harvested papaya pulp because it has to be soaked first in water with lime powder for a few days, before placing it under the sun for at least a day to dry.

Also, there are times when supply of unripe or green papayas becomes a bit limited or more pricey than usual.


The "assembly" of the dried papaya pulp into a "flower" or "rose" is also very meticulous. It requires dexterity of fingers, patience, and creativity to finish even just one "flower."
 
Fashioned by the loving and hardworking hands of low-income housewives from the town of Dingle, green papaya flower candies feed nearly 20 families in this fourth-class municipality and help them send their children to school.

So, if in case you want to order this rare delicacy, please don't forget to appreciate first all the hard work that these people have put in
before you make your first bite.

Shelf life of these candies is usually one to two weeks only--but I'm sure a pack won't last for three days once you've tried them. They are addictively delicious!
 
Packs of Dulce De Dingle come in three sizes--packs of 25, 50, and 100--all in basket-shaped, golden yellow cellophane. The smallest pack (i.e., 25 pieces) costs P200.

However, if you’re outside or far away from Iloilo City, you’ll have to add something for courier/shipment and minimum order is two packs of 25. Otherwise, delivery is free.

Yes, I understand, P200 for just a pack of 25 candies is a bit steep especially these days, but, by buying the product, you will also be helping:
  • Low-income families of the municipality of Dingle.
  • Out-of-school youth, who spend their time making these candies instead of doing drugs or, uhm, making babies.
  • Working students, who try to earn in-between classes just to send themselves to school.
  • Me. (Hehe.)
Also, Dulce De Dingle's green papaya flower candies are best for:
  • Pasalubong, which is a plus because they are so unique you can’t find them just anywhere.
  • Watching TV and/or DVD with the family. (Believe me, you'll be surprised at how fast these candies will disappear. Hopefully, you won't end up killing each other. Hehe. Kidding.)
  • After-meal treat.
  • Happy meal during bad days, LQs (lovers' quarrels), dysmenorrhea, job retrenchment (hopefully not), and the like--because they can be a good (and healthier) substitute for your favorite chocolates.
  • Bribing your boss. (Try it to prove it. Hehe.)
  • Saying "I Love You" to a girl (or boy)--because these candies are a good and creative substitute for the predictably boring bouquet of real flowers.
  • Crazy “circus performances”--others who will see you eat these candies would actually think you’re eating real flowers. (Hehe.)
  • Your health--they’re 100% natural, no harmful preservatives, nutritious--green papaya being a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, papain (good for digestion), arginine (good for male fertility), and carpain (good for the heart), among others.
Interested? Please just text or call the following numbers:
  • +63946-871-2222 (Smart)
  • +63906-871-2222 (Globe)

6 comments:

Rein Valdez said...

That's cool. Gonna try that one. How much it cost?

Warrior In Scrubs said...

P200 for every pack of short-stemmed "edible flowers."

Just text 0922-9494-666.

Be prepared to be addicted though. ;)

Donald Serrano said...

wow! pwede na pala makain ang flower ngaun. LOL...

Bradpetehoops said...

Delicious/Masarap.

P@M said...

This looks interesting. Is it sold in the city? e.g. SM City, Atrium, etc. Would love to try it

Warrior In Scrubs said...

@P@M:

The candies are no longer sold at the malls in Iloilo City. I've been very busy these days with school and hospital duty, so I really haven't had time to replenish the stocks anymore.

However, I still do deliveries from time to time.

Just email me at WarriorInScrubs@gmail.com. Thanks!